Mike Ditka ‘excited’
about Senate chance

By WND Staff

Mike Ditka

Mike Ditka, Hall of Fame football coach, says he’s “getting excited” about a possible run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican from Illinois.

Ditka, 65, is being mentioned as a potential replacement for Senate nominee Jack Ryan, who bowed out of the race when information about going to sex clubs, which was included in his divorce documents, became public.

More than 6,000 people have signed petitions urging the former Chicago Bears coach to take up the challenge. The effort has a website, DraftDitka.com.

“I’m getting excited about it,” Ditka told WGN-TV in Chicago. “I’m just thinking about it.”

Ditka says while he lacks political experience, he thinks he’d do a good job as a lawmaker.

“If you’re going to tell me I couldn’t be a better senator than Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. – I could be,” Ditka said.

Though the former coach hasn’t been officially asked to run, GOP party officials floated his name last week.

“Mike Ditka would be a great candidate because he represents the average Illinoisan,” state Sen. Dave Syverson, a member of the Republican State Central Committee, told the TV station. “He’s just a decent, ordinary guy that worked hard and wasn’t handed anything but made it successful.”

Said U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.: “We’re taking a long look at him.”

Ditka admitted to WGN: “I’m not a genius. I’m pretty common sense. I’m just a guy.”

The Hall of Famer says he thinks common sense is in short supply in Washington.

“I don’t see a whole lot of it prevailing in the Senate right now,” he said, according to the report.

Ditka has been a frequent speaker at Republican rallies, including a Bush-Cheney event that drew 10,000 people to an Illinois college in November 2000.