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Ditka has his jersey retired at halftime of the Cowboys-Bears game

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By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: December 9th, 2013 at 10:54 pm EST

Tonight, Mike Ditka had his jersey retired by the Chicago Bears.

The jersey retirement ceremony was apart of ‘Mike Ditka Day’ in Chicago today. His No. 89 jersey was retired at halftime of the Chicago Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys game on Monday Night Football.

Mike Ditka (Getty Images)

Mike Ditka (Getty Images)

The 74-year-old Ditka last played in the NFL in 1972. He played for the Chicago Bears from 1961 through 1966. He also played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967 and 1968, before moving on to the Dallas Cowboys, where he finished his career, where he played from 1969 through 1972.

As a tight end, he had 427 receptions for 5,812 yards and 43 touchdowns. He also had two rushing attempts for two yards in his career.

Ditka was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. He was actually the first tight end inducted into this Hall of Fame.

Yet, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is not the only Hall of Fame that he’s in. The current ESPN NFL analyst was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

This is also the second time that Ditka had his No. 89 retired. In 1997, the Pittsburgh Panthers retired his number 37 years after he played for them.

After his playing career, Ditka went into coaching. He was a Cowboys assistant coach from 1973 through the 1981 season.

In 1982, he would then go back to Chicago to be the Bears head coach. He coached the Bears from 1982 through the 1992 season. He has a 106-62 record season record with a 6-6 postseason record with the Bears.

After a long absence, he would return to coaching in 1997. He would be hired by the New Orleans Saints, where he coached from 1997 through 1999. During his Saints coaching tenure, he struggled with a 15-33 record.

He’s best known for trading all of his draft picks to draft Texas running back Ricky Williams. This would backfire on Ditka, as the Saints went to a 3-13 record that year. And Williams would never pan out to be a star, like he was at Texas, before playing for the Saints, Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL.

In his career, Ditka won three Super Bowls and an NFL Championship. He won the 1963 NFL Championship with the Bears. Then, he would win Super Bowl VI and XII with the Dallas Cowboys. He would also coach the 1985 Bears to the Super Bowl XX Championship.

Ditka is the lone individual in NFL history to have a Championship as a player and a coach with the same team. These came in 1963 as a player and 1985 as a coach.


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