On behalf of everyone at the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, we want to congratulate Coach Ditka for having his number retired by The Chicago Bears on December 9, 2013.
The Chicago Bears donated multiple items for a Gridiron Greats / Chicago Bears auction, including tickets to the event. We placed them on our eBay AuctionCause site where proceeds from the winning bid benefited The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund. The lucky winning bidder was awarded 4 tickets and pre-game sideline passes to the Bears vs Cowboys game on December 9th when Coach Ditka’s number 89 was retired at Soldier Field, 2 parking passes, signed Matt Forte Jersey #22, personalized autographed jersey from Mike Ditka, and a Certificate of Authenticity. Wow! Don’t miss other great auctions from Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund. Check out our AuctionCause site here. Follow us on Facebook where we promote all our once-in-a-lifetime auctions, promotions, events, and giveaways.
It was a cold, cold night of football this Monday night, but Coach Ditka did what he always does… stood tall, said what he meant straight from his heart, thanked the fans, and rooted for The Chicago Bears!
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Ditka told ChicagoBears.com. “It’s something that I didn’t anticipate or expect, but it’s a great honor. When you think of all the great Bears players who have had their jerseys retired, I can’t say that there’s any greater honor. I’m very humbled by it and very thankful that George made the decision to go ahead and do that because it’s really great.” Listen to Coach Mike Ditka’s press conference speech here.
Learn About Coach Mike Ditka’s Career:
“After being selected by the Bears with the fifth overall pick in the 1961 draft out of Pittsburgh, Ditka was voted to five Pro Bowls in six seasons. A two-time All-Pro, he was named NFL Rookie of the Year after catching 56 passes for 1,076 yards and 12 touchdowns.
On the Bears’ all-time receiving list, Ditka ranks first among tight ends and fourth overall with 4,503 yards, fifth with 316 receptions and fifth with 34 touchdown catches.
Ditka played his final six NFL seasons with the Eagles (1967-68) and Cowboys (1969-72), helping Dallas win Super Bowl VI and finishing his career with 427 receptions, which remained the most by a tight end until Kellen Winslow eclipsed the mark in 1980. In 1988, “Iron Mike” became the first tight end enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
After his playing career ended, Ditka served as a Cowboys assistant coach from 1973-81 and was part of their coaching staff when they won Super Bowl XII.
Ditka was hired as Bears head coach in 1982 by George Halas a few years after sending Halas a letter expressing his interest in the job. In 11 seasons, Ditka compiled a 112-68 record while leading the Bears to six NFC Central titles, three NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl XX victory. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1988.
Ditka guided one of the most dominant teams in NFL history, the famed 1985 Bears, to a 15-1 record. The team blanked the New York Giants (21-0) and Los Angeles Rams (24-0) in the playoffs before crushing the New England Patriots 46-10 in the Super Bowl.” – from ChicagoBears.com
Coach Mike Ditka is an unbelievable inspiration and hero to so many people. Nothing ever took him down. Through everything, Coach Ditka stood tall, picked himself up, and carried on to become even better than before. He has donated and contributed so much to the Gridiron Greats and changed the lives of so many people. He is the most beloved player and coach in NFL history. This is why of all the coaches in history and in the world, only Mike Ditka is known as “The Coach” or “Da Coach”, if you’re an SNL fan.
Thank you Coach for all you do for others. You are the best and we love you.