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Is This the Day That Mt. Ditka Erupts Again?

Friday, Vito Stellino of the Baltimore Sun recalled the Chicago Bears’ 38-14 loss to the Washington Redskins in 1989. Afterward, Bear Coach Mike Ditka went into a tantrum, said that Bear cornerback Donnell Woolford “couldn’t cover anybody,” and predicted that his team wouldn’t win another game.

Good prediction. The Bears lost their final three games and finished 6-10.

Stellino also noted that Ditka brought a new, relaxed attitude to the Bears’ training camp last July. When asked how long he thought it would last, Ditka said: “We’ll see what happens when we get in the third period in Washington and the score is tied.”

The Bears play Washington at RFK Stadium today.

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Add Ditka: He said the media are primed for another outburst, adding:

“My God, I’ll tell you what, the camera is on me more. . . . If I had to run off and go to the bathroom I don’t know what they’d do. They’re not going to find anything. It’s just not going to happen.”

Last add Ditka: Although he prides himself on his blue-collar image, his business empire has grown to the point where he has marketed his own fragrances.

Joking with Stellino about the current economic climate, Ditka said: “The perfumes are down, the restaurants are down. I’m just struggling. I wish there’d be a little sympathy for me. As a matter of fact, maybe we can have a little tag day for me at RFK, everybody throw in a couple of bucks for me and that’ll tide me through the next couple of months.”

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Trivia time: Who was the oldest man to coach a major college football team?

Green carpet treatment: Dave Wagner of Dodge City, Kan., said Friday that he and his wife Carol “are very happy to share some of our good fortune with Kansas State.”

Wagner, a 1969 Kansas State graduate, donated $796,000 to install new artificial turf at KSU Stadium.

He could afford it. Last July, he and his wife won $35 million in the Kansas lottery.

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Run-and-stun: In the 1989-90 college basketball season, Southern University averaged 99.2 points per game, third behind Loyola Marymount and Oklahoma.

Thursday night, after his team defeated Texas College, 159-65, Jaguar Coach Ben Jode told Guy Coates of the Associated Press it was “no big deal.”

Attributing his style to the teaching of John McLendon, the former Tennessee State coach, Jode explained:

“You try to get a shot every eight seconds. You try for 93 shots a game. The youngsters like it. It’s great for the spectators. Some coaches say you don’t win a championship with it. But McLendon always said if you combine upbeat defense with upbeat offense, you’re going to get your 93 shots.”

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Add Jode: He still invites McLendon, now retired, to visit Southern’s practice sessions.

Said Jode: “He was here a couple of weeks ago. I sat on the bench and watched him coach.”

Rim shot time, baby: Inside Sports’ anonymous columnist, “The Good Doctor,” strikes again in the magazine’s January edition, responding to “K.J. Jackson, Miss.”

Q: “Dick Vitale continues to be our favorite sportscaster. Is there anything that could make him even better?”

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A: “A 45-second clock.”

Trivia answer: Amos Alonzo Stagg, who was 84 when he coached College of the Pacific in 1946.

Quotebook: Baltimore Evening Sun columnist Phil Jackman, on CBS-TV’s announcement that Tim McCarver would co-host the network’s coverage of the 1992 Winter Olympics: “Has baseball been tossed out of the Summer Games?”


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