Doug Buffone

  • Born: June 27, 1944
  • Died: April 20, 2015
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois

Tribute


In this Oct. 31, 1977. file photo, Chicago Bears linebacker Doug Buffone, right, speaks at a news conference in Chicago with teammate, running back Walter Payton looking on. Buffone, who played 15 seasons for the Bears, was found dead of natural causes Monday, April 20, 2015, at a home on Chicago's West Side. He was 70. Buffone retired after the 1979 season with 24 career interceptions, the most for any Bears linebacker. He also held the team's record for most games played with 186. (AP Photo/Charles E. Knoblock, File)

Former Chicago Bears linebacker dies

The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Chicago Bears linebacker Doug Buffone, whose reputation for being a passionate football player carried over into his career as a sports broadcaster, was found dead Monday in his home, according to police.

Paramedics and police were summoned to Buffone's home on Chicago's West Side and found a 70-year-old man dead due to natural causes, said police spokesman Thomas Sweeney. The man was later identified as Buffone, who played 14 seasons for the Bears.

Buffone retired after the 1979 season with 24 career interceptions, the most for any Bears linebacker. He also held the team's record for most games played with 186.

"Today is a sad day for Bears nation," said former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, who like Buffone played his entire career with the team. "We lost one of our greats. Doug Buffone will be missed."

A native of Yatesboro, Pennsylvania, Buffone was a fourth-round draft pick by the Bears in 1966 out of Louisville.

In addition to the 24 interceptions, Buffone had 10 fumble recoveries, nine forced fumbles and 37 sacks. He had 1,257 tackles, going over the 100 tackle mark in seven seasons.

Bears chairman George McCaskey noted that Buffone's relationship with the team's fans continued beyond his playing days.

"It drove him nuts when we didn't play well and we always appreciated that he wore his heart on his sleeve because we knew how much he cares," McCaskey said in a statement.

Former Bears coach Mike Ditka said Buffone had a lot of passion for the team, adding he has "nothing but great memories about him."

In a statement, Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, who played alongside Buffone on the Bears for seven years, said a "great man" was lost.

"I will always remember him for his football talent, sense of humor and enduring friendship," Butkus said. "He was a very special guy."

Buffone in recent years hosted a Bears postgame radio show on WSCR-AM with former teammate Ed O'Bradovich.

"His was a life really well lived," WSCR-AM broadcaster Dan Bernstein said. "He understood how important it was to go out of your way to appreciate your family and the good things that you have."

Bernstein said he has encountered former football players who were bitter about what they had to sacrifice.

"That bitterness never, ever was there with Doug ever," he said.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Loved listening to doug's postgame reaction every chicago bear game!!!!Enjoyed doug with norm van leer and mike north on the radio too.Loved his coined phrases of tomato cans and stop yourself. karen in kenosha

Posted by kareni marcus - kenosha, WI - not   April 25, 2015

Marilyn, Sad to hear of your passing, you were my neighbor and my friend in Yatesboro, you'll always be a Home Town Boy

Posted by Marilyn Kulick Good - Dayton, PA - friend   April 22, 2015

A great man,I never saw him play but as a autograph collector,he spent alot of time with me chatting.We laughed one time because he was live on the air on the phone and the kids locked him out on accident.Same thing happened to me with my twins. Doug was pounding on the door while the kids had Barney on the tube..priceless . I'm gonna miss the big guy,class act.

Posted by Timbo - Oak Lawn, IL - Friend   April 22, 2015

Very simply, so many looked up to him and appreciated so much what he did with his life. Doug, you have earned your reward. May God hold the family close and ease the pain in Bear Nation.

Posted by Craig Kallenbach - Rockford, IL - Wanted to be like Doug!   April 22, 2015

Dana, I was so shocked to hear of Doug's passing. I adored his post-game commentary with OB. I was a character actor/model with David & Lee and knew you passingly through the agency. I remember fondly meeting Doug at D&L's bash at the Drake sometime around 1985 (with, if you remember, that huge bowl of chocolate mousse!!). I know you will have great support from your many friends and the knowledge that untold tens of thousands feel for your loss. Yours, Les Golden, Oak Park

Posted by Les Golden - Oak Park, IL - friend   April 22, 2015

Rewind to March 1967. Fort Campbell KY US army basic training. In a training exercise involving pugal sticks-- Doug and I competed and he KOed me out cold. Who was there to help revive me ? not the officers or drill sergeants but Doug- when I blew out a knee about a week later-who was the first guy to come cheer me up--of course Doug What a guy--I was just a bumpkin from Kansas and he was a big city Bears linebacker and he befriended me. I will always remember what a fine man he was. Gary Niemann, friend Overland Park KS 04/.21/15

Posted by Gary Niemann - Overland Park, KS - army friend   April 21, 2015

had some fun on the links old pal with you and johnny from sweetwater back in the day!! you will be missed.....#55 a special guy!!!

Posted by john manos - las vegas, NV - friend   April 21, 2015

RIP Old Friend!!

Posted by Bernadette Fullmer (Baker) - Mesa, AZ - friend   April 21, 2015


Family Album

In this Oct. 31, 1977. file photo, Chicago Bears linebacker Doug Buffone, right, speaks at a news conference in Chicago with teammate, running back Walter Payton looking on. Buffone, who played 15 seasons for the Bears, was found dead of natural causes Monday, April 20, 2015, at a home on Chicago's West Side. He was 70. Buffone retired after the 1979 season with 24 career interceptions, the most for any Bears linebacker. He also held the team's record for most games played with 186. (AP Photo/Charles E. Knoblock, File)
Chicago Bears defensive unit smothers Detroit Lions running back Steve Owens (36) on Sunday, Nov. 21, 1971 in Chicago. Defenders are Dick Butkus (51), Doug Buffone (55) and Joe Taylor (20). Owens gained three yards on the play. (AP Photo/FHJ)