Mike Ditka, the former Pitt All-American and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, grew up wanting to be a dentist.

“That didn’t work out, you can tell,” he told Gus Frerotte in the first part of this week’s “Huddle Up with Gus” podcast.

Ditka tells the story of trying out for his high school football team during his sophomore year at Aliquippa.

“I was 5-foot-7, 120 pounds,” he said. “You can understand I got my butt whipped. I was going to quit.”

He didn’t, though. And by not quitting, he learned some value lessons that led him to become one of the most iconic figures in NFL history.

“It’s been a heck of a run. Everything, to me, has been setting goals and reaching goals,” he said. “Find out what you have to do to reach the goals you’re trying to reach. I don’t care how much practice it takes.

“If you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to get there.”


Coming Tuesday: Part 2 with Mike Ditka

Posted in Huddle Up with Gus