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article imageMike Ditka, legendary former Chicago Bears coach, suffers stroke

By Yukio Strachan     Nov 17, 2012 in Sports
Chicago - Former Bears coach and Hall of Famer Mike Ditka was hospitalized Friday after suffering what he said doctors told him was a "very minor stroke."
Ditka was at a suburban country club in Chicago playing cards Friday when he noticed his hands "weren't working quite right," and then he had a problem speaking.
Ditka told ESPN Saturday morning that he was feeling good and hoped to be released from the hospital in time to watch the games Sunday.
Ditka, 73, will not be on ESPN's NFL shows this weekend in Bristol, Conn., but expects to return soon.
Ditka, who coached the Chicago Bears from 1982-92, hasn't had any health problems since suffering a heart attack on Nov. 2, 1988, after the Bears lost to the New England Patriots.
He was back in the office eight days later and back on the sidelines in 11 days against doctor's orders.
At the time, Ditka said he was "embarrassed" by the heart attack, and he reflected on his mortality when he returned to Halas Hall.
"I don't know what I experienced," he said at the time. "I think I almost experienced embarrassment. It kind of was embarrassing that it happened to me. I mean, how could this ever happen to me? That's the way I felt in the beginning, and then it didn't matter. I mean it was so bad at a certain point that I knew that we're just mortals. I mean, we're here for a while and then we're gone. It can happen to anybody at any time. It was a very humbling feeling after that, believe me."
When reached Friday night, Ditka told the Chicago Tribune that he was feeling "good right now and it's not a big deal."
The Associated Press said the stroke came on the same day that a Lake County prosecutor said in court that Ditka's son, Mark E. Ditka, tested positive for opiates during a pretrial screening earlier this month, according to the Tribune. The younger Ditka is awaiting trial on his fourth DUI charge.
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