Da Coach Wants Da Bears in Da City

Former Bears coach Mike Ditka told the Arlington Heights Daily Herald the Bears should come out to their neck of the woods.
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Mike Ditka hasn't changed.

He doesn't want the Bears or Chicago to change, either.

Things do change.

Ditka told Jim O'Donnell of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald the Bears should stay in Chicago and not move to Arlington Heights to a new stadium on the property of Arlington International Racecourse.

"The Chicago Bears belong in the city of Chicago," Ditka told O'Donnell. "That's it. Call me an old-timer, call me a traditionalist, whatever.

"They're a Chicago institution and that should be the end of it."

Old-timer. Traditionalist.

Never mind most Bears fans and people in the northwest suburbs think moving to a new Bears stadium at the site would be a good thing.

Ditka had a problem with the Bears playing at an indoor stadium or retractable dome.

"You want to tell me that a team coming up from a warm-weather climate isn't giving away a significant advantage to try and play in cold and rain outside in Chicago December or January?" Ditka told O'Donnell. "You can't practice for that kind of weather. You can't simulate it. You've got to be in it. Chicago Bears football weather is a part of the team's legacy, and all of that legacy in Chicago in my life has been outdoors."

At this point it might be wise to ask how that "Bear Weather" worked out for Ditka in the 1988 NFC championship game? Hint: Todd Krumm couldn't guard Jerry Rice.

Ditka wants something else to stay the same.

"But I'll tell ya' this," the 81-year-old Ditka added. "Just like the Bears belong in Chicago, like coach (George) Halas had it, Arlington Park should remain a racetrack."

The track won't be a racetrack after this year unless something drastic happens because it's closing down.

It's a sign of the times, an economic reality, just like a Bears stadium in Arlington Heights would be.

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