This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Doug Buffone" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (April 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

Doug Buffone
No. 55
Personal information
Born:(1944-06-27)June 27, 1944
Yatesboro, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died:April 20, 2015(2015-04-20) (aged 70)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
NFL draft:1966 / Round: 4 / Pick: 60
AFL draft:1966 / Round: 9 / Pick: 72
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at · PFR

Douglas John Buffone (June 27, 1944 – April 20, 2015) was an American professional football player who was a linebacker for the Chicago Bears in the National Football League (NFL). Buffone, the son of a coal miner (whose parents were Italian immigrants from the southern province of Cosenza, regione di Calabria), attended high school at Shannock Valley High School in Rural Valley, Pennsylvania.

College career

Born in Yatesboro, Pennsylvania, Buffone played linebacker and center from 1962 to 1965 at the University of Louisville. Buffone is one of only four players to lead UofL in tackles for three consecutive seasons. The others are Mark Sander, Tom Jackson (1970–72) and Tyrus McCloud (1994–96). He remains the Cardinals' No. 3 all-time tackler with 479, just nine stops behind the program's all-time leader Mark Sander (1987–90). Veteran head coach Frank Camp, who tutored NFL greats like Johnny Unitas, Lenny Lyles, Ernie Green and Ken Kortas, said Buffone was "the most complete ball player I've ever coached."

NFL career

Following his collegiate career, Buffone was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 1966 NFL Draft and the eighth round of the American Football League Draft by the San Diego Chargers. Buffone went on to play 15 seasons at linebacker for the Bears, retiring in 1980 as the all-time leader in games played for the legendary organization.

In his professional career, Buffone gathered more than 1,200 tackles, going over the 100-tackle mark in seven seasons. He also had the honor of serving as defensive captain for eight seasons, beginning in 1972. Buffone retired with 24 career interceptions to lead all Bear linebackers. The first two pickoffs of his career came off future Hall of Famers Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas. His retirement from football also signaled the end of an era for the Bears as he was the last active Bear to have played for George Halas.

Post-football career

Buffone and his family resided in Chicago, and he was heavily involved in Chicago sports and broadcasting. Doug was one of the founders of the Arena Football League, starting the Chicago Bruisers franchise, which played in ArenaBowl II. He appeared on some Bruisers radio and TV broadcasts with Les Grobstein, and was involved in the United States Football League with the Chicago Blitz. He provided broadcast color commentary for the first NFL game (featuring the Bears and the Dallas Cowboys) in Europe.

Buffone co-hosted "Chicago NFL Live" on "The Score" WSCR 670 AM, and the Bears' postgame show with Ed O'Bradovich, as well as 14 seasons of The Doug Buffone Show on Fox Sports Net Chicago. Buffone was the star of a popular segment of the Mully and Hanley show on WCSR on Fridays during the football season. He played the part of the humorous character "Big Doug", a bookie and collector. Other shows with which Buffone include The Neal Anderson Show for WBBM-AM, and The Mike Ditka Show for WSCR-AM. On "The Score", Buffone also co-hosted shows with Mike North (The Wise Guys) and Norm Van Lier (The Bear and The Bull), in addition to other hosts.

In May 2009, Buffone and his longtime Bears post-game partner Ed O'Bradovich left WSCR-AM and joined Chicago Sports Webio. However, in June 2009, the founder of Chicago Sports Webio was charged with operating a Ponzi scheme, and the site was shut down.[1] Buffone and O'Bradovich re-signed with the Score in late August 2009.

Buffone was an entrepreneur, and part owner of several Chicago-area businesses, including "Gibson's Steak House", one of the most popular nightspots in Chicago's Rush Street area, and Digital One, a video production and streaming video company in the Chicago suburbs. Digital One is the creator of ClickStreamTV, an online video platform product that was designed for small to medium-sized businesses.[2] Also, Buffone had a blog on his website where he posted his opinions on sports.[3]

Buffone began broadcasting Chicago Rush Arena Football League games for Comcast SportsNet and WGN in 2010.

Buffone was inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.


Buffone died at his residence in Chicago, Illinois, on April 20, 2015, aged 70.[4]

Records and accomplishments

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Who's Who In Town Caught In Tangled Webio Deal". NBC Chicago. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  2. ^ "The New ClickStreamTV". Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  3. ^ "The Official Blog of Doug Buffone". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  4. ^ Chicago Tribune (20 April 2015). "Former Bear Doug Buffone found dead at home". Retrieved 20 April 2015.