By Mitch Rosen–
(CBS) Today marks the one-year anniversary since our beloved friend and very own Doug Buffone passed away.
I will never forget the day, the hour, minute, when I learned Doug was gone. It was about 12:40 p.m. on April 20, 2015, when Doug’s lovely wife, Dana (who works in sales at The Score), came running by my office yelling, “Mitch, Doug is sick, Doug is sick, he is not moving.” Dana jumped into a cab and rushed home to her home near the UIC campus. I was about 10 minutes behind in driving over.
I had positive thoughts on the way over — “I’m sure he passed out, I’m sure he will be OK, I’m worried about Dana.” As I turned down the block of Doug’s house, I saw two Chicago police cars sitting outside. This is when my heart starting beating harder, and my optimistic thoughts turned into a sinking feeling that something was really wrong.
When I got out of my car the police asked who I was, I explained I was a friend. Before I got to the front door, Dana came out running and yelling, “Mitch, Doug is dead, Doug is dead.” I will never forgot those words, some of the hardest words I ever heard.
One of the hardest calls I have ever had to make was calling Doug’s best friend and longtime on-air partner, Ed O’Bradovich, who was in shock and kept yelling expletives into the phone. OB was in disbelief, and I could hear him crying. Hearing a tough, man’s man cry is a horrific feeling.
Doug and I had worked together for 11 years, and Dana had become a close friend. I starting thinking about Doug’s kids, his relatives, his former teammates and of course his fans. Doug Buffone was iconic in Chicago both as a great Chicago Bear and also as someone whom fans trusted and loved on the radio. Doug was the voice of Chicago Bears fans.
The next four days, including the funeral, are a blurry memory now, but more than anything I want to share how much people miss good ole No. 55!
Doug was a great human being who everyone loved when they met him. After playing football for so many years, Doug became the voice of the Chicago Bear fans. He was the co-host of our Bears postgame show on The Score, and it was can’t-miss radio.
Doug spoke the truth and win or lose, he gave his opinions on the team. Fans in Chicago miss Doug every day, The Score misses him, his family misses him and I miss talking to him. He was the kind of guy who everyone loved, and he loved so many people.
It’s so hard to believe today will be a year that he’s gone. I can’t say it has flown by, because it really hasn’t. It’s been a long, hard year for a lot of people who loved and admired him.
So today around 1 p.m., close your eyes and think of No. 55 and remember how much he meant to you and so many people. Feel free to yell out loud “Damn it OB!” if you’d like.
God bless you Doug. We still miss you every day.
Mitch Rosen is the operations director of 670 The Score and a longtime friend of Doug Buffone.