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Thursday, July 15, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO Mike Ditka announced yesterday that he won't run for the Senate, leaving Illinois Republicans desperate for a candidate four months before the election.
"There was a moment when I said, 'God, I'd like to take this and run with it.' And then I said, 'You know, put your head on straight and think about what you're getting into,' " the former coach of the Chicago Bears said outside his Chicago restaurant.
State Republicans have been scrambling to find a challenger for Democrat Barack Obama since the winner of the GOP primary, Jack Ryan, dropped out nearly three weeks ago.
Ditka said the fiery temperament that was evident when he coached might not be a perfect fit on Capitol Hill.
"I don't know how I would react on the Senate floor if I got in a confrontation with somebody I really didn't appreciate or maybe didn't appreciate me," Ditka said.
He also suggested that what he called his "ultraconservative" views might clash with many Illinois voters.
Players fined for THG
Oakland defensive lineman Chris Cooper and center Barret Robbins and free-agent defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield, a former Raider, have been fined three game checks by the NFL for testing positive for the steroid THG.
They also were placed on "reasonable-cause testing" for the rest of their careers and will be suspended for eight games if they test positive for any steroid again.
Linebacker Bill Romanowski also tested positive, and his case is still pending. Romanowksi announced his retirement after last season.
Middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter returned to the Philadelphia Eagles, agreeing to a one-year contract. Trotter, 27, spent the last two seasons with the Washington Redskins after playing four years for the Eagles and making the Pro Bowl twice. He left Philadelphia after a bitter contract dispute in 2002, but he never lived up to the seven-year, $35 million contract he received from the Redskins.
Jamal Reynolds was waived by the Green Bay Packers, who reacquired his rights after he failed a physical, voiding his trade to the Indianapolis Colts. The Packers had sent the fourth-year defensive end, the 10th overall pick in the 2001 draft, to the Colts on July 8.
The Arizona Cardinals will honor Pat Tillman at halftime of their home opener, Sept. 19 against the New England Patriots. The tribute to the former Cardinals safety, who was killed April 22 in Afghanistan while serving with the U.S. Army Rangers, also will recognize other Arizonans killed in action.
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