Washington (CNN) - He's one of Chicago's most beloved citizens, a former star player who later led the NFL Bears to a Super Bowl title as coach.
But Mike Ditka's biggest regret? Losing a 1986 playoff game that could have propelled the “Monsters of the Midway” to back-to-back championships. No.
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It was his decision to not throw his hat into the 2004 U.S. Senate race and challenge a then little-known state senator, Barack Obama.
Speaking to a crowd of 100 in Watford, North Dakota, earlier this month, “da coach” expressed his regret over his political non-campaign.
"Biggest mistake I've ever made," Ditka said of the decision. "Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House."
After GOP front runner Jack Ryan withdrew from the contest, prominent state and national Republicans, including then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and former Sen. George Allen, tried to recruit "Iron Mike" to run for the open seat.
Ditka declined, citing obligations to his chain of steakhouses and duties at ESPN.
"Five [or] six years ago, I would have jumped on it," Ditka told CNN in 2004 after announcing he would not enter the race. "I would have ran with it and I know this - that I would make a good senator because I'm for the people."
Former NFL star with concussion related dementia... Poor guy.
boo hoo hoo, cry me a river....there are so many mini Obama's waiting in the wings to run right now...put your hat in the ring and run right now if you can WIN, NOT!!!!
OBAMA is going NOWHERE....it's his time....God ordained time for your bible loving Teabagging conservatives. LMAO!!!!
Ditka would have been a lot better choice than what we have........no doubt about THAT!
obviously he had more important things to do
Couldn't have done any worse than any current Senator or Congressman... that's for sure...
Ditka is full of it! The way he followed Sarah Palin around FL, was sickening. He shows what can happen when you take too many hits to the head. Go Buccaneers!
Nice thought iron mike but I fear it wouldn't have made a difference. You would have been outnumbered on all sides. I have believed for a long time now that there was a plan by people with big resources to put this president in office several years before the congressional election you mentioned. I'm certain you would have made a good senator. Maybe you should try again in 2014.
It's not too late, go run now in 2014 and see how campaign works ok
another great american that hates the weirdo and stooge obama
I am sorry but America would not need another triggeer happy loud mouth hot head who think more highly of himself than he is to be president. Mike you were an okay coach for a while and you are now an okay analyst, those are your callings in life so don't have any regrets. President Obama is fulfilling his calling as a president for the people and not multi-billion dollar corporations that have and are shipping/outsourcing jobs to make mega-profits at the expense of Americans. One question Mike Dikta, "Are the equipment and furniture in your chain of steak houses made in the USA or by cheap labor in China?"
I should have ran also. Why do sports stars, actors And anyone in the media think they should be in office? It should be regular joes in office that have real world experience of living pay check to pay check. They know what average American goes through and what to change.
Mike! Mike!! Mike!!! Do you honestly believe you are the person, America is needing to run the day to day affairs of government. What an ego you possess. How beaten you'd have been, had you ran.
Stick to your sausages dough boy! Some people never want to miss an opportunity to be heard or seen. If your republicans buddies don't get their crap together your little steakhouses will feel the financial pinch too and I am sure that is what's driving your crazy talk!!!
Say the first three letters of his name slowly. They correctly identify what he is and I will never forget the way he treated the late/great, Walter Payton and neither will millions of others.
Too much Traumatic Brain Injury from his days of playing tight end.
We all wish you had run because your right! You'd have won and Obama would be back home still not in the White House destroying our country!
Yeah, mccain, romney, palin, ryan, all thought the same thing.
Really Ditka? You're a football player. But enough idiots probably would have voted for you. I wouldn't.
Mike Ditka / Jesse Ventura 2016
BRING IT ON !
He would have lost like he did most of his career. He won One Superbowl with one of the most talented teams ever. He lost a lot of games with the Saints. He is lucky he has a cult following in Chicago, that's it.
Ann Coulter / Mke Ditka
In the current fight over the government shutdown, Republicans are simply representing the views of the American people ?
Mike Ditka is another clown full of idiotic ideas!!
I don't trust Mike Ditka much less eat at his steakhouse! NO WAY!!! He is so full of himself!!
Mike Ditka is a LOSER!!!