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By Jeff Barker and Jeff Barker,Sun reporter | September 19, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Football fans don't think of red-faced, gravel-voiced Mike Ditka as a musician. But the former Chicago Bears coach said yesterday that he helped write a country song - he also does a voiceover - about aging NFL heroes tentatively called "Love of the Game." Ditka's five-minute song, soon to be sold on a CD, is part of an effort by retired NFL athletes to raise money for former players in need. The players, including Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers, also plan to sell leather jackets and vintage jerseys - one will have Sayers' name on the back.
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By Edward Lee | December 12, 2011
During a segment called “No Huddle” on ESPN's “Sunday NFL Countdown,” former NFL coaches Herm Edwards and Mike Ditka are given a variety of topics in rapid-fire style and asked to choose sides. Prior to the Ravens' 24-10 victory over the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers' 21-19 loss to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Edwards and Ditka were asked to opine on which Harbaugh brother was more likely to advance to the Super Bowl. “John Harbaugh - veteran football team,” Edwards said. “They'd probably win their division and have some home games [in the playoffs]
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By Fred Mitchell and Fred Mitchell,Chicago Tribune | July 31, 1991
BERLIN, Ill. -- What's in a name?Not much, if you listen to Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka.Especially when you are dealing with an 80-man roster. The names tend to get a little fuzzy at times.L No wonder Ditka often refers to his rookies by their number.Such as: "I like No. 81 [Anthony Morgan], he has shown a lot of savvy."Or, "No. 24 [Joe Johnson] is an interesting guy. He does some nice things."And, "I like No. 71 [James Williams], he's a mountain. No. 19 [Nigel Codrington] catches the ball.
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By Jeff Barker and Jeff Barker,Sun reporter | September 19, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Football fans don't think of red-faced, gravel-voiced Mike Ditka as a musician. But the former Chicago Bears coach said yesterday that he helped write a country song - he also does a voiceover - about aging NFL heroes tentatively called "Love of the Game." Ditka's five-minute song, soon to be sold on a CD, is part of an effort by retired NFL athletes to raise money for former players in need. The players, including Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers, also plan to sell leather jackets and vintage jerseys - one will have Sayers' name on the back.
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By MIKE ROYKO | August 19, 1994
Mike Royko is on vacation. In the meantime, we are reprinting some of his favorite columns. This column was first published Sept. 20, 1966.My favorite modern folk hero is the fan who runs on the field during the big game. He is even more wonderful than the dog that runs on the field during the big game.Sometimes he just lopes around the bases, sliding into home plate. Sometimes he tries to hug Mickey Mantle. Sometimes he tries to punch a referee.The cops always drag him away and the TV announcer makes some smart crack like: "Well, that's the end of his game, ha ha."
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By Bernie Lincicome and Bernie Lincicome,Chicago Tribune | December 29, 1992
IRVING, Texas -- Whatever happens, and it will, these Chicag Bears are table scraps."This may be a Kodak moment," said Shaun Gayle. "Take a picture of everybody standing around because this is the last chance you'll get to see them."Should we start with camera-ready Mike Ditka, still the coach of the Bears? If locker-room endorsements are any clue, Ditka's leadership is wanted by the players. Save maybe Neal Anderson, understandably unwarm, the Bears thought that more Ditka is a good idea.
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By Vito Stellino and Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Correspondent | October 3, 1991
HERNDON, Va. -- Their records speak for themselves.It's about the only thing they have in common to say.When Joe Gibbs and Mike Ditka line up on the opposing sidelines Sunday at Soldier Field, they'll boast almost identical records as two of the most successful coaches of the last decade.Gibbs, in his 11th year as the Washington Redskins' coach, is 117-55 while Ditka, in his 10th year the Chicago Bears' coach, is 100-52. Gibbs has a 4-3 edge in their seven games.When the Redskins (5-0) take on the Bears (4-1)
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By Ken Murray and Ken Murray,SUN STAFF | September 16, 1997
Mike Ditka left more than his heart in San Francisco this week. He left his whole offense, or what there was of it.Ditka's New Orleans Saints committed a stupefying eight turnovers in a rock-bottom, 33-7 loss to the 49ers. At 0-3, the Saints have 19 turnovers so far, a number that projects to 101 for the season."I've gotten beat worse, but we've never given it away [like this]," Ditka said after the game.Maybe, but blowouts in San Francisco are nothing new to Ditka. In six career games against the 49ers at the stadium formerly known as Candlestick Park, including his 11-year stint with the Chicago Bears, he is 1-5 as head coach.
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By Phil Jackman | November 6, 1992
When is someone at the network level going to get the idea that the Chicago Bears are about as interesting to watch as Jack LaLanne peddling those vegetable-pulverizing machines at 3 in the morning?ESPN takes the Sunday night handoff from TNT this weekend and, wouldn't you know it, the 8 p.m. contest pits Da Bears against the equally dreary Zinzinnati Bengals. Part 1 of "Sinatra" on CBS, here we come.True, the ratings will probably be decent because the huge Chicago market tunes in to watch the team no matter what, but is that really in the best interest of the national viewership?
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By Don Pierson and Don Pierson,Chicago Tribune | January 5, 1993
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Mike Ditka's days as coach of the Chicago Bears continued to appear numbered yesterday when club president Michael McCaskey again stonewalled the issue.With media encircling Halas Hall in Lake Forest like vultures, Ditka and McCaskey arrived at their offices within a half-hour of each other, 7:25 a.m. and 7:55 a.m., and never spoke.McCaskey got a microphone stuck in his car door when he left at 1:30 p.m., but would offer no words to resolve a story that has taken on a life of its own."
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By Fred Mitchell and Fred Mitchell,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | June 12, 2007
CHICAGO -- Hall of Famers Mike Ditka and Joe DeLamielleure continued their war of words with NFL Players Association boss Gene Upshaw yesterday, and introduced former offensive lineman Brian DeMarco, 35, as an example of the union's indifference to the medical needs of ex-players. "This is unacceptable," Ditka thundered at a news conference organized by the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund at his restaurant here. "We are past having committees. It's about right versus wrong. Do the right thing.
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By Murray Chass and Murray Chass,The New York Times | February 5, 2007
NEW YORK -- No bigger Chicago Cubs fan lives than actor Bill Murray. But he's a Bears fan, too. Asked the other day whether he was a Bears fan, Murray said, "Yeah, I'm in Miami." He didn't add, "you dummy," but he seemed to utter the words silently. During his 56 years, the Bears have been kinder to Murray than the Cubs. The Bears last night played in their second Super Bowl and fourth NFL championship game with Murray as a devoted fan. He has not experienced the delight of seeing the Cubs in the World Series.
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By Tom Dunkel and Tom Dunkel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 16, 2003
Last winter the National Football League revised its marketing game plan and lifted a self-imposed ban on doing business with drug companies. Bayer Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline - joint distributors of the new erectile dysfunction pill, Levitra - quickly signed a three-year sponsorship deal worth a reported $18 million. Those new bedfellows have just launched a public education campaign titled Tackling Men's Health. TMH is geared toward pulling the average-guy football fan away from his buffalo wings long enough to get him up to speed on a variety of topics, including diabetes, stress, heart disease, mental and sexual health and prostate irregularities.
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By JAMISON HENSLEY and JAMISON HENSLEY,SUN STAFF | October 9, 2000
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A different strategy led to different results. Ravens cornerback Chris McAllster, who normally plays exclusively on the right side, shadowed Jacksonville's Jimmy Smith wherever he lined up, looking to contain him rather than shut him down. Smith, who has averaged 119 yards receiving in his career against the Ravens, caught four passes for 46 yards in the first half. It's the first time in defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis' five years with the Ravens that he has matched a cornerback with a specific receiver.
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By Vito Stellino and Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF | January 6, 2000
Mike Ditka, who was a larger-than-life character portrayed in sketches on "Saturday Night Live" as "Da Coach" when the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl in January 1986, became just another coach without a job yesterday. Ditka, his entire coaching staff, the general manager who hired him, Bill Kuharich; and the team's salary cap consultant, Terry O'Neil -- all were fired by New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson after a 3-13 season. "It became necessary to clear the slate," Benson said in a statement.
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By Vito Stellino and Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF | December 20, 1999
The rage was gone from Iron Mike yesterday.After his New Orleans Saints were pounded by the Ravens, 31-8, to fall to 2-12, coach Mike Ditka seemed almost reflective and philosophical.Ditka, who broke his hand punching a Memorial Stadium locker after the Chicago Bears suffered an overtime loss to the Colts in 1983 in the last game he coached in Baltimore, sounded like a man who had run out of punches."Eight or 10 years ago when I was coaching [the Bears], it drove me nuts," Ditka said in his office after he had completed his post-game interview.
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By Vito Stellino and Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF | January 6, 2000
Mike Ditka, who was a larger-than-life character portrayed in sketches on "Saturday Night Live" as "Da Coach" when the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl in January 1986, became just another coach without a job yesterday. Ditka, his entire coaching staff, the general manager who hired him, Bill Kuharich; and the team's salary cap consultant, Terry O'Neil -- all were fired by New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson after a 3-13 season. "It became necessary to clear the slate," Benson said in a statement.
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By Vito Stellino and Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF | January 29, 1997
Iron Mike Ditka became a Saint yesterday, but he quickly showed he still has a devilish touch.Ditka, hired as the coach of the New Orleans Saints four years after being fired by the Chicago Bears, didn't take long to prove he is as outspoken as ever.Ditka, who broke his hand punching a locker at Memorial Stadium after a loss to the Baltimore Colts in 1983, used a word at his news conference that had to be bleeped in the sound bites.Talking about his habit of making controversial comments, he said: "The funny thing is when you're winning, you say something [outrageous]
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By Vito Stellino and Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF | December 19, 1999
A year ago, Doug Flutie lived an American fairy tale when he returned from Canada and led the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs, apparently proving to the skeptics that he could play in the NFL.He became a fan favorite, but not all fairy tales have happy endings, and Flutie seems to have lost his magic.Opposing teams seem to have figured him out: Bottle him up in the pocket so he can't make plays on the run.He has played poorly in two of the past three games, and his quarterback rating, which was 11th in the league last year, is 25th.
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By Ken Murray and Ken Murray,SUN STAFF | December 17, 1999
In the beginning, he was "Iron Mike," the legendary tight end-turned-coach who would usher the New Orleans Saints into a bold, new era.When the Saints hired Mike Ditka as coach in 1997, they quickly adopted the slogan, "This year, we're made of Iron." For a while, anyway, it seemed these Saints were made of tougher stuff than their predecessors.But now, nearly three years later, the Saints are more scrap metal than playoff contender. In a city weaned on bad football, they deliver more of the same.
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