Bill - Hello one and all to this special impromptu episode of Bill Swerski's Superfans. I am your gracious host Bill, and I'm joined today by the usual suspects, Pat Arnold, Carl Wollarski, and Todd O'Connor. Gentlemen thanks for making it on such short notice.
Carl - Once we heard the news we knew we had to congregate to conversate about his holiness Da Coach's latest honor.
Pat - To say we were excited is an understatement as such an important item in the history of the National Football League is finally receiving it's just due.
Todd - Nothing was going to keep me away once Bill pitched his idea for our latest show, and having the chance to hold our first live remote from here at the latest Al's Italian Beef was just the Au Jus, Homemade "HOT" Giardiniera, Homemade Sweet Peppers and Provolone cheese atop my figurative sandwich.
Pat - Wow, you just took it to a whole other level.
Carl - Bill's pitch was great, but Todd just took it to the extreme.
Pat - Being here at Al's after they announced that Da Coach is their new spokesman is just about as perfect as it gets my friends.
Bill - Thanks guys, and please allow me to share said pitch with the Windy City Gridiron audience. If by some off chance you were not aware, the NFL's 2014 season will be their 95th season in existence, and to commemorate such a festive time in American history, Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback will be running down a list of 95 artifacts that tell the story of the National Football League, and no story of the NFL would be complete without a mention of Iron Mike Ditka.
All - Da Coach!
Bill - The fine folks over at the MMQB has entered the cigar of Mike Ditka into the pantheon of great football objet d'art.
Todd - Whoa, objet d'art... Is that Italian? Because that reminds me we've yet to receive our usual array of fine Italian sausages and Italian beefs here at Al's Italian Beef.
Carl - Actually my friend, I do believe that objet d'art is the language of love, French.
Todd - Does Al's serve any French sausages?
Carl - No.
Todd - Then what is there to love?
Bill - I can assure you Al's is prepping our order as we speak, but while they ready our Smörgåsbord of fine Chicago style eats, let us get back to the point at hand and discuss Da Coach and his legendary cigar.
Pat - While it's an honor for the stogie to be picked as one of the 95 most iconic artifacts in the history of the NFL, I'm sensing a little lack of respect for the Bears as a whole.
Carl - Agreed. So far they've only revealed one other Chicago related item and that's the 1933 Championship Bearskin that was given out by Papa Bear himself to his entire team after they won the very first official NFL Championship game.
Pat - Well, there is still time for the MMQB to get with the program and drop some more Chiconic items.
Bill - Chiconic? I like it.
Pat - Thanks, I have my cousin Arnold working on the trademark as we speak.
Carl - Wait, your cousin's name is Arnold, as in Arnold Arnold?
Pat - My Aunt and Uncle always did beat to their own drum. The double Arnold was tough on her growing up, but she's stronger for it.
Bill - With the classic Ditka cigar in the news we felt it a grand time to revisit one of our classic bits here on Windy City Gridiron, Truths About Da Coach.
All - Da Coach!
Bill - Before we drop a few new Truths for you, we'll remind you what this list is. It's a growing, breathing list of factual items about the great Mike Ditka. Some of these Truths were uncovered by us Superfans, some of these Truths were uncovered by the members here on WCG, so if you come across any new Truths you'd like included in the next episode of Truths About Da Coach then leave them in the comment section and once we put them through our detailed 85 point fact checking system, we'll be able to add them to the list. Any questions? No. Good. Here's where we left you last time.
1) Mike Ditka's beard doesn't grow out of respect for The Mustache.
2) During his playing days, Ditka had to register his stiff-arm as a lethal weapon.
3) Then during his coaching days he had to register his sharp wit and icy stare.
4) The Legendary Bears Sweater Vest is made with woven Kevlar thread, thus making it bulletproof. It's also fireproof because fire knows better than to mess with Da Coach.
5) You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Unless the horse is led by Mike Ditka, in which case the horse will do whatever the hell he's told.
6) Mike Ditka didn't cry at Brian's Song. Not because he wasn't moved, but because he doesn't cry.
7) Mike Ditka once called a 4th time out at the end of a game. The officials of course allowed it.
8) His Moustache has its own P.O. Box, and it receives more fan mail than all the Cubs and White Sox players combined.
9) He was his High School Senior Prom King, as a 6th grader.
10) Mike Ditka doesn't put his pants on one leg at a time.
11) Seventy five percent of the Chuck Norris facts were in fact borrowed from Iron Mike Ditka. He'll take them back when he's ready.
12) Mike Ditka doesn't kick ass and take names, he only kicks ass. The asses he kicks will formulate a list for him on an Excel spreadsheet using the "Impact" typeface, size 14.
13) You know there's no such thing as a free lunch... unless Da Coach asks for one.
14) The "Most Interesting Man In The World" comes to Mike Ditka for advice.
15) One time while a young lad, someone made fun of the Ditka name. One time.
16) Mike Ditka can compare apples and oranges.
17) Mike Ditka once climbed Mt. Everest because it was a slow Tuesday.
18) If you go in the bathroom, turn off the lights, and say "Da Coach" 5 times while facing the mirror... Ditka will appear and slap the wussy right out of you.
19) His cell phone has never dropped a call.
20) In the 8th grade Mike Ditka won his school's Science Fair with a model of a working volcano. There were 17 other working volcanoes made that day, but only one named Mount Ditka.
21) Ditka throws manhole covers around like they were nickels.
22) Ditka doesn't need to seek medical help when the Levitra works for more than 4 hours.
23) Mike Ditka was the inspiration to the Ben Stiller comedy "Zoolander", and his classic pose, Da Pose (as seen below) influenced the classic "Blue Steel" look.
26) Cigars light themselves out of respect.
27) When he sneezes, the correct response is Amen.
28) Ditka has a typeface named after him. Although Clippy was afraid of it so it was dropped from Microsoft Word.
29) Ditka has himself on speed dial, because there are things only Ditka knows.
30) When Mike Ditka is in the sun for any length of time he sweats SPF 30.
31) On unusually buggy days, Ditka sweats unscented Deet.
32) The first time Da Coach was pulled over for speeding he was let go without a warning.
33) The second time he was pulled over for speeding he issued the officer a ticket.
34) Whenever Mike Ditka boards an aircraft, the aircraft changes its call sign to Bear Force One.
35) Sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you, unless the words are spoken from an angry Mike Ditka.
36) Da Coach once won a staring contest with his eyes closed.
37) Mike Ditka ordered a Double Whopper with cheese at McDonalds and received it.
38) When Mike Ditka calculates pi its decimal representation ends.
39) GPS asks Mike Ditka for directions.
40) Remember, no matter where you go in life, there you are. Unless Mike Ditka asks you to leave.
41) Gold is worth its weight in Ditka.
42) Mike Ditka graduated at the head of his class, not because he had the highest GPA, but because he graduated at the head of his class.
43) He can judge a book by its cover, and his judgment is final.
44) His front gate doesn't have a "Beware of Dog" sign, it has a "Beware of Da Coach" sign.
45) Mike Ditka has the key to success, only he changed the locks.
46) Two wrongs don't make a right, unless Mike Ditka says they do.
47) His laptop is always connected to the internet.
48) You know those signs that say "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed"... Mike Ditka's vehicles are always authorized.
49) His mustache is listed on his organ donor card.
50) His mustache alone has experienced more than a lesser man's entire body.
51) The reason the Sphinx has no nose? The Egyptians carved a Ditka-stache underneath it, but it couldn't carry the weight.
52) Ditka personally checked that all mustaches in Super Troopers were not harmed during the making of that movie.
53) The reason Ditka traded his whole draft for Ricky Williams? Because they said he couldn't.
54) Jim Harbaugh spent his rookie season as Ditka's personal water boy.
55) The classic "Rosebud" scene from Citizen Kane was much different during shooting - Orson Welles kept muttering "Ditka" take after take, much to the confusion of the entire crew.
56) If you visit one of Ditka's restaurants, the most popular item to order is off-the-menu, called a "Nitschke," and includes braised eel in a cheddar sauce, served with a complimentary head slap.
57) Dave Wannstedt was hired because it was hoped players would think Ditka was still coaching and be inspired.
58) Ditka is so powerful, he sneezed in 1981 and caused the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Todd - Beautiful.
Pat - I could read those all day.
Bill - We have a few more to add to the list.
59) Mike Ditka turned down a best supporting actor nomination for Kicking And Screaming.
60) Will Ferrell, Mike Ditka's co-star from Kicking And Screaming, modeled his Anchorman mustache after that of Ditka's. Iron Mike not only gave it his blessing, but he allowed his own mustache trimmings to be woven into the prop.
61) The Sweater Vest will never be seen on an NFL sideline again, not because it went out of style, but because it was officially retired by the NFL as tribute to Da Coach's fashion plate status.
62) In 1983 Ditka broke his hand on a locker during a halftime tirade. The locker was never seen again.
63) When Ditka famously butchered his way through "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch, he did so on purpose. He has the singing voice of an angel, and a pitch perfect rendition would have only caused a bidding war with major record labels. Da Coach doesn't have time for that.
64) The grapes that are used in Mike Ditka's line of wines crush themselves.
65) The most expensive cigar known to man isn't from Cuba, it's actually an old butt that Da Coach discarded, was put up for auction on eBay, and won by our own Todd O'Connor for $196,319.85.
66) When the Chicago Bears retired Ditka's #89, they announced it would be the last number they retire. Not because they were running out of numbers, but because how could any player possibly expect to follow a legend like Mike Ditka?
67) The tenants of every 89th floor in every high rise in the City of Chicago have a clause built into their contract that requires them to vacate if Mike Ditka so requests.
68) Of all the NFL prognosticators on ESPN, Mike Ditka has the best winning percentage.
69) Escalators always flow in the direction he needs them to.
70) Mike Ditka knows how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
71) While on vacation in Japan in the early 90's, Mike Ditka took over for a struggling rookie Hibachi grill chef at a popular restaurant. A young Chairman Kaga was seated near Iron Mike, needless to say he was very impressed, and the idea for "Iron Chef" was born.
72) On Halloween kids knock on his door bearing treats.
73) Mike Ditka never lost a game of tag.
74) On Christmas Eve of 1943, Santa Claus inadvertently left a lump of coal for one of Mike Ditka's siblings. Little Mike crushed it into a diamond with his left hand.
75) Mike Ditka never makes reservations at restaurants; when Ditka wants a table, he gets a table.
76) The Taste Of Chicago was conceived one day while Mike Ditka was unsure of what to eat for lunch. Numerous restaurants decided to come to him, Ditka was satisfied with the variety eats and ate his fill. Then other patrons began ordering from the plethora of restaurateurs that had set up shop to please Da Coach. The Taste Of Chicago has been an annual Chicago tradition every since.
Todd - Incredible. I'm literally moved to tears over here.
Pat - This new batch of Truths are quite splendid.
Bill - Me and my brother Bob were actually at that first Taste, and at the time it was called the Taste Of Ditka, but for obvious reasons the name was changed.
Todd - I tried to taste Ditka once.
Carl - And that's why we no longer drink Absinthe my friend.
Bill - Since us Superfans are all gathered here we'd also like to run through our annual prediction special before the task is dolled out to the other, (ahem) less qualified, writers here at Windy City Gridiron.
Carl - Last year we were shut out of the 16 game prognostication, and we feel that led to the poor showing of our boys in Navy and Orange.
Bill - Agreed. Had we been able to get our prediction mojo out there into the universe, we feel that the good Bear vibrations would have been enough to have our beloved push through onto the playoffs and on through the Super Bowl.
Pat - I hold Dane personally responsible for giving away our standard predicting modus operandi to the other WCG staffers, however, if I remember correctly there was one bold writer that blew away the competition. And while he didn't particularity hit on his predictions, his 4-0 prognostication thoroughly impressed us, and from here on out Kev has an open invitation to pull up a chair and joins us for any Chicago dissertations we may have.
Todd - But the first round is on him.
Pat - Of course.
Bill - But back to our predictions before it's too late.
Carl - Yes, you never know if Dane is conspiring as we speak to strip us yet again of the honor of picking all 16 games for a certain team that plays in a certain Midwestern city that runs an offense named after the coast to the left of us, but is better known by the catchy play on words that incorporates the first part of our coaches last name in place of the direction of said coast, or in laymen's terms the West in West Coast Offense is replaced by the Trest from Trestman, and henceforth shall be coined the Trest Coast Offense of our beloved Chicago Bears.
All - Da Bears!
Bill - In an effort to save time, and just in case Dane is readying his gang to steal our thunder. All in favor of picking the Bears to run the table and go 16-0 say aye!
All - Aye!
Bill - All opposed?
All - ...
Bill - The Ayes have it. Ladies and gentlemen we present our prediction of an undefeated 2014 Chicago Bears season.
All - Da Bears!