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Ditka Has Spoken

By Scott Smith in News on Jul 13, 2005 7:21PM

Remember the old Saturday Night Live “Superfans” sketches where they 2005_07_13_ditka.jpgpondered who would win in a fight between say, Mike Ditka and the 1992 Chicago Bulls? The city saw a real-life version of that matchup yesterday when it was Ditka vs. The Entire Chicago City Council on the proposed smoking ban. True to form, Ditka, a longtime fan of cigars, pulled out three of the signature moves in his unstoppable fighting style:

1. Yelling
2. Swearing
3. Hyperbole

Ditka’s testimony came in the first of a series of public hearings on the proposed public smoking ban before the City Council. The Trib and the Sun-Times printed some of the choicest bits of testimony today. Chicagoist thinks Ditka should write his own self-improvement book (suggested title: “Hey Jerk, Get Yer Head Right!”) so we could hear more nuggets of wisdom:

On good health: “If you drink too much or you eat too much or you smoke too much and you don't do anything else, your ass is gone. Period."
On theology: "These laws are laws that have been implemented after the fact by man, they're not naturally laws of God."
On the environment: "Ban all smoking -- everywhere. In the house, on the street. Get rid of it all. Let's be the cleanest city in the world. Let's start something completely different that nobody else ever did. Let's go get 'em. If you want to do it, do it right. But, don't bullshit 'em."
On getting into the Football Hall of Fame: “It was very common for the players to come in at halftime and light up a cigarette. I didn't smoke in those days, so it didn't bother me. A lot of those guys are in the Hall of Fame."

Critics of the ban say banning smoking in restaurants will mean a loss of revenue and jobs while supporters see it as a public health issue. Some Council members are already considering a compromise as it’s unlikely the resolution will pass as written.