Skip to comments.Chicago Sun-Times: Savor Ditka's eloquence before he fades again
Posted on 07/14/2004 10:23:46 AM PDT by presidio9
Long before he was being seriously considered as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate, Mike Ditka was Chicago's philosopher-king.
Holding forth for sports reporters whenever the opportunity presented itself, Ditka often veered from football into his views on life.
His remarks were not necessarily illuminating as to what we could expect his positions to be on the major political issues of the day, but they certainly give us some insight into Ditka the candidate.
Before the Ditka bubble bursts under the harsh light of reality, therefore, let's review some of Ditka's greatest rhetorical hits. In other words, I'm milking this for all it's worth.
Ditka: "I'm not begrudging anybody anything. I'm just saying before you can eat the whole pie, there's got to be a whole pie there. You just can't eat more pie than there is. If the owner bakes one pie, you can't eat two. If he bakes one and a half and says, 'This half is for me and nobody can touch it,' then you better eat just one pie."
This sounds like Ditka scolding the Fridge at the training table, but actually he was talking about contract talks between NFL players and owners. You could see him applying this pie philosophy to federal budget negotiations.
Ditka: "I love my dogs. Dogs are forgiving. They always think you're a good guy. They're always glad to see you. They're glad to see anybody. If they haven't peed on something, they'll pee on you."
He'd get my dog Gilbert's vote, but Gilbert, like Ditka, isn't registered to vote in Illinois.
A man for all seasons
Ditka: "I can walk up to any steelworker or any garbage collector in the country, and I can sit down and talk life with them. I don't care if I've got a pair of Gucci shoes on, or I've got a pair of clodhoppers on."
This is probably true, but I hear the coach does run into some problems with the common-guy thing when he's wearing his Bruno Maglis.
Ditka: "What's the difference between a three-week-old puppy and a sportswriter? In six weeks, the puppy will stop whining."
Wait until he's dealt a little more with a few of the political reporters.
Ditka: "I'm not so sure that public hangings don't have a place in society."
I think we can safely put him down as a supporter of capital punishment.
Ditka: "We Grabowskis are the kind of people who yell and get angry and break our hands on lockers when we lose."
Chicago hotel managers should keep that in mind before they let the Ditka 2004 campaign reserve the presidential suite for the election night party.
Keeping anger in check
Ditka: "I'm going to control my temper. You'll be so amazed, you'll think I'm Friar Tuck . . . and I have some wetlands in Dallas to sell you."
Again, this was originally said in a football context, but you could see Ditka making the same promise to his GOP handlers before his first debate with Democrat Barack Obama.
Ditka: "Mike Ditka will survive. All things must pass. This too shall pass."
The coach originally said this after he was fired by the Bears, but top Republicans have been telling themselves pretty much the same thing ever since the Jack Ryan affair.
Ditka: "In life sometimes, one must do what he feels he must. But talking never does anything for either side."
That's why it's time for Ditka to get off the fence and be the same decisive guy who gave away all those draft picks for Ricky Williams. Run, Mike, run!
Ditka: "I believe there's too much negativism in America."
That's why I positively want Ditka to run for the Senate.
Ditka: "I stand for only one thing. I stand for what's best for this country, what's best for this state and what's best for this city and that's it. It's not about Mike Ditka. It's never been about Mike Ditka, although there are a few people around who would like to tell you it has been. But it never has been."
He's starting to sound like a politician already.
Ditka: "The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare."
If he jumps into the race, Ditka will have to do so without any preparation. Even though the coach makes his living these days by speaking off the cuff, and is deceptively good at it, the lack of preparation would catch up to him pretty quickly.
Ditka: "We're not going to talk about my personality because I have none."
We'll never be able to stop talking about Mike Ditka's personality.
I'm overflowing with too many Ditka threads.
Hope that is indicative of how he can recruit troops to work for the team.
I am too, the alternative is quite depressing.
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