You ever wonder what it would be like if Yosemite Sam sprang to life and gave you a motivational speech? It has to be something like what happened to the Chicago Bears on Tuesday.
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The Bears, like most NFL teams, comprise a bunch of 20-something men. Guys who were born between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. Guys for whom Mike Ditka is not a legendary, Super Bowl-winning, professional football coach, but a cartoon character of what a football coach would have been like when their dads were playing. To them, Mike Ditka is this:
And so that guy, that Mike Ditka, shows up and speaks to you at training camp? You’re tripping.
“All you had seen was the ‘Saturday Night Live’ skits and stuff,” safety Chris Conte told The Chicago Tribune. “I had never really heard him speak before in person. So it was cool to get to meet him.”
Ditka had not been back to Halas Hall since the Bears canned him in 1992. New coach Marc Trestman decided to invite the legend back to see the new digs and rub off some of that Ditka dap because you know things have gotten a little thin around here the last 20 years, so anything you can spare, Mr. Ditka.
Sounded like he didn’t have any profundities.
“He echoed a lot of the same things that Marc says every day,” quarterback Jay Cutler said. “There is a common thread between guys who have been there and done it and won championships and know what it is all about — enjoying the game, respecting your teammates, taking advantage of each and every day. That is what Marc tells us. That is what a lot of the great ones tell us. That is what Coach Ditka said as well.”