Former Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka was hospitalized after suffering a minor stroke on Friday. Ditka says doctors have assured him the stroke was slight, and he told The Chicago Tribune, “I feel good right now and it’s not a big deal.”
“Ditka was at the Bob O’Link golf club in Highland Park when he noticed his hands ‘weren’t working quite right,’ and then he had a problem speaking.” He was then rushed to a suburban hospital for treatment.
‘‘It was a mini-stroke, or whatever you call them,’’ he told sportscaster Mark Giangreco over the phone.
The 73-year-old Ditka had a heart attack during the 1988 season when he was coaching the Bears.
The stroke came on the same day that a Lake County prosecutor said in court that Ditka’s son, Mark E. Ditka, tested positive for opiates during a pretrial screening earlier this month, according to the Tribune. The younger Ditka is awaiting trial on his fourth DUI charge.
The pro football hall of famer career began with the Bears as a player when he was the fifth overall pick in the 1961 draft out of Pittsburgh. He was named rookie of the year, made five straight Pro Bowls, and went on to play for the Eagles and the Cowboys before returning to the Bears as coach in 1982. He took the team to a Super Bowl victory before being fired in 1992 after a losing season.