THE BEAR GROWLS: Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka yesterday had some harsh words for a reporter, and ended his weekly news conference by storming out of the room.
The outburst was triggered when Red Mottlow of Chicago's WFYR radio asked Ditka about the Bears' offensive showing in Sunday's 10-9 loss to the Washington Redskins.
"What's wrong?" Mottlow asked.
Replied Ditka: "They got a pretty good defense, Red, and they stopped us! Why don't you talk about how good they played instead of our problems?"
Ditka then swore and told Mottlow, "You're a joke."
After somebody else asked a question, Ditka said: "You want to get answers to what you need, get them from Red Mottlow. He's the expert on everything."
Then -- 6 1/2 minutes into the meeting with the media -- the Chicago coach took off his clip-on microphone and hurried out of the conference room, shouting behind him, "I always try to appease a jerk."
NO FUTURE: Winless in his first four games as Cleveland Browns coach, Jim Shofner has given up on retaining the job for next season.
"Obviously, I wasn't the answer," Shofner said. "Certainly I inherited a lot of circumstances. . . . But it still adds up to the same thing -- I didn't get it done."
Since Shofner replaced Bud Carson, Cleveland has been outscored, 161-73.
SAME OLD BILL: Even kidney stones didn't slow down New York Giants Coach Bill Parcells.
"He was yelling just like always," Giants offensive coordinator Ron Erhardt said after Sunday's 23-15 win over the Vikings. "He didn't let up."
Parcells, 49, was hospitalized Saturday night for kidney stones. He returned to Morristown Memorial Hospital shortly after the game and underwent a cystoscope, a procedure designed to temporarily relieve the pain until an attempt is made to pulverize the stone through ultrasound.
Giants spokesman Ed Croke said doctors found a single stone, and if a second procedure today is successful, Parcells could return to work on Wednesday.
MOVES: Dallas cut T Louis Cheek, a third-year player from Texas A&M who played in only four games. Acquired via Plan B free agency from Miami, he was suspended for the first three games, then suffered a knee sprain. Team activated DT Mitch Willis and DB Michael Brooks.