Some earn legendary status while others luck into it. Mike Ditka worked hard and earned everything he has coming to him. Winning a title as player, assistant coach and head coach he did what no pro athlete has done before or since.
Just picking up a few items at the grocery yesterday. I rounded one corner and saw this.
I knew Coach Ditka had a line of food related products and has for some time. What I liked were the retro labels on these wine bottles. Coach can sell anything and always has. If this is a cheap, crappy wine who cares? Coach is on the label and collectors of Ditka memorabilia will add this to their Ditka collection of Ditka stuff. One who earns being a local treasure and legendary national figure he can paste his name or mug on anything and profit handsomely. And why not?
Inspired by seeing the wine I strolled over to another Ditka product I have bought before. It's the Ditka brand hot giardiniera pepper . It's good stuff but the Marconi's brand is by far the best, even better than the Vienna brand sold in stores. Hell, Marconi giardiniera can make an old sneaker taste good.
On the way to the cheese section whaddaya think I saw? Honestly, by accident, there, in the frozen food section. More Coach branded stuff, this time frozen roast beef. You gotta beef wit'dat?
Right there are enough products to make a decent meal. Beef, peppers and some wine.
I know, I know, Dan and Carl my blogbuddies are sick of the '85 Bears and would like to see anything to do with that team purged from all media. Well, that team was the single best thing to happen to me in my Chicago sports fan lifetime before the White Sox won that World Series almost ten years ago.
Being a Chicago sports fan means one enjoys these rare occasions for as long as they can still be tasted. In both cases each not only won a title, they clobbered the competition on the way and that is why they remain so unforgettable to many fans like me. On top of that each team was loaded with unique individuals possessing character and personality unequaled by professional team athletes since.
The '85 Bears didn't just win a a title they muscled it out all the way and that is why the Coach is so respected. No bullshit, all out, all the time. Same with Ozzie Guillen although Ozzie never enjoyed the same commercial success post title. These men are what is missing in modern sports. Tough leaders who command respect and able to push their players beyond their individual limits.
The Chicago Bears since Ditka have been a sorry lot. Ownership has been unable to get out of their own way spending a fortune on inept front office, field management as well as uninspired players. As of this year there seems to be no end to their incompetence. Many feel it's the coaches who should be fired. Others believe the stooges who own the team should sell. I tend to side with the latter. Until then I can look back and recall a better time. Even if it means drinking some cheap Ditka wine and watching a video of the Super Bowl XX Champion Chicago Bears while eating a Ditka roast beed sammich topped with Ditka hot peppers.
Just can't help myself. I can never get enough Ditka.