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STO Celebrity Faceoff: John Madden VS Mike Ditka









Starting this Sunday, NFL teams will begin their grueling five month battle to see who will win the Lombardi Trophy, which got us here at STO thinking… 

Out of all the legendary coaches to ever coach an NFL game, John Madden and Mike Ditka have to be considered two legends at the top of the list.  Both are former players and both won a Super Bowl at a very young age as a coach.  But which Hall of Famer would make a better MLS manager? Let’s put it to the STO debate, shall we…


John Madden          Age: 73             Coaching Record: 103-32-7   

Years Coached: 10          Conference Championships:  7          Super Bowls: 1

John Madden would demand his players bring the BOOM! with every shot, and he would also motivate his keeper to deflect each incoming missile with a POW! The Bloomin Onion devouring broadcaster practically invented drawing on the teleprompter to breakdown the X’s and O’s, so planning plays for eleven men might not hurt his MLS career just like it didn’t hurt his 1970’s campaign with the Oakland Raiders.  Besides, the man is well known for being an innovator. Ever heard of a Turducken?

Mike Ditka          Age: 69           Coaching Record: 121-95

Years Coached: 14          Conference Championships: 3          Super Bowls: 1

“Iron” Mike Ditka was well known for his sideline antics and cartoonish temper tantrums as the coach of the 1985 Super Bowl Shuffling Chicago Bears.  Ditka got so worked up in a game once in 1988 that he had a heart attack on the sideline.  The former Bears player was back to the sideline coaching less than two weeks later though.  Ditka is the only man who was involved in both of Chicago’s Super Bowl titles, one as a player and one as a coach. 


Both these iconic coaches would make great coaches of any sport, but they both do have their downsides as well. 

Ditka’s coaching career faded away in the late 90’s when he was coach of the New Orleans Saints.  His last season he traded away an entire draft class plus a first round pick for one player, Ricky Williams.  Would he make the same mistake twice for the likes of a Lionel Messi? 

And John Madden is well known to be a fan of traveling by bus.  Could he get to road matches in time?  What about weeks with two games?  What about games overseas?  Would Madden be forced to row in a canoe to the World Cup?  If so, he would likely need to leave at least four years early. And he might need to pack a Turducken in a cooler for sustenance. 

The Winner of this week’s STO Celebrity Faceoff is Ditka. Why? Because of his experience as a soccer coach in the film Kicking & Screaming, of course.  Although in that movie he was the assistant coach to Will Ferrell, Ditka would likely bring the perfect no nonsense mentality to any MLS squad.  Players like David Beckham would most likely desire longer loans abroad, but Ditka would give them all hell when they got back in town. 

Just make sure you don’t ask the guy to get you a juice box if you’re sitting on the bench.