From a Boston College standout, to non drafted pro to becoming a solid NFL receiver Tom Waddle’s path to stardom included a significant pothole. But, the now Chicago media personality has taken nothing for granted.
“I can’t begin to tell you how appreciative I am to the Chicago Bears for the opportunity they gave me, to Mike Ditka for the opportunity he gave me.” Waddle ran with it parlaying a successful career and fan favorite to becoming one of the city’s top sports media stars. He was doing a Tuesday night radio show while still playing for the Bears and when he retired, his second career began and blossomed.
Waddle, a native of Cincinnati and an avowed Reds fan, attended the acclaimed Moeller High School in the “Queen City” and was recruited by several schools, including North Carolina where he became familiar with Randy Walker who would eventually become head coach at Northwestern.
“I just clicked with Randy who said to me look, I know you’re not the most highly recruited guy here. I know you’re small, I know you’re slow but you play the game smart.” That was proven out at Boston College where became the Eagles top receiver.
But, Waddle went undrafted until his agent got the Bears to sign him. Small, yes. Slow, yes, again, but Waddle’s grit and determination caught the eye of then head coach Mike Ditka and Waddle became not only an important receiver but a fan favorite.
Part one of this entertaining podcast includes a rather fragrant story about Pete Rose! Part two will involve his role in the media and the current state of the Bears.
Hear part I of the conversation with Tom Waddle on “Tell me a story I don’t know” by clicking play below,
“Tell me a story I don’t know” is partnered with Last Word on Sports Media Podcast and proudly presented by Mr.Duct. mrductcleaning.com. And a book on this podcast entitled, Tell Me Story I Don’t Know: Conversations with Chicago Sports Legends, will be released this fall via Triumph books.