(CBS) Legendary Chicago Bear and 670 The Score Bears postgame co-host Doug Buffone has died at 70.
Buffone was pronounced dead on the scene Monday afternoon after paramedics were called to his home, the Tribune reported.
Buffone’s 14 seasons in Chicago are the second-most in franchise history. His 186 career games are the third-most in franchise history. He retired in 1980.
“We are terribly saddened to hear of Doug’s passing,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said in a statement. “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.”
In recent years, Buffone was a fan favorite for his Bears postgame shows with Ed O’Bradovich. Buffone was renowned for his raw emotion after games, and no one displayed more passion for Bears football than he did.
As animated as he was on air, Buffone was just as sincere off the air.
“His was a life really well lived,” 670 The Score co-host Dan Bernstein said.
“He understood how important it was to go out of your way to appreciate your family and the good things that you have.
“There were a lot of guys in football who were bitter … about what they had to sacrifice.
“That bitterness never, ever was there with Doug ever … He always, always meant it when he said how thankful and appreciative he was of everything he had in his life.”
Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, who played alongside Buffone on the Bears from 1966-’73, released a statement on the passing of Buffone.
“We lost a great man in Doug Buffone,” Butkus said. “I had the pleasure of being his teammate and friend for 50 years. I will always remember him for his football talent, sense of humor and enduring friendship. He was a very special guy.”