The Last To Play For Papa Bear: Doug Buffone
I remember the first three sportscards I ever owned. An older neighbor girl knocked on our front door and I opened it and she ask if I “wanted these cards.” I said “sure, thank you.” Even at a young age I was aware that she went out of her way to walk down the block just to give me 3 lousy football cards. One of those cards was a 1970 card of Doug Buffone. I couldn’t read in those days but I hung on to those bent up cards and they still grace my collection today.
With the passing of Doug Buffone in April, 2015, I was reminded of that first card and thought he would made a nice RetroCard feature. He is notable for his games played as a Bear, and was the last active player to have played for Papa Bear, George Halas. Though he was not an All-Pro or even a Pro Bowl player, he was as steady as they come; retiring in 1980 after 15 seasons as the franchises leader in games played. He out lasted several other notable Bear linebackers to amass over 1,200 tackles during his career. Here are some of his highlights:
· 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
· National Italian American Sports Hall Of Fame member since 1992
· First interceptions were against Hall Of Famers Bart Starr and John Unitas
He remained in Chicago after his playing career and went into broadcasting where he continued to serve Chicago by doing TV and radio for several local teams as well hosting The Doug Buffone Show on Fox Sports Net. RetroCards pays tribute to this under-rated player with a set of cards filling in his missing years.