Why care about Mike Ditka and Aliquippa? Well, they retired his #89 Chicago Bears jersey during halftime of the Dallas-Bears Monday Night Football game on ESPN tonight. And Aliquippa is where my father -- and a whole passel of Kaldons are from -- though my father was born more than twenty years before Sitka.
Mike has been a colorful character, both as player and coach, and on and off the field. I understand that his Ditkas restaurants are excellent steak houses, and one of the cooking competition shows, The Next Food Network Star or Top Chef?, used his new line of sausages during one event. (grin)
But most of us know Mike as the charismatic coach who took the Bears to the 26 January 1986 Super Bowl XX. New Orleans Superdome. Chicago Bears-46 New England Patriots-10. "Ditka has stated that one of his biggest regrets in life was not letting Walter Payton score a touchdown in the Super Bowl, instead opting for Jim McMahon to run it in twice and rookie defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry to run it in once."
As For Monday Night Football...
Chicago Bears-45 Dallas Cowboys-28. Bears are 7-6, tied for first in their division.
It was cold at Soldier Field, 7°F -- the fourth coldest home game in Chicago Bears history. And it technically isn't even winter yet.
No doubt Iron Mike was thrilled all the way around.