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Da Coach Likes Guillen

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 28, 2006 1:21AM

2005_07_13_ditka.jpgChicagoist knows that, for a guy who hasn't done much for the City of Chicago in 20 years other than bestow us with yet another steakhouse, Ditka's sure a powerful guy. That's what happens when you win a Super Bowl trophy for the city. Especially, when you were previously known as a gritty, working class guy as a player for that same team back in the day. And have an outspoken, larger-than-life persona off the field.

So it's no surprise that Ozzie Guillen has become a popular figure in Chicago. The scrappy shortstop from the 80's and 90's brought Chicago its first World Series trophy since the Wilson administration, and has certainly never shied from saying what's on his mind.

People love him for that. People hate him for that. Ditka can relate. And he
likes Ozzie for who he is.

2005_09_sports_guillen.jpgAnd because of Ditka's reverence in the city, the citycontinues to listen to what Da Coach thinks about issues, whether he's criticizing the smoking ban or weighing in on Ozzie.

''I like Ozzie,'' Ditka said Monday. ''I really like the guy. He's real people, he's good for baseball and he's really a nice guy, even though he doesn't always say things that are politically correct. But he says what he thinks. He speaks from the heart. And in this day and age, that can be refreshing when people are honest about what they think and feel."

Ditka also weighed in on the Guillen/Mariotti feud a bit, remembering his experriences with the media and the way that the media has changed, noting that, "I've said and done some things I wouldn't have said or done if I had thought about them more beforehand. But in too many cases, the media also go for the sensational stuff. They'll blow stuff out of proportion to sell papers..."

''The media is good to you when you're winning and rips you when you're losing,'' Ditka said. Well, except for that joke a at the Sun-Times.