Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 1/1/13

1 Nov 1998: Head coach Mike Ditka of the New Orleans Saints looks on during the game against the Carolina Panthers at the Eriksson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers defeated the Saints 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Laforet /Allsport
Lovie Smith's Chicago Bears missed the playoffs in five of the past six years, including a complete collapse this season after starting the year 7-1. Yet, there are some who feel Smith got a raw deal by being fired. Former Bears coach Mike Ditka is among those Smith supporters, calling Smith's dismissal as Bears head coach "ridiculous" and emphasizing that Chicago's fast start to the season should have played more of a factor in the decision-making process. "If Minnesota would have lost [Sunday] and the Bears were in the playoffs, this wouldn't have happened. That's a fact. So how stupid is it then? It really is stupid," Ditka said on radio station ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "If they would have made the playoffs, this would not have happened. They did what they did. They took care of their business, and Minnesota played a great game against Green Bay." Ditka's right. The Vikings did play a great game against the Packers, and they earned themselves a playoff berth in the process. That ...
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