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Doug Buffone

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Title: Doug Buffone  
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Subject: National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, Phil Villapiano, Gene Brito, Ed Abbaticchio, Franco Columbu
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Doug Buffone

Doug Buffone
Date of birth: (1944-06-27) June 27, 1944
Place of birth: Yatesboro, Pennsylvania
Career information
Position(s): Linebacker
College: Louisville
NFL Draft: 1966 / Round: 4 / Pick: 60
As player:
1966–1979 Chicago Bears
Career stats
Playing stats at

Douglas John Buffone (born June 27, 1944 in Yatesboro, Pennsylvania) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. 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

Buffone played linebacker and Center (American football) 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 George Halas.

Post football career

Buffone and his family currently reside in Chicago, where he remains 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 the ArenaBowl II, 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 currently co-hosts "Chicago NFL Live" on "The Score" WSCR 670 AM, as well as Bears postgame with Ed O'Bradovich, and recently completed 14 seasons of The Doug Buffone Show on Fox Sports Net Chicago. Other shows Buffone was involved in producing included 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) as well as other hosts.

In May 2009, Buffone and his long-time 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 is 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. Buffone's company Digital One is the creator of ClickStreamTV, an online video platform product that was designed for small to medium sized businesses.[2] Also, Buffone now has a blog on his website where he posts his opinions on sports.[3]

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

Records and accomplishments

  • Played 186 games as a Bear, the third most among Bears.
  • Had a career-high 158 tackles in 1972
  • Had 11 solo tackles vs. New Orleans (10/6/74)
  • Holds the Bears record for most career interceptions at linebacker (24)
  • Holds the Bears record for most sacks in a season (18 in 1968)
  • Was voted into the Louisville Hall of Fame with Johnny Unitas in 1979
  • It's in the genes: Doug was not the only Buffone to excel at the game of football, as his first cousin-once removed, Tim Buffone (also a Shannock Valley H.S. alumnus), was a 1998-2001 standout all-star at the NCAA Division II perennial powerhouse Indiana University of Pennsylvania.[4] To that end, he was awarded the Dan Thompson Memorial Award (Most Inspirational Player) [5] a record three times. After college, Tim also went on to play for 3 seasons with the Ohio Valley Greyhounds NIFL where he was voted to the Atlantic Eastern Division all-star (first team defense squad) as well.

Notes and references

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