SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS/AP) — It’s Ditka Day in Illinois.
Gov. Pat Quinn’s office says Monday that he’s declared it “Mike Ditka Day” in honor of the former Chicago Bears player and football coach.
The Hall of Famer’s No. 89 was retired during a halftime ceremony Monday night as the Bears played the Dallas Cowboys.
Dikta is the 14th Bear to have his number retired by the team.
In a statement, Quinn calls Ditka “the best tight end of all time.” And he says “Da Coach” “molded and guided arguably the best football team,” referring to the 1985 Super Bowl champs.
Ditka was drafted by the Bears in 1961 and played for the team through 1966. He also played and coached (as an assistant to Tom Landry) for the Cowboys.
He returned to coach from 1982 until 1992.
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