Jim McMahon Uncorks Crazy Mike Ditka Super Bowl Betting Story

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jim mcmahon

If people want to know why Chicago continues to love the 1985 Bears so much, it’s because the team continues to be an endless supply of crazy stories. There was no championship team in football history that can say they had a greater cast of unique characters on their roster than that squad. Perhaps two of the craziest was quarterback Jim McMahon and head coach Mike Ditka.

While the two share a mutual respect that lasts to this day, they also haven’t been shy in admitting they haven’t gotten along. Ditka always had a reputation for being hard on quarterbacks. McMahon was the only one he ever coached who wasn’t afraid to talk back. Ironically this is probably why they were so good together in their heyday.

That said it seems like McMahon may still harbor some ill-feelings towards his former coach. He certainly hasn’t hesitated to take shots at Ditka over the years. He did so again with yet another bananas story about Super Bowl XX.

Jim McMahon claims Ditka bet money on Bears to beat Patriots

Ditka always likes to say he doesn’t hold grudges but he has a good memory. According to Bears lore, he was upset when the team was made huge underdogs in the 1984 NFC championship against the San Francisco 49ers. McMahon admits he doesn’t have proof, but he believes the coach held onto that until the Super Bowl the next year when he allegedly committed a major NFL violation.

“I think he might have bet. I’m not positive, but I know he likes to gamble. Everyone likes to gamble every once and awhile. I’m sure he probably put some money down.”

It’s easy to pass that off as nothing more than a rumor. At the same time, this is Mike Ditka we’re talking about. Since when did he fear repercussions from anybody for doing what he felt was right? This is the same guy who flipped off cameras in public and made all sorts of disparaging comments to the media throughout his career.

He got revenge on the 49ers with his use of the Fridge in their meeting earlier that season. It’s not a stretch at all to think he’d get back at the oddsmakers next by winning some money betting on his team to beat New England. The fact he did something that could’ve gotten him banned from the league? Big deal.

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Erik Lambert
Brainwashed by the sports culture as a wee lad, Erik was educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College. He has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.