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Mike Ditka, politely, on NY Super Bowl: “I mean, it’s stupid”

Mike Ditka AP

Yesterday, we brought you word of Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, who seemed mildly confused as to why anyone would play a Super Bowl in New York in February.

As you might imagine, former Bears coach and Hall of Fame tight end Mike Ditka had a stronger opinion.

“The weather’s going to be a problem,” Ditka told Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “They made a big mistake. The game shouldn’t be there. I mean, it’s stupid.”

Ditka’s no stranger to playing in harsh conditions, but his concern was more with the chance the weather affects the product on the field, and the people who are paying big money to watch it.

“First of all, it’s not fair to the players,” Ditka said. “It’s not going to be fair to the fans. It’s not going to be that enjoyable.

“I mean, I understand it’s the Super Bowl and it’s a privilege to play in the Super Bowl. It’d be nice to be playing in Miami or San Diego or New Orleans or somewhere the weather is conducive to guys being able to show their talents. . . .

“I’m just saying, if you get extreme cold or you get snow during the game, then it’s unfair to the fans, to the players, to everybody. You’re not going to be able to perform at near the level you’re used to. And the element of luck comes into it, and it shouldn’t happen in that game. That game should be based on the people on the field who make the plays.”

That’s a quaint belief, and one that went out the door the league started hanging Super Bowl sites as carrots in exchange for money for new stadiums, opening the door to the kind of situation we have here this week.

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77 Responses to “Mike Ditka, politely, on NY Super Bowl: “I mean, it’s stupid””
  1. GenXJay says: Jan 28, 2014 7:16 AM

    Mike, it’s in New Jersey. We don’t wanna upset the shore with excluding them.

  2. coolzog says: Jan 28, 2014 7:17 AM

    No Mike, it’s football.

    How is this different than if it rains in Miami or Tampa? The biggest misconception is that weather somehow introduces more luck to the game, when in reality, it demands more mental toughness from players and more flexibility and adaptivity from the coaches. In reality, who cares about to 80k in attendance (who really should be excited enough to be there that the weather shouldn’t matter) when there are hundreds of millions watching from home?

  3. oldirtyman says: Jan 28, 2014 7:18 AM

    They game is being played in New Jersey, seems the author was not aware of this fact.

  4. finfanjim says: Jan 28, 2014 7:25 AM

    And Shula and Ditka are right. You play your season to get home field advantage in the playoffs. Whatever your home field dictates in weather, you often shape your team around.

    But…once you get to the ultimate championship, its on a neutral field. And there is no team that exists that play worse in good weather than bad. Good weather allows the full talents of both teams to be utilized.

    Bad weather and snow has created drastic mismatches that would never manifest itself in any other condition.

  5. kev86 says: Jan 28, 2014 7:35 AM

    The Ricky Williams trade was stupid.

  6. jimmyt says: Jan 28, 2014 7:45 AM

    The only “fair” way would be to rotate the SB around all NFL cities rain or shine.

  7. gooseusaf1 says: Jan 28, 2014 7:50 AM

    I disagree with Mike and as someone who has played in cold and snow should be ashamed to say the words he did. Why should only warm cities get to host the game? What about places like Seattle, Philly, Chicago, Indy, KC, Denver and New England? They are part of the league as well and should be able to host the big game instead of the game bouncing from warm weather to earn weather. I’d like to see the elements because it’s real football, not cookie cutter crap. It’s ok for people to sit outside during playoff games in freezing or below freezing temps but not for the big one? Are you kidding me with that nonsense?

  8. gooseusaf1 says: Jan 28, 2014 7:51 AM

    It’s obvious that old age and being in a cozy studio has softened the one time tough guy.

  9. chezdigital says: Jan 28, 2014 7:53 AM

    Maybe he was talking in his sleep.

  10. steeltroll says: Jan 28, 2014 7:54 AM

    It’s disappointing that Ditka, of all people, apparently supposes that the SB needs to be “comfortable” for fans and players. Yes, more wussification, please.

  11. dltrey305 says: Jan 28, 2014 7:54 AM

    for once in my life I agree with you ,this shows that its all about money . This is also as stupid as having the Olympics in Sochi Russia

  12. dltrey305 says: Jan 28, 2014 7:57 AM

    I wouldn’t freeze even if the Minnesota Vikings were there

  13. gtodriver says: Jan 28, 2014 7:57 AM

    Thank you Mr. Ditka!

    Excellent comments about what the game should be.

  14. mrcincinnati says: Jan 28, 2014 8:02 AM

    I agree 100%. This has to be the most hyped Super Bowl in recent years, and weather conditions will probably be a factor in this game. People are spending big money for this game, and there is the possibility of it being played on Friday or Monday. To be short hotel, flights, missing work etc..horrible idea.

  15. 8drinkminimum says: Jan 28, 2014 8:03 AM

    The weather outside is frightful.
    And Goodell is so spiteful (eh Miami?)
    So if your going to the Bowl.
    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

    (Hopefully about 6 feet).

  16. rpiotr01 says: Jan 28, 2014 8:08 AM

    No extreme cold, no bad weather. It’ll be mid 30′s. Big deal.

  17. iberiasaint says: Jan 28, 2014 8:09 AM

    He knows dat.

  18. touchdownroddywhite says: Jan 28, 2014 8:23 AM

    Luck is a factor in just about every other game, right? So it’s an inherent part of football, right? So it’s logical that an inherent part of football could or would be present, even in the biggest game of the year, right?

    Just wondering…

  19. linemanguy74 says: Jan 28, 2014 8:23 AM

    100% correct

  20. jaykray says: Jan 28, 2014 8:26 AM

    So let me get this right…

    It’s fair for the weather to affect the outcome of regular season games and playoff games, just not the Super Bowl?

    I thought football players were professionals who understand what all goes into the game. Whether that’s injury, luck, or skills to overcome adversity.

    As for what the fans deserve. I for one love watching snow games. To me, it’s more exciting.

    #GrumpyOldMen

  21. jetrainer says: Jan 28, 2014 8:27 AM

    I agree 100%. I also think all stadiums should have domes, possibly retractable, providing extreme temperature and weather protection for everyone Mike mentioned. The NFL has become a high skill and finese sport, with brutal strength and power. The days of leather helmets and mud are long gone. To many ACL and shoulder injuries under the best conditions, protect the players. Protect your teams players.

  22. goodellisruiningtheleague says: Jan 28, 2014 8:30 AM

    Too bad all the corporate sponsors won’t be able to vacation in a warm area and then flip the Super Bowl tickets for 100000x face value.

    I feel no sympathy towards them. Real fans should be at the game

  23. hehateme2 says: Jan 28, 2014 8:39 AM

    Remember Mike, it’s a NJ Super Bowl.

  24. iluvbears says: Jan 28, 2014 8:41 AM

    It figures Ditka would know what stupid is. It takes an especially stupid person to know how stupid stupid can be.

  25. kneelbeforesod says: Jan 28, 2014 8:43 AM

    I hope a foot of snow drops on Sunday morning with a -15 wind chill.

  26. getyourownname says: Jan 28, 2014 8:47 AM

    Ditka may be a meathead, but he’s right about this.

  27. FinFan68 says: Jan 28, 2014 8:48 AM

    The conference championship games have often been played in adverse weather. I see no reason why the game itself would be an issue. The concern I have is that the super bowl has transitioned into an “event” and all the pregame stuff and logistics (trans) on game day could be a huge problem at a northern site.

  28. tdrizzle74 says: Jan 28, 2014 8:57 AM

    I agree. Its bad for everyone. Not that hard to get a ticket to this game, as opposed to other Superbowls. Considering you have most prolific offense in NFL history versus the leagues number one defense, with arguably the best quarterback in the history of the league…the fans know the weather will be a factor, so do the players, no matter how much they try to deny it at press events.

  29. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 28, 2014 9:09 AM

    The game was meant to be played in the elements. How is it unfair to the players when they both are playing in the same conditions? The better team should have to overcome the extra obstacle. It just adds another test: which team has greater resolve?

  30. kd75 says: Jan 28, 2014 9:10 AM

    Trading an entire draft for Rickey Williams is stupid.

  31. dickroy says: Jan 28, 2014 9:13 AM

    There will be people just hoping for a blizzard, just to see how the NFL reacts. Those will be the people watching from their nice warm living rooms.

  32. rodgersrodgersheisking says: Jan 28, 2014 9:18 AM

    If it keeps away the corporates and fair weather fans who only watch the Superbowl all year and gets real fans more chance of a seat then let them play in Alaska

  33. ariani1985 says: Jan 28, 2014 9:18 AM

    Hey packer fans, what is it like to go 0- 8 vs this guy in 4 years?

  34. cshearing says: Jan 28, 2014 9:19 AM

    So the conference championship games can be played anywhere and it is fine, but it is unfair for the Superbowl? What kind of twisted logic is that?

    Unfair to the fans? Fans want an exciting, close game. That’s the primary motivation for watching, not to see both teams pass for 300 yards. I just do not understand the attitude.

  35. stew48 says: Jan 28, 2014 9:19 AM

    quaint–”pleasingly odd or old fashioned”. I don’t think so. Just extremely well said and to the point. It is quaint to allow playoff games in very bad weather, too. But, again, $$$ speaks loudly in the NFL.

  36. nokoolaidcowboy says: Jan 28, 2014 9:24 AM

    Not a problem for me. Although I’m in NY I can watch it from the safety of my home on my flat screen like millions of other fans. Sorry but the business BS of this sport has to take a back seat. You want to fill the seats? Then don’t use this event to price gauge the fans.

    Whether you like it or not, weather plays a part in a lot of the regular season games and especially in the playoffs as mentioned above. Coaches and players have to adjust for variables all the time.

    I’m really surprised how football “purists” are whining about the weather. Let’s see how this game pans out first.

  37. bstngrdn says: Jan 28, 2014 9:27 AM

    There are a number of problems with this. First, it is an out door stadium, subject to any and all weather conditions. Second, it’s not in NYC where there are other attractions for travelers if the weather that week is bad, it’s in a remote location in NJ and not that easy to get to. Third, a lot of fans use a trip to the Super Bowl as a vacation to a “vacation” destination. How many people from Denver and Seattle are going to want to travel to this place in the middle of winter? Fourth, the NFL has now set themselves up for other cold weather sites without domed stadiums to demand equal treatment.
    This thing is all about Goodell caving in to NY interests and Ditka is right, it is stupid.

  38. surfinbird1 says: Jan 28, 2014 9:27 AM

    So teams that don’t play in domes sometimes have to play in adverse conditions during the year to try and reach the SB. If it’s that bad maybe teams that play outside during the year and win should get credit for 1.5 wins instead of one. The whole thing is a joke.

  39. uglydingo says: Jan 28, 2014 9:28 AM

    Mike Ditka is 100% correct. However, Commissioner Goodell committed to Mara and Tische and Woody Johnson because they went ahead with the new stadium. This was payback (and hope like hell no blizzard comes).
    Don’t forget Goodell’s father was a Republican Senator for New York. Roger got his initial opportunity in the NFL through his Dad’s old Wellington Mara network connections.

  40. rabidboy says: Jan 28, 2014 9:30 AM

    Ditka’s a meathead but his heart is in the right place when it comes to preserving the integrity of the game.

    The article alludes to the overall problem with the game right now (apart from lousy officiating, Goodell’s need to legislate the game and the Pro Bowl) and that is sponsorship money and the corporatizing of the NFL.

    The ONLY reason why the game is being played in New Jersey is for the money that goes along with hosting a Super Bowl and not because it adds a “new element” to the game.

    Next up, a Super Bowl in London (seriously), and would LOVE to see Kielbasa Ditka react to that announcement.

  41. jolink653 says: Jan 28, 2014 9:36 AM

    Shouldn’t the best team in the league be able to win a game outdoors in the cold? If you can’t win a game in the elements, then you don’t deserve to win the Super Bowl. And I work think Ditka of all people would be supportive of an outdoor game

  42. shirsc2 says: Jan 28, 2014 9:39 AM

    So it’s ok to play a game in -23 degrees at Lambeau or in Chicago to have a chance to get to the superbowl but the actual Superbowl has to be perfect weather?

    In that case, all games should be played indoors so no weather can affect the outcomes of games. Some teams are built to play outdoors in the elements while some teams are built to play in nice weather. Why give the nice weather teams the advantage in the superbowl every year?

    Great teams and great players will make plays regardless of the elements.

    PS, i understand its all about money.

  43. BigAlHeBDMan says: Jan 28, 2014 9:42 AM

    kd75 says:
    Jan 28, 2014 9:10 AM
    Trading an entire draft for Rickey Williams is stupid.

    No it wasn’t f you consider what New Orleans did previously with all their draft choices. Their 1st draft choice ever was Les Kelley a fullback from Ala who was so slow they tried to convert him to linebacker before cutting him. Than there was Russell Erxslaben? a kicker who couldn’t kick with shoes etc etc. The list of bad draft choices goes on and on.

  44. skippynj says: Jan 28, 2014 9:45 AM

    I agree with him but, shut up Ditka. Buddy Ryan’s D handed you a SB ring and then you went and made the worst trade ever and screwed up the Saints for years. All bluster, no brains. Shut up, Ditka.

  45. bspurloc says: Jan 28, 2014 9:48 AM

    football is played in ALL weather conditions and the Superbowl should be too…

    cept the NFL needs to make MAX $$$$ and that pathetic halftime must go on and cant go on unless its nice and sunny

  46. abninf says: Jan 28, 2014 9:50 AM

    All Superbowls, playoff games and division games should be played indoors at 72 degrees. Matter of fact, the only games that should be outdoors in less than perfect conditions are the few end of season games that are meaningless to both teams. Because God forbid, we wouldn’t want the weather and mental toughness to play a part in the outcomes. Sideline benches should be replaced with couches and teams need to have masseuses ready to massage the players wen they come off the field. Welcome to the 2014 society.

  47. bleedgreen says: Jan 28, 2014 9:50 AM

    Again, lets not forget the torrential downpour that the Colts/Bears Super Bowl was played in. In Miami. Causing 6 fumbles.

  48. sd5547 says: Jan 28, 2014 9:55 AM

    San Diego should host the Super Bowl every year since we all know it is the greatest city in the history of mankind.

    Sincerely,

    Ron Burgundy

  49. bspurloc says: Jan 28, 2014 10:00 AM

    the pro bowl is played in comfy Hawaii because its an exhibition game no one cares about and the players dont want to get hurt.

    to get to the superbowl u had to win by playing in all different conditions…
    maybe teams with domes should start games with a -7

  50. iamedreed says: Jan 28, 2014 10:02 AM

    yeah because im sure there will be tons of real fans there to watch the game when the chepaest seats go for 1000+

    sorry but i could care less what the temp of the game is when im sitting in front of my 60 inch plasma watching in HD from the comfort of my temperature controlled home

    can we quit pretending that the NFL doesn’t generate 95%+ of its revenue from TV audiences anyway so who cares what the people at the game feel like

  51. leatherface2012 says: Jan 28, 2014 10:06 AM

    rpiotr01 says:
    Jan 28, 2014 8:08 AM
    No extreme cold, no bad weather. It’ll be mid 30′s. Big deal.

    ACCUWEATHER if u believe them, says wind chills around 20 below. high for the day 12. 30 mph winds

  52. iamedreed says: Jan 28, 2014 10:08 AM

    anybody notice the only people complaining about the cold weather superbowl are the media members? they use this weekend every year as an all expense paid vacation to some tropical place and now that they have to do some actual work they get upset

    DEAL WITH IT

  53. gochargersgo says: Jan 28, 2014 10:22 AM

    Its stupid from the standpoint of traveling to the game. For anyone who hasn’t been to or near the meadowlands on game day, its about as bad of a traffic nightmare as one could imagine. SuperBowl will be much worse, and then throw in some bad weather? Huge disaster potential.

  54. gbpack50 says: Jan 28, 2014 10:23 AM

    Okay Mike, let’s have all NFL Teams move South where the weather is so nice! Football is football!! This game has become more about money than the game. Hey Mike, how about the Super Bowl in frozen tundra of Lambeau??? Rotate the SB every year between all teams and give the fans of that community a chance to go.

  55. realitypolice says: Jan 28, 2014 10:28 AM

    For the record, everyone who supports this game being played in NJ is basically saying they know more about football than Mike Ditka and Don Shula.

    That’s really what you’re saying. Seriously.

  56. originate421 says: Jan 28, 2014 10:28 AM

    Ummmm….. last I checked both Denver and Seattle had home field advantage in outdoor stadiums with temperature’s in the mid 30′s.

  57. bigd9484 says: Jan 28, 2014 10:34 AM

    LOL. Just wait 3 years until the super bowl in is Minneapolis. It’s -15 today. That carrot is absolutely right. Super Bowls just opened up a whole can of worms. It’s Goodell’s fault, and now that other cities (like MPLS) have sunk public money into NFL sites with the wink nod promise of hosting a Super Bowl, they brought this upon themselves. Everyone in the situation makes money including media members. Time to just shut up and do what you are paid for. Stop whining about the weather.

  58. vikingdoode says: Jan 28, 2014 10:39 AM

    Agree with Coach Ditka! Super Bowl should be a classic place where the two best teams show off the talents where wheather does not hamper the skill level. Yes it could rain i know but its always cold in Toiletville, NJ even in July! Hope its a horrible event that it never returns….

  59. JSpicoli says: Jan 28, 2014 11:04 AM

    Thank you Iron Mike!!

    It has to be said

  60. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Jan 28, 2014 11:11 AM

    What’s with all these old timers poo pooing football in certain types of elements? They seem to have lost their football roots & way or maybe it’s more about creature comforts and their crickety old bones getting a chill at their age now.

    My main philosophy about it is that there are many types of good or bad weather games that are played during the regular season. So why should one type of weather prevail always for the biggest game of the season? There should be a good mix of potential weather conditions possible in the venues to reflect how the regular season is. Also it shows a teams perserverence, depth & will, showing there are additional mental adversity & physical toughness aspects being tested on the field in challenging weather instead of just athleticism. Since when is that the only thing that’s important about a given game or the sport?

    The only argument that I’ve heard that has ‘some’ validity is that the game is for the fans so give them the most enjoyable experience. But that doesn’t hold up either because the game is not purely for its ‘entertainment purposes’. Its more for the organization, teams, players & coaches who have competed their way & earned it. Fans are a part of the mix, but just because they are paying for tixs doesn’t mean it’s not a privilege to be a spectator to the event…

  61. djstat says: Jan 28, 2014 11:26 AM

    It’s not fair to the fans? You mean the corporate sponors who SELL their tickets on stubhub for top dollar? Or the sponors who give their tix away and then thos epeople sell them for top dollar? I hope those people cannot sell their tix. Real fans don’t get to go to the game. All of the media types complain because they do not get their luxury vacation. Next yar play the Super Bowl in Green Bay. Elements are a part of football. Deal with it DITKA. BTW how is Ricky Williams doing?

  62. alvino2678 says: Jan 28, 2014 11:36 AM

    Ditka is right. But I’m pretty sure Seattle don’t mind because the weather basically neutralizes Denver’s strength which is their passing game. Major advantage: Seattle.

  63. joetoronto says: Jan 28, 2014 11:45 AM

    I agree with Ditka, but this Super Bowl was lame to begin with anyway.

  64. eagles512 says: Jan 28, 2014 11:55 AM

    These people need to shut up. It’s football!! Not golf

  65. jmc8888 says: Jan 28, 2014 12:51 PM

    Quaint belief?

    Oh I understand that business decisions can force the wrong decisions, but that doesn’t mean the correct decision isn’t correct.

    Calling the correct decision quaint, only adds legitimacy that it’s ok to make incorrect and asinine decisions because, hey it was a business decision from the league.

    No wonder we have so many bad decisions in this country… because it’s ok for businesses to make bad decisions. Defended by hacks that can’t think straight.

    Call it for what it is, and that is a mockery of settling the NFL championship that might not be determined by the best team on the field, but by luck, and whose squad happens to play better with a good portion of their plays possibly unable to be run due to weather conditions.

    A situation where quid pro quo influences the league’s championship game. It’s horrific, which is quite the difference from the thinking that putting the quality of the setting of the Superbowl first is quaint.

    But hey, many issues thought of as quaint by morons, are the answers to today’s problems. Like Glass-Steagall. Another issue where ‘business decisions’ to the tune of a quadrillion of worthless derivatives takes prescience over a real economic recovery.

    Quit thinking that today’s decisions are more complicated or different. They aren’t. They are flat out wrong. In truth, they are all bad business decisions, made by morons relying on the wrong metrics.

  66. sabatimus says: Jan 28, 2014 12:55 PM

    Perhaps, Mike, the Super Bowl should be in Chicago? You know, where it’s a balmy 85 in February?

  67. sabatimus says: Jan 28, 2014 12:58 PM

    I can’t believe people are actually agreeing with Ditka. It’s FOOTBALL. This garbage is coming from the same guy who said the ’85 Bears “played to kill” the whole season. Has Mike wussed out or is he just trying to keep himself relevant?

  68. thetruthcampaign says: Jan 28, 2014 1:39 PM

    Agreed. It sucks.

  69. fringetastic says: Jan 28, 2014 1:57 PM

    Which of those arguments do not apply to the conference championship games? Or the wild card games, or any outdoor December game?

    None. The elements are part of football.

  70. bravovictor52 says: Jan 28, 2014 2:20 PM

    I agree with Mike. This is the Superbowl with a week of activities. Only winners are NY and NJ. Players and all the people in the stands and on the field must endure the weather. The game itself is compromised because of the weather. Just plain stupid.

  71. caeser12 says: Jan 28, 2014 3:29 PM

    Giving the ball to “The Fridge” instead of giving it to Walter Payton in the Super Bowl WAS and STILL IS stupid.

  72. propertyofthebroncos says: Jan 28, 2014 3:36 PM

    How can he not be okay with cold weather football?! It’s football-get over it! It’s meant to be played in the elements. They weren’t pansies in the good old days…

  73. bbk1000 says: Jan 28, 2014 7:53 PM

    Haha..my dad used to love these games until he got old……

    Mike has always said stupid things…..now he’s old and saying stupid things…….not a good combination….

  74. daviddmsvcp says: Jan 29, 2014 2:31 AM

    Mike is probably correct. Playing in NJ in winter will not be that much for the fans in the stadium, the players, and the refs.

    But it will be lots of fun for the millions at home watching on TV.

  75. msappleofhiseye says: Jan 29, 2014 2:06 PM

    What, you mad because it’s not coming to your city?
    I have seen games where the fans are sitting in their seats in other citites and it just as cold or worse.
    Please….
    Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!
    Lets Go BRONCOS!

  76. electstat says: Jan 29, 2014 2:46 PM

    When did the game get moved to New York?

  77. sleeper692 says: Feb 6, 2014 5:36 PM

    Why can’t the NFL be like every other major sport league in the U.S. and have the game played at the home stadium of the team with the best record that makes it to the Super Bowl.

    Seems to work in every other sport. Why does the NFL have to be different?

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