The Chicago Tribune’s Fred “Don’t Call Me FredEx” Mitchell had the pleasure of grilling former Bears/Saints coach Mike Ditka about next Sunday’s NFC Championship.

Asked if he has a rooting interest in Sunday’s game at Soldier Field, Ditka (above, right) growled: “Do I have to root for somebody? I never root for anybody, really.”

“Bear weather means nothing,” Ditka said. “The Bears don’t practice outside, do they? Do you think [the Bears] had a big advantage the other day (vs. Seattle)? What is Bear weather? The 49ers came in and kicked the heck out of us that one year.

“We thought we could win it with our defense, and we couldn’t. We had to score some points and we didn’t score any points. You can’t put all of your pressure on your defense, that’s all. Eventually it catches up with you.”

I don’t know if Karen Crouse has tried out for the New York Times’ softball team, but judging by her profile of the Bears’ Ricky Manning Jr., she’d be pretty adept at tossing underhand. If you’re wondering how to fashion a profile of Manning without once typing the words “laptop”, “fucking jew” or “fag”, Karen should be able to help you out.

The Boston Globe’s Bruce Mohl reports that Indy restricted ticket sales for Sunday’s AFC tilt with New England to walk-up customers at the RCA Dome and Ticketmaster outlets in Louisville and Indiana. Though this arrangement most certainly is an inconvenience for Patriots fans hoping to travel, there’s no shortage of seats available through StubHub — coincidently, the Colts’ “official secondary-ticket marketplace.”

Seattle’s Matt Hasselbeck played the last half of the season with busted bones in his non-throwing hand. Eddie Griffin and I both agree — it would be more impressive if Hasselbeck had gone 2 months masturbating with a broken paw.