Friday, March 4, 2016

RIP Rudy Bukich

Former Chicago Bears QB Rudy Bukich, 85, dies

Chicago Tribune
By Brad Biggs
March 1, 2016

Former Bears quarterback Rudy "the Rifle" Bukich, a member of the team's 1963 championship team and an All-Pro in 1965, died Monday at 85.

A second-round draft pick of the Rams out of Southern Cal in 1953, Bukich had a 14-year career in the NFL and two stints with the Bears while also playing for the Redskins and Steelers.

Bukich played for the Bears in 1958-59 and from 1962-68. He served as Bill Wade's backup in 1963 and was second in the NFL in passing in '65. Bukich is the last Bear to post a passer rating of 100 or better in four consecutive games in a single season (1964). He led USC to a victory over Wisconsin in the 1953 Rose Bowl and was regarded for having one of the strongest arms in the league during his career.

Bukich was a favorite of teammates and tight end Mike Ditka once incensed coach George Halas when he stated publicly that he preferred Bukich to Wade. Bukich threw 20 touchdown passes in 1965 with only nine interceptions for the 9-5 Bears.

His career was shortened by two years when he served in the military from in 1954-55. Bukich retired in California and was a real estate developer.

BUKICH, Rudy (Rudolph Andrew Bukich)
Born: 9/15/1930, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
Died: 2/29/2016, San Diego, California, U.S.A.

Rudy Bukich’s western – actor:
The Big Valley (TV) – 1966 (barkeep)

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