Ditka, wife play name game with Tampa fans after loss

November 16, 1992|By Jerry Greene | Jerry Greene,Orlando Sentinel

TAMPA, Fla. -- Instead of lashing out at his players, Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka -- with an assist from his wife -- saved his oral fireworks for a couple of spectators yesterday immediately after his team lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 20-17.

Separated by a fence, Ditka got into a cursing match with one spectator en route to the visitors' dressing room at Tampa Stadium. Some of his players pushed him away from the irate spectator and toward the dressing room.

However, another spectator threw a crumpled beer cup at Ditka from an elevated ramp. Ditka made an obscene gesture at the man and cursed him over and over.

Meanwhile, Diana Ditka, the coach's wife, picked up the cup and hurled it back at the man who had thrown it at her husband. Much like Bears kicker Kevin Butler on his errant attempt to tie the score in the final seconds, her shot was wide left.

The shouting and gesturing match ended when a police officer pushed Ditka into the dressing room.

"He called me a bad name, and I called him a bad name," Ditka said afterward, walking away from the press.

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