By Doug Halberstadt
He was the last active member of the Chicago Bears to play for Papa Bear George Halas. When he retired in 1980, he was the all-time leader in games played for the legendary organization. He played 15 seasons at linebacker and wore the jersey No. 55. Along with his teammate and Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, they were two of the most feared linebackers in the league. He is Doug Buffone.
In his professional career, Buffone gathered more than 1,200 tackles, going over the 100-tackle mark in seven seasons, including a career high 158 in 1972. He was the Bears’ defensive captain for eight seasons. When Buffone retired, he had amassed 24 career interceptions to lead all Bears linebackers.
Buffone will be in Rockford for a fund-raiser dinner to benefit the Sons of Italy Saturday, April 17. The event takes place at the St. Ambrogio Club at 902 Montague St.. Complimentary Hors’doeuvres will be offered from 4:30 to 6 p.m. A pasta dinner will begin at 6 p.m.
Buffone will talk about his Italian heritage and what it means to him, as well as his football career and the future of football in Chicago. He will also be available for photos and questions.
This will be an intimate gathering; only a limited number of tickets will be sold. They are $55 per person and can be purchased by calling Ben Todaro at (815) 282-7544.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the March 17-23, 2010 issue