CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Bears coach Mike Ditka stood in front of hundreds in a banquet room inside Maggiano’s and recalled his life in the NFL.
“I love the game, I still watch the game,” he said. “Did I have concussions? I’m sure I did, but I haven’t been affected like others. But somebody asked me what about my grandkids? I said I’d probably put a golf club in their hand. For long-term effects, I’d put a golf club in their hand.”
Ditka says he’d never trade anything for the pleasure he had playing the game, but he’s seen the consequences of hard hits, concussions and injuries have had on his teammates.
“Mike Powers, my roommate, we came into the league together and I was with him in the end, I saw what he was,” Ditka said. “Here’s a guy that went to Yale, he was brilliant, brilliant but he was a mere shell in the end. Mike Webster ended up being a street person, had no clue. It’s unbelievable.”
Dikta joined a panel of three others in front of the Chicago City Club entitled “Concussions in the NFL: Whose Bell Was Really Rung?”