Yesterday we posted Andy Richter's telling of Mike Ditka doing "one of the most senselessly arrogant & aggressive things" he'd ever witnessed. It seems that nearly everybody that has ever stepped foot in Chicago has a Mike Ditka story, usually involving cigars, booze, or both. Below are some of our favorites that popped up in the comments.
If you have your own Mike Ditka story to tell, please share it in the comments or e-mail me or Deadspin's tips e-mail with the subject line: Mike Ditka Story. If you have photos or video, even better!
Now, onto the stories.
He was doing a Cigar signing for his brand launch. He showed up late, was hammered the entire time and was apparently pretty rude to the people he was signing for, bitching that he had to do it while they were with him. He'd been golfing all day so apparently he was also bright red.
True story: he was doing a signing for some of his godawful smokes at a cigar shop in western MA a few years back. He reeked of Jim Beam and Slim Jims, and half an hour in decides he needs a break from signing autographs for the 11 people there, to drop sticks. Seventeen minutes later he's back and a waft of shit immediately filled the room, evidently he flushed and didn't stick around to realize it had overflowed under the door. Now people are panicking because the water just kept running out onto the floor, the shop owner is doing damage control yelling to one of the staff to get it fixed ASAP and there's Ditka yelling "don't look at me, I just took a goddamn piss!"....despite it being a one-person capacity bathroom that he just walked out of a second earlier!
Friend was a waitress years ago at his Chicago steakhouse. "Coach" was eating in-house one night with a group of male friends and although she was two weeks new and hadn't met him yet, she got the call to wait on his table. She grew up in Schaumburg and loved Ditka.
Friend: This is such an honor, I'm such a huge fan. It's so great to wait on you guys tonight.
Ditka: (takes cigar out of mouth, looks up at her, and takes a ten second pause)...
Ditka: (finally, without smiling) Can I eat your pussy?
This is a true story.
I played blackjack next to him at the New Orleans Harrah's in 2001. It was his first visit back since being kicked out for throwing a lit cigar at a dealer. It was a pretty tense table. I moved over one table, and had the best run of my life.
was in Vegas staying at MGM in early 90's. Up late, wandered in the Barbary Coast next door. Saw commotion and a small crowd in back and saw ditka and a buddy playing craps and smoking big stogies in a roped off area. They were accompanied by 2 very very youthful girls who were screeching things like "oh mike" whenever he was throwing dice. Thought to myself, "how sweet, ditka hanging w his granddaughter at Vegas."
Long ago I worked on "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment", and when we were in Chicago we did a prank at Ditka's steakhouse. Same story, he was supposed to help out but he got shitfaced and didn't do everything we needed from him. He got loud and happy and then kind of belligerent.
You can tell he's drunk in the final sketch. But that was early in the day.
2010 (I think) Just For Laughs Comedy Festival had a reading of a screenplay for a movie of the "Super Fans" SNL sketch. Written by Bob Odenkirk and Robert Smigel and never produced, they hung on to it for years. Appearances by: George Wendt, Joe Mantegna, Smigel, Odenkirk, and special guest Mike Ditka playing himself. Proceeds went to charity. First show sold out so fast they added a second. Ditka, minutes before the second show, bailed. His last minute replacement was 1985 Chicago Bears OT Keith Van Horne. Crowd nearly rioted when it was announced, and every time Van Horne read a line as Ditka the roof almost caved from the booing. From what I've heard (likely apocryphal) Ditka said "Yeah, I don't feel like it" and walked out.
Mike Ditka hit on my mom shortly after completely blowing me off earlier in the day. He was going to/coming from a hair cut in my hometown and I was working in retail near by. I saw him on my lunch break and simply said "Hi Coach," or something to that extent and the guy wouldn't even look my way. My lunch break ended and I went back to work. About 5 minutes later, my mom walks into the store I was working at at the time and says how Mike Ditka just walked up to her and started flirting with her while she was tying up the family dog to a light post right outside the store. I'm a lifelong Bears fan, but I'm a little disappointed that my dog didn't bite Da Coach right there.
My grandfather played in a golf tournament in the Chicago burbs years ago - probably mid-90's. Ditka was some sort of celebrity guest at the tournament and was playing in the group behind pop-pop and his buddies. My grandpa's foursome, being men of a certain advanced age who stockpile golf balls like they cost $100 apiece, have a habit of driving the carts very slowly along the edge of each hole that is lined by woods, looking for and picking up lost golf balls in the brush. After about three holes of this, Ditka apparently came peeling up in a golf cart with five boxes of new Titleists. He handed them to my grandfather's partner without leaving his cart and said, through clenched cigar, "These are for youse, but youse can't look for any more fucking golfs balls in the fucking woods", then drove away without waiting for a response.
Actually I don't know if I can blame Ditka for that one.
I have been a guest at a country club he belongs to in the northern suburbs of Chicago. He was behind our group during one of the rounds and this is a perfect example of his way or the highway: he was playing in a sixsome, each player in the group had their own golf cart, three fore caddies were also in the group and the play fast as fuck for a shit ton of money. We were eight holes ahead of them when they started and they caught us on 18 and were loudly grumbling while waiting to tee off because me and my friend missed the fairways on our drives. I can't believe the club lets him pull that crap.
My experience was much different. A few years back I saw Mike in either the Admirals or Red Carpet Club at O'Hare. He was in a Chicago Bears leather jacket sitting by himself in a chair just staring ahead, and not moving a muscle. No TV around and just a blank look like a wax figure. It screamed don't approach me, don't talk, don't say hello, don't even think about it.
Man, I just heard the coolest story about Ditka from a friend about when he was a kid roaming around a hotel service elevator. They ended up on a terrace where Ditka and other important folk were having a dinner meeting and they stumbled in on it. Staff tried to usher them out, but Ditka told them to be brought to the table and given seats. They thought he was gonna yell at them, but asked them if they were hungry and ordered them plates instead. He chatted, signed things, gave a minor a cigar and now my buddy's father has something Ditka autographed and a Ditka cigar on his mantle.
Ditka owned his own bar and grill in Naples Florida during the late 90s/early 200s. It was the only place you could go watch all the NFL games in Naples, so my brothers and I were there a lot over the Christmas holidays (better than my folks place, for sure).
Ditka was always there, in his own booth and always smoking a cigar with a cocktail in hand.
Sorry to disappoint you, but he was always very nice. Walked around, said hi to everyone, ordered drinks for us when the Rams scored (and they scored a lot back then).
Got nothing but love for Ditka, it was a sad day we he closed the place.
While we're posting funny things about Mike Ditka, here's a belligerent post-game interview he gave to CBS's Johnny Morris in 1988 while in his underwear. It is interesting to see the two heatedly scream at each other, and then quickly pretend nice to shoot the spot. We originally wrote about the video when it surfaced on Youtube four years ago, but it has since been pulled down.