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Mark Ditka, son of Mike, is currently awaiting trial in Lake County, Illinois for his fourth DUI arrest, and for possession of a controlled substance (hydrocodone) turned up during the ensuing search of his car.

Worse than merely awaiting trial for your fourth DUI? Testing positive for opiates during a pretrial screening. Worse than just testing positive for opiates during your pretrial screening while awaiting trial for your fourth DUI? When you claim to have a prescription for the opiates in question, and the judge calls your bluff and gives you 20 minutes to go get that prescription, and you come back two hours later claiming that you visited three Walgreens, and in each case, "their stuff was down." Worse than awaiting trial for your fourth DUI, testing positive for opiates, claiming to have a prescription for the opiates, getting called out for it, making the court wait two hours for you to find that prescription, and coming back empty-handed with a lame excuse? When all that stuff happens, and then your dad has a stroke later that day.


Such was the Friday of Mark and Mike Ditka. In the morning, Mark had to answer for the positive drug test:

Ditka, 49, insisted to Judge Brian Hughes that the drug had been properly prescribed. But after the judge instructed him to leave the courthouse to go and retrieve a copy of the prescription – an errand expected to take about 20 minutes – he returned more than two hours later without the prescription.

Ditka told his attorney, Robert Ritacca, that he went to three Walgreens and "their stuff was down."

Ritacca told Hughes that Ditka had a note from Walgreens that stated that their records only go back a certain amount of time.

"I swear on my children's lives I have a prescription," Ditka told the judge. "They said it would take seven days to get everything I want."


The judge gave him until 9 a.m., Tuesday. Also yesterday, Mark's father Mike suffered a stroke:

Ditka was at a suburban country club playing cards Friday when he noticed his hands "weren't working quite right," and then he had a problem speaking.


All things considered, it sounds like a relatively pleasant stroke experience, and in the evening, Ditka, 73, was able to report to the Tribune, "I feel good right now and it's not a big deal." He'll take the weekend off from his ESPN gigs and return to action the week after.

So the elder Ditka will be fine. The younger? Well, if you know a pharmacist in Lake County with loose morals, there's a guy there who needs your help.


Prosecutors: Ditka's Son Tests Positive For Opiates [Chicago Tribune]
Former Bears Coach Mike Ditka Suffers 'Very Minor Stroke' [Chicago Tribune]

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