Ditka on the Bears, NFL practices, TV ratings and Halloween

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Bears quarterback Jay Cutler walks around the field before the game against the Packers on Oct. 20 in Green Bay, Wis. | Matt Ludtke/AP

1. Are the Bears snakebit this season?They’re a much better football team than their record. But that’s the only thing you’re judged by. The guys are playing hard. When you keep getting injuries to key players, it’s hard. The reason the guy’s a backup is because he’s not as good as the guy starting. So even if you put a backup in there and he does perform, it’s never going to be at the same level. Now with Jay Cutler coming back, if he gets hurt, what the hell are they gonna do? Offensively, everything has to go through the quarterback. I thought they would be OK with Brian Hoyer because I think he’s a gutty kid. But then he breaks his arm, so they really have been snakebit.2. Have the new practice policies affected how many injuries we see now?I maintain that it’s the biggest reason. I know that you must practice at a certain tempo because you play at a tempo. And if the first time you have contact is in a game, then something could happen and what happens is probably gonna be bad. I’m not saying you gotta go out there and tackle and scrimmage what I’m talking about is practicing with a pretty good tempo. You gotta be able to put pressure on your legs and your knees. A lot of people disagree with me and I can understand why. I know you can’t afford to have an injury in practice. But what the hell’s the difference if they have it in practice or if they get injured on the first play of the game?3. Why are the NFL’s TV ratings down?Football is the greatest game there is, although the Cubs are making that look a little bad right now. I was always taught one thing — the game is bigger than the individual and the individual has to respect the game. He can’t act like a fool. It’s a team game. So when a guy makes a play and he acts like a fool, it kinda bothers me. Act like you’ve done it before. When you get into the end zone, hand the ball to the official and move on. It’s not the first touchdown that was ever scored and it won’t be the last. These guys now, some of the actions are ridiculous. It’s not enough to turn me away because I love the game and I love to watch the game. But to a degree, I think this stuff is turning people away. It’s hard for common people to get excited about guys who are making that kind of money acting like idiots, I’m sorry.4. You’re celebrating Ditkaween this week. What’s the most important part of a Mike Ditka costume?Most of the people go with the sunglasses and the mustache. Now? I got ’em fooled because I’m in disguise. They gotta put on a full beard if they wanna pull it off.

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