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VIDEO: 'Da Coach' Impersonator Wins Look-Alike Contest at Double Door

By Alisa Hauser | December 9, 2013 10:16am
Ditka Look-Alike Contest
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK — "Da Coach" will be watching the Chicago Bears play the Dallas Cowboys game from the 50-yard line Monday.

No, not that coach, Mike Ditka. (Though he'll be at the game as his No. 89 is officially retired by the team.)

This midfield fan is Don "Da Coach" Feuling, winner of a pair of tickets to Monday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys in a Mike Ditka Look-Alike Competition held on Sunday.

"I think I'm more excited than he is!" said Feuling's wife Marian at the close of the hourlong contest Sunday.

Marian Feuling said she has never been to a Bears game and is "so excited."

For his part, Don Feuling, 60, a retired Chicago Water Department laborer, who also runs the website Ditkalookalike.com, called the feeling of winning the contest "wonderful."

 Photos from the Mike Ditka Look-Alike Contest at Double Door Sunday.
Mike Ditka Look-Alike Contest
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The couple lives in Jefferson Park and was joined by two other Mike Ditka look-alikes during the event that drew just three contestants and 65 people to the Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Organized by Jeff Hughes, a New York City playwright who also helms Da Bears Blog, the contest was judged by former Chicago Bears linebacker Otis Wilson and former Bears offensive tackle James "Big Cat" Williams, "American Pickers" star Danielle Colby-Cushman, and Jeremy Scheuch, founder of the Do312 blog.

Hoping to evoke the character and personality of Ditka, the judges asked the contestants how they feel about the McCaskey Family, who own the team, what they would do with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, how they would handle "this generation of athletes," and what their final score predictions are for Monday's game against the Cowboys.

They also asked Da Coaches to give their "Best Ditka screw you imitation" and to do the Super Bowl Shuffle.

The most laughter came after Colby's question, which asked the men to respond to a mother's query about how Ditka would advise her to talk to her teenage son if he were spending a lot of time alone in his room and using their mom's socks too much.

Before the contest, John Stefanik, 60, a Lincoln Park resident who was "Ditka No. 3" during the competition, said he is a "huge fan" of Ditka.

"I like his sincerity, his intensity, everything about him," Stefanik, a sales rep for a printing company in Lincoln Park, said.

Unlike Feuling and Ditka No. 2, Ray Hart, Stefanik said he had never competed in a Ditka look-alike competition before Sunday's, and he has never met the legendary coach in person.

"For some crazy reason I would run into him at the airport a lot, at Midway, but I never approached him," Stefanik said.

Hart, 61, and his wife Karen said it took them an hour and 45 minutes to drive into Wicker Park Sunday from Homer Glen.

A retired pipe insulator who's been competing in Ditka look-alike contests for two years, Hart said he'd heard about the contest from his wife and figured, "What the hell, I'll come [compete]."

Proceeds from the contest, which also included the raffling off of a signed  "55 Alive" Wilson jersey, benefit Otis Wilson's charity, the Otis Wilson Charitable Association.