New episode from Omaha Production's ‘Peyton's Places' features Mike Ditka originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
On Sunday, Omaha Productions dropped the season premiere of "Peyton's Places," a television show dedicated to Peyton Manning's interviews with former and current players and coaches in the NFL.
For the season four opener, Manning talked mainly with George Kittle about the concept of "National Tight Ends Day." According to Kittle, Jimmy Garropolo created the day by simply hyping up his tight ends with the phrase.
That steamrolled into the NFL's tight ends creating the actual day --- the fourth Sunday in October, proclaiming the day as National Tight Ends Day around the league.
As part of the celebration, Manning and Kittle remembered their favorite tight ends. And Bears Hall of Fame tight end, Mike Ditka, was one of the first names mentioned in the episode. Manning tipped his cap to Ditka for practically inventing the position itself in the 1960s.
"It took a man of iron to make the tight end more than just an extra lineman," Manning said. "And from Mike Ditka's Day to National Tight Ends Day, the position has continually evolved."
Ditka further delved into the tight end position on a boat ride with Manning down the Chicago River.
"Tight ends in the NFL are like power forwards in the NBA," Ditka said. "They're so much more athletic than we were. They're bigger, stronger, I mean, they are. You were a quarterback so you understand the importance. If you have a tight end that can play, catch the ball, it changes the way they play defense.
Ditka played 12 seasons of tight end for the Bears between 1961-72. He caught 427 passes for 5,812 yards and 43 touchdowns. "Iron Mike" was a legend in his day, and that earned him five Pro Bowl nods and two All-Pro selections as a player.
When you celebrate National Tight End Day, don't forget the man who pioneered the position; a Bears fan favorite, Mike Ditka.