Chicago Bears look back: Doug Buffone

The take a look back at the “other” Bears linebacker from the 60s and 70s, Doug Buffone

Who is the first Chicago Bears linebacker people think of when you mention the 1960s and 1970s? The legendary Dick Butkus, of course. And rightly so, because he was one of the most dominant and intimidating figures in the history of the league. However, another linebacker arrived in Chicago the year after Butkus and was a mainstay on Bears defense for 14 seasons: University of Louisville star Doug Buffone.

Arrival in Chicago

Buffone arrived as a 4th Round Pick in the 1966 NFL Draft. The 6’3″, 230 pounder was installed at LOLB and stayed there for the duration of his career. Along with Butkus, they formed a formidable tandem of linebackers for the Bears until Butkus’ retirement following the 1973 season.

On-field performance and retirement

While not the superstar that Butkus was, Buffone was a solid linebacker for 14 seasons with the Bears. He finished his career with 9 fumble recoveries and 24 interceptions. Although not an official statistic until 1982, he was also credited with 15 sacks. He had a career high 158 tackles in 1972. At the time of his retirement following the 1979 season, Buffone had played more games (186) than any other Chicago Bears player, a record that was later eclipsed by Steve McMichael (191) and then Patrick Mannelly (245). He was also the last active player to have played under George Halas as a coach and received quite the send off in his last game.

Doug Buffone’s post-retirement years, legacy, and death

Buffone stayed in the public eye following his retirement as a Chicago sports broadcaster. He hosted or co-hosted shows for WSCR 670 AM and was also a producer on other ones such as The Neal Anderson Show and The Mike Ditka Show. As an entrepreneur, he was part owner of several Chicago-based businesses including Gibson’s Steak House. Buffone passed away at his residence on April 20, 2015 at the age of 70.

While he may not have been the splashy name of Chicago Bears linebackers, Doug Buffone was a solid player for a long time in the Windy City, as well as being a successful broadcaster and businessman.

For More Great Chicago Sports Content

Follow us on Twitter at @chicitysports23 for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Chicago sports news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.