CHICAGO – Remembered for his play on the field and his commentary off it, Doug Buffone was one of the more recognizable alumni of the Chicago Bears over the past generation.
Those who enjoyed that work are in mourning today after the former Bears linebacker was found dead in his home, according a report in the Chicago Tribune. Buffone was 70 year old.
At 5:30 P.M. the Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey released this statement on the death of Buffone:
“We are terribly saddened to hear of Doug’s passing. He will always be celebrated as one of the Bears greats for his contributions to his team and the fans who loved him. There was no one tougher on Sundays than Doug Buffone. And he proved it each week over his 14-year career, a tenure record he shared with another great, Bill George, for 33 seasons. His retirement ended a link to our founder as he was the last active player to play for George Halas.
“His special relationship with Bears fans continued beyond his playing days, first through founding the Bear Report and later as one of the pioneers and long-time contributors to Chicago’s first sports radio station, WSCR. 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 cared. Doug’s passion for the game of football and the Chicago Bears was unmatched and he will be missed. Our prayers go out to his wife, Dana, and his children.”
Reactions have been pouring in from a number of people who knew Buffone including a number of former Bears players on Twitter.
— Brian Urlacher (@BUrlacher54) April 20, 2015
— Lance Briggs (@LanceBriggs) April 20, 2015
A fourth-round draft pick by the team in 1966, Buffone played all 14 years with the Bears during the team’s transition from Wrigley Field to Soldier Field.
Buffone started 113 of his 186 games with the team and intercepted 24 passes. He helped lead the Bears to the playoffs in 1977 and 1979.
In his later years Buffone was known for his commentary on 670 The Score radio before and after Chicago Bears games. His passionate commentary on the team made the shows he hosted with former Bears Ed O’Bradovich. An example of such a rant is below.
The station posted this on their Instagram page on Monday afternoon.