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The Shadow
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Ditka recovering from Heart Attack
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Mike Ditka recuperates after heart attack

Posted by Mike Florio on November 24, 2018, 9:54 AM EST

Legendary NFL tight end and head coach Mike Ditka currently is in a Florida hospital, recuperating after suffering a heart attack.

“Coach Ditka had a mild heart attack earlier this week. Doctors inserted a pacemaker, and he is doing much better,” agent Steve Mandell said, via ESPN.com. “He appreciates the outpouring of support and expects to be home soon.”

Ditka, 79, entered the Hall of Fame in 1988. He spent 12 years in the NFL as a player, and he coached the 1985 Bears to the team’s only Super Bowl win.

With the Bears putting together a playoff run, there’s been a resurgence of the shirt/tie/Bears sweater vest look that Ditka made popular in the 1980s. No matter what the Bears achieve now or in future years, Ditka will be synonymous with the Bears, and the Bears will be synonymous with Ditka.

Calbrooks
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Re: Ditka recovering from Heart Attack
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Was upsetting to read. I hope Iron Mike keeps kicking Father Times ass.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

The Shadow
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Re: Ditka recovering from Heart Attack
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I hear you Cal, but Old Father Time is undefeated......

What will the future bring? We shall see, won't we!

Corn Cob
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Re: Ditka recovering from Heart Attack
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All we can hope for, is the game goes into overtime........angel

Calbrooks
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Re: Ditka recovering from Heart Attack
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*****

His agent said Ditka, 79, "had a mild heart attack" and was "doing much better." But that wasn't the full story.

According to an interview with Ditka in The Athletic, his attack was, in a word, "massive." 

He had four stents inserted to open his arteries and a pacemaker to control his heartbeat. 

“I got my ass kicked pretty good there, but I’m feeling a lot better,” he told The Athletic. “Every day I get stronger. I’m not exerting myself. When I exert myself is when I can feel it. So things are good. If you had asked me two weeks ago, I couldn’t have said that.”

Rehab has been slow but steady. He's back hitting golf balls again. And he has treatment every day to regain his strength and mobility.

“I’m just going to take it easy,” he said. “I realize that I have been riding ‘em hard and putting up wet for a lot of years. Time to slow down. I’m not getting any younger."

******

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2018/12/11/mike-ditka-opens-up-massive-heart-attack-last-month/2279742002/

*****

Less than two months after he suffered a heart attack while playing golf in Naples, Florida, which was first reported by Mike Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times, Ditka is back on course. He recently told TMZ that he feels better and is playing golf again.

Asked if he had any good rounds, Ditka joked: “No, I never have a good round. I stink.”

Since Ditka was released from the hospital with a pacemaker on Nov. 26, the 79-year-old legendary Bears coach said he’s been overwhelmed with the amount of support he received from the NFL community. He also told TMZ that he feels lucky that the doctors were able to act fast and save him.

Ditka said his most recent health scare has made him realize he’s not invincible.

“I’m lucky,” he said. “How long this [pacemaker] will ride out? I don’t know … but I’m gonna try to make it last.”

Ditka told Sneed last month that his cigar smoking days are over — that is unless the Bears win the Super Bowl.

******

https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/mike-ditka-returns-to-golf-after-heart-attack-excited-for-bears-playoff-game/

Just a couple of updates regarding Coach. Is good to see he appears to be past the worst of it. Hopfully Nagy and Trubisky can give him a few SBs to celebrate over.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

PapaBear.OR
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Re: Ditka recovering from Heart Attack
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Calbrooks wrote:

 

Ditka told Sneed last month that his cigar smoking days are over — that is unless the Bears win the Super Bowl.

 

Butkus never wore an earring

Calbrooks
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Re: Ditka recovering from Heart Attack
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*****

‘‘Tom Landry was one of the great men in the history of the game,’’ Ditka says with reverence. ‘‘He was the real deal. What you see is what you get. He never screamed. No, no, no, never. But he didn’t sugarcoat things. He just gave it to you straight. Listen, he hired me to coach the Cowboys’ tight ends and special teams, and, believe me, it wasn’t about my ability as a coach. But he taught me.’’

What did an inscrutable and stoic man such as Landry see in Ditka?

‘‘He wanted some fire,’’ Diana Ditka, who has been Mike’s wife since those late Cowboys days, quickly interjects. She has been sitting here with her man, listening and occasionally correcting him about facts, such as, for instance, his stents are in there forever and are not getting removed, as he seemed to think.

So it was Landry who launched Ditka into the unlikely role of coaching, and that, Ditka believes, is why George Halas took a wild chance on him and hired him in 1982 to lead the foundering Bears.

‘‘I know that’s the reason I got hired by Halas,’’ Ditka says. ‘‘Tom had a very big heart, and he called Halas and asked him to consider me for the job.’’ He pauses and grins. ‘‘Now, maybe Landry just wanted to get rid of me.’’

*****

It might blow your mind to know that Ditka was voted the most popular boy in his 1957 senior class at Aliquippa High School or that he was in the astronomy club and the class president. Just as stunning is the fact he went to the University of Pittsburgh on a full ride for football — one of the 40 schools that recruited him — so he could stay in Pennsylvania and so he could take classes to become a dentist. Go ahead and laugh at the thought of those giant mitts jammed in some dental victim’s mouth, fishing around with a drill. But ‘‘Dr. Ditka’’ could have happened — under different circumstances. However, football and a thing called advanced chemistry interfered.

‘‘Chemistry,’’ he snorts some 60 years later. ‘‘I had no clue. And what’s chemistry got to do with anything, anyway?’’

*****

Ditka mentions that his mom lived well into her 90s, and he’s counting on some overtime for his own existence on this mortal coil. But ask him his main goal these days, and he says, ‘‘Make it to 80.’’

That’ll be Oct. 18, the Friday before a possible Bears home game (the schedules won’t be determined until later), and it would be nice if the Soldier Field crowd could sing ‘‘Happy Birthday’’ to him, with Ditka in attendance, on the sideline, just like old times.

If beloved Walter Payton were still alive, he no doubt would want to lead the stands in the singing. Play drums, too. Ditka himself would remain mute, though he might cry. He can get emotional, you know. Don’t forget, too, that back in Catholic grade school, the nun said to Ditka’s music class one day: ‘‘Everybody sing. Mike, you just hum.’’

‘‘And I thought I was the next Bing Crosby,’’ he says forlornly.

But he shook off the disparagement, moved along and became the only person to win a Super Bowl as a player, an assistant coach and a head coach.

Regrets about this life? 

‘‘It’s like the song,’’ he says. ‘‘There’ve been a few, but too few to remember. . . . ‘I did it my way.’ ’’

Then he stops and corrects himself.

‘‘No, it’s not only doing it my way,’’ he said. ‘‘I learned so much from so many other people. I rode ’em pretty hard and put ’em up wet for a long time. And you know why? You think you’re invincible. This [heart] stuff opened my eyes. I tell you, if I die now, I’m gonna die a very sober individual.’’

He’s not doing any TV or radio gigs these days, none of that ESPN weekly travel-to-Bristol stuff or other commuting.

‘‘I’ll be honest with you,’’ he says. ‘‘I don’t think I’m in demand.’’

*****

https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/bears-legend-mike-ditka-80-telander-coach-chicago/

Sorry Papa, another long one.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

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