NFL coach Mike Ditka is reportedly recovering on Saturday after suffering a heart attack this week.
Ditka is an NFL Hall of Famer, known for winning the Super Bowl as both a player and a coach. According to a report by The Blast, he is currently in a Florida hospital recovering from a "mild heart attack" some time this week. Ditka's long-time agent, Steve Mandell, issued a statement on the coach's health.
“Coach Ditka had a mild heart attack earlier this week," Mandell confirmed. "Doctors inserted a pacemaker, and he is doing much better. He appreciates the outpouring of support and expects to be home soon.”
Ditka, 79, has had health issues before, including one previous heart attack. During the 1988 season, he had a heart attack, just under the age of 50. He reportedly bounced back fast from that incident, regaining his health and getting back to work.
In November 2012, he suffered from a minor stroke at a country club in the suburbs outside of Chicago. He did his best to minimize the incident, releasing a statement later that same day.
"I feel good right now and it's not a big deal," he told The Chicago Tribune at the time.
On social media, fans rallied behind Ditka under his famous nickname "Iron Mike." They sent up well-wishes and prayers for the coach, as well as cheers when they learned that he is in good condition.
"The report that Mike Ditka is in the hospital is true and just got confirmation he is doing well," tweeted sports commentator Jarrett Payton. "He’s Iron Mike... what would you expect. #Bears #DaBEARS."
"Ditka doesn't have heart attacks, heart attacks get Ditka'd," added The Zone host Justin Acri. "Get well soon Mike!"
"Confirmed that Coach Ditka had heart attack. Doing ok and should be out of hospital in few days. It won’t slow him down long," guessed sports caster Howard Sudberry. He included a recent photo of Ditka at a local event.
Confirmed that Coach Ditka had heart attack. Doing ok and should be out of hospital in few days. It won’t slow him down long. He’s too tough. This was last month at his restaurant. Was fighting a cold and very tired. Prayers for the best—-he’s as good and loyal as they come pic.twitter.com/9X56mUOEwW— Howard Sudberry (@HowardSudberry) November 24, 2018
"He’s too tough. This was last month at his restaurant. Was fighting a cold and very tired. Prayers for the best — he’s as good and loyal as they come."0comments
Ditka is best known for his work with the Chicago Bears — a team he played on and coached for many years. However, he has expanded his horizons into many other ventures as well. Ditka has dabbled in movies, TV shows and video games over the years. He also endorsed a line of sausages, a brand of wine and opened a restaurant.
In 2004, Ditka even considered a run for senate. The coach is a self-described "ultra-ultra-ultra conservative, and he intended to run against Barack Obama at the time. Obviously, that ambition shook out in former President Obama's favor, but Ditka continues to offer public political commentary to this day.