I just finished a conversation with my friend Jason (aka Sherman Yorkshire) about the Cubs and Bears and sports in general. We were talking about Mike Ditka’s commentary on some of the Bears pre-season games and I thought about how much fun it would be to have Ditka back as the Bears head coach. That’s not to say that I’m unhappy with Lovie Smith, I’m just saying Ditka is fun.
I’m not exactly reporting a fresh scoop here when I say that the city of Chicago absolutely loves Mike Ditka. Everyone around the world knows that. But let’s think about how untouchable this guy really is. I’m relatively certain he could rob a liquor store, in broad daylight, in front of the entire 23rd precinct police force and no one would stop him.
DITKA – “Hey, uh, this is a robbery. How about you empty the register and give me all the cash, or I spit my gum on you.”
CASHIER – “Hey d’ere, you’re da coach. Yeah. Yeah sure you can have my caysh. Take it all. Here’s my watch, too.”
COPS (in unison) – “Da Coach. Da Bears. Da Coach. Da Bears.”
DITKA – “Ah, shuddup yah bozos.”
EVERYONE – “Yeah, Coach, you give it to us. Go Bears! Da Coach.”
I’m pretty sure that Ditka would actually have to murder someone in order to truly have the city turn against him. Well, someone that the city liked. Like maybe Andre Dawson or Bill Murray. But other than that, there’s not much he could do wrong. I’m pretty sure that even if he did murder someone, in broad daylight, in front of the entire 23rd pricinct police force and he’d get off.
DITKA – “Uh, yeah, Your Honor, yeah I killed that guy. But whattaya want from me, he was pissing me off. Said something about how he liked to put ketchup on his brat. I mean who does that? Saurkraut? Yes. Spicy mustard? Yes. But ketchup? C’mon your honor, what could I do?”
JUDGE – “Right you are, Coach. Right your are. Case dismissed.”
But what about Michael Jordan. Here’s a guy that could be arguably one of the most famous people in the world. Loved around the world. Fifteen year old kids who live in Uganda and haven’t eaten since the Bulls won their last championship know who Michael Jordan is. Chicago still loves him as well, but even that is thinning out as the years pass.
Let’s say that both Jordan and Ditka were accused of some sort of horrible crime and it’s a certainty that one, and only one of them was guilty, I guarantee you that 80% of this city would be saying “Please let it be Jordan. Please let it be Jordan.”
I know I would.