Mike Ditka, a Hall of Fame player and coach for the Chicago Bears, said this week he doesn’t have a “rooting interest” in this Sunday’s NFC championship game between the Bears and New Orleans Saints. On one level, that impartiality is understandable. Ditka coached for three forgettable seasons in New Orleans. But on another, it isn’t. “Iron Mike” is synonymous with Bears football, and he has probably made more money from Bears fans (via restaurants, endorsements, and announcing gigs) since his retirement as coach than he ever did while walking the sidelines.
Now, however, Ditka says he doesn’t care what “anyone” thinks. That’s fine, but he shouldn’t expect the free ride from Chicagoans any more. I just hope the “Superfans” don’t have a “grabber” when they hear.