For years I’ve debated which overrated icon of our city was more disgraceful: Jim Belushi or Mike Ditka?
The former keeps hanging around despite displaying no discernible talent other than the ability to cash in on the name of his late (and far more talented) brother. The latter accomplished something once with the Chicago Bears in 1985, and parlayed that into a career as a product endorser, a living “brand” if you will. Ditka is no longer deemed an expert on just the NFL. People buy his knowledge on many topics including: wine, food, luxury items and politics.
And these people are wrong across the board.
Ditka has said some offensive and irritating things over the years, but usually he’s been no more dangerous than any other corporation disguised as a human being. But now that we’ve heard his comments on the Jenn Sterger-Brett Favre-Sexting scandal, it’s clear he’s a confused old man who should be muted in the media.
By Paul M. Banks
“I’m not going to be as sympathetic to the woman as a lot of people are. It’s two years after the fact. Cut it out. If you had a problem, you could have said it back then. You don’t have to pull it out when you’re going to have a spread in Playboy, or a Monday night game coming up.”
Ditka certainly sounded like an ignorant curmudgeon there!
First off, Ms. Sterger has no Playboy spread planned and if you’re going to attack the timing of the pictures and voicemails being released that one’s on Deadspin, not her. And you know why she didn’t likely come forward with the evidence two years ago when it happened?
Because she probably was afraid of losing her job! Who would the New York Jets likely side with:
a.) the franchise QB who doubles as the face of the league, the man that the team bent over backwards to accommodate, and spent millions of dollars on?
b.) the game day stadium hostess hired to be sideline eye candy? Pretty safe to say they would side with Favre.
And what does Ditka exactly want her to “cut out?” According to the allegations, Favre found a Jets employee to give him her phone number/contact info without her consent. And (again according to the allegations) pursued her aggressively despite Sterger not showing even the slightest hint of interest in him. So what is this behavior that should be “cut out?”
Also, since when is Ditka a lawyer? Because he seems to think that there’s some kind of statute of limitations that has somehow expired.
Later in the show, Ditka gave another response displaying social backwardness and maladaptive ideas of gender relations. The radio host asked Ditka if he thought the incident qualifies as sexual harassment.
“I don’t know about that. I don’t know if it’s sexual harassment if it’s reported two years after the fact. I really don’t .
Granted it’s not the “quid pro quo” or “this for that” classification of sexual harassment, which is no doubt the most serious form of sexual harassment.
However, harassment also includes repeated unwanted sexual advances, an uncomfortable work environment, inappropriate workplace behavior etc. And there’s plenty of evidence there: sexting pictures of his johnson, leaving voice mails with the sole purpose of getting her into his hotel room.
So again Ditka doesn’t have the slightest clue what he’s talking about.
It isn’t the first time.
Ditka went out on the 2008 campaign trail and stumped for Sarah Palin days before her and John McCain were slaughtered by Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the general election. In the past, Ditka has said plenty of ignorant and moronic things about national politics.
His appearance on LeBatard’s conveys moronic ignorance on social and sexual politics.
But again why are we even coming to this man for expertise? Since when does having a face the color of a raw steak make you an expert on sexual mores?
Is there anyone, other than Al Bundy from “Married with Children,” who has lived off one accomplishment for multiple decades? Bundy is a fictional character, and I’m beginning to think the public face of Ditka is too. And it’s not because “Da Coach” or “Iron Mike” is often colored orange-red or reddish orange in public.
None of his recent television work has brought anything to the table. In fact, none of his overall public speaking has provided anything of worth lately.
And this point, he’s simply nothing more than a cartoonish parody of himself and every time he opens his mouth he further tarnishes the legacy he built with the 1985 Bears.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He is also a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank