ST LOUIS (LALATE) – Mike Ditka has suffered a stroke, but he tells news that he feels fine. Ditka suffered the stroke Friday. But doctors report that it was “very minor”. Ditka suffered a heart attack in the 1988 season with the Bears. Officials have yet to tell him if the stroke is related to the heart attack.
Ditka, now with ESPN, won’t return to the network this Sunday. The cable channel confirms to news that Ditka will take a break as he undergoes testing. No return date has been announced to news.
Ditka said he suffered a “very minor stroke”. He says he noticed it after his hands weren’t responded well. But he tells the Chicago Tribune “I feel good right now and it’s not a big deal.”
In July 2004, Republican Peter Fitzgerald vacated his Senate seat for Illinois. Republican nominee Jack Ryan withdrew his nomination following a local scandal. Quickly Illinois leaders were pushing Ditka to run for the seat.
At the time, Ditka was a described an ultra conservative. Ditka would have faced off against newcomer Barack Obama.
Ditka declined, Alan Keyes instead ran and lost. In 2008, Ditka was asked by news if he regrets his decision not to run against Obama. Ditka said “It would have been interesting, I’ll tell you that.”