Four downs with Ditka
BY MIKE DITKA January 18, 2014 12:42AM
Mike Ditka | AP photo
Updated: February 20, 2014 6:35AM
The question is always asked, ‘‘If you could take one quarterback for one big game, whom would you take?” Well, here we have it this weekend — Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?
I think they’re both great quarterbacks. That’s kind of an unfair question. You look at Peyton Manning and what he’s accomplished, it’s unbelievable. Then again, Tom Brady is tough to beat. He really is. For one game? With the same talent? I’d probably take Brady.
Do you ever recall another matchup like this in NFL history?
Well, [Roger] Staubach and [Terry] Bradshaw was pretty good. [Johnny] Unitas and Y.A. Tittle. There were a lot of them over the years, but I’d say this is about as good a quarterback matchup as there ever was.
As bad as the Bears were on defense this season, do you agree with their move to keep defensive coordinator Mel Tucker?
I don’t have any problem with that. Last time I looked, I don’t think Mel plays. They need better players on the defensive side of the ball, but they don’t have them right now. They need better pass rushers. The secondary has to tackle better. They’re going to have to get some people on defense before they get better.
A judge recently said the $765 million NFL concussion settlement with former players wasn’t enough. Your thoughts?
It is what it is. The NFL did the right thing in trying to do that, but I’m not sure there is a right thing. Everybody is going to come back after the fact and say there should have been more of this or there should have been more of that.
First of all, the teams aren’t hurting and neither is the league. Whatever they say, take care of these old players and get it over with. I don’t think it would be too much of a burden on any team to come up with another $200 million between 32 teams. I don’t think that would be a big deal.
The Cubs’ new mascot, Clark, has been getting beat up on social media. What are your thoughts on Clark and on mascots in general?
I think mascots are good. I think it’s good for the fans and the game; it’s a cute thing. I really don’t know what [the Cubs] did. Did they cage him?
Whatever the Cubs want to do, it’s up to them. It’s their team, their organization, their mascot. My goodness, you can’t please every fan. No matter what they put out there . . . if they put a chimpanzee out there, it wouldn’t please everybody. I had no problem with it.
Anyone you would like to see inside the costume?
I can’t think of anybody. . . . Oh, that crazy guy that goes around . . . [Ronnie] Woo Woo, maybe.