Skip to comments.Doug Flutie Retires After 21 Seasons
Posted on 05/15/2006 10:40:54 AM PDT by 300magnum
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Doug Flutie retired Monday, ending a 21-year career in which the undersized Heisman Trophy winner threw one of college football's most famous passes and went on to play a dozen seasons in the NFL.
The decision by the 43-year-old Flutie was announced by the New England Patriots, for whom he played five games last season.
Flutie spent 12 seasons in the NFL and also played in the USFL and the Canadian Football League. He won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player award six times and the league's Grey Cup championship three times.
Flutie finishes with 14,715 passing yards and 86 touchdowns in the NFL, spending most of his time as a backup. Last season, he attempted just 10 passes and converted the league's first drop kick for an extra point since the 1941 NFL title game.
"If that ends up being my last play, it wouldn't be bad," Flutie said after the game, a mostly meaningless regular season-ending loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Flutie said this month he had spoken to many teams, as well as to networks about broadcasting.
"I still have that passion but you've got to make that decision if you can stay healthy through the year," he said at an appearance at a Boston high school, where he demonstrated drop kicks.
A resident of nearby Natick, Flutie won the 1984 Heisman Trophy at Boston College after connecting with Gerard Phelan on a desperation 48-yard touchdown pass to beat Miami as time expired. His signature play, it remains one of the most memorable in the sport.
Flutie left BC as the school's passing leader with 10,579 yards, and he remains a hero on campus; his Heisman is the centerpiece of the school's new Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round in 1985 but chose to play for the USFL's New Jersey Generals, owned by Donald Trump.
When that league failed, he joined the NFL, but his freewheeling style and short stature the Patriots generously listed him at 5-foot-10 were a poor fit for its conservative schemes. He played five games for Chicago the next two seasons and 17 for New England from 1987-89.
Only in the CFL, with its wide-open game, did he truly find success, throwing for 41,355 yards and 270 touchdowns in eight seasons with British Columbia, Calgary and Toronto.
He joined Buffalo in 1998 and played more regularly 39 games over three years. He started all 16 games for San Diego in 2001 then spent the next three years as backup to Drew Brees.
Last April, he signed with the hometown Patriots for a second time and played sparingly, making his biggest splash on special teams with his drop kick.
"I think Doug deserves it," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, sensing that the play would be Flutie's football finale. "He is a guy that adds a lot to this game of football, has added a lot through his great career running, passing and now kicking."
You 'da man! Flutie Flakes Ping.
That's allot of football!
He always seemed to be a very classy guy...
Doug was a classy player. Hope he enjoys retirement.
He's too short to retire.
Flutie spent half his Canadian career playing for my hometown Calgary Stampeders. He was awesome and his style was perfect for this league.
He played his first two seasons in the CFL with the B.C. Lions, with his brother Darren a receiver on the same team. I wish Darren had come to the Stampeders, too. The two of them together was scary; it almost seemed as if they were connected to each other psychically. Doug'd run around and around in the backfield then, just before being sacked (you can't run around for three minutes!) he'd just fire off the ball and Darren would always be there to catch it, as if they were playing in their back yard as kids.
tutti frutti Doug Flutie...
good luck to him.he played like a giant.
Us short Lebanese don't have anyone else to root for in the NFL! He represented us so well! However, he also showed that no matter how good you are, and how much heart you have, you do need to have a minimal height to make it big in the NFL. Whenever I see the movie "Rudy", I think of Flutie. God bless him and his family.
Little People of America (LPA) is a nonprofit organization that provides support and information to people of short stature and their families.
Now he'll have more time to travel around campaigning for her heinous.
Indeed. I have a good friend who played in Canada with Flutie, and said he was just a great guy. Class and modesty.
ah yes gushing over another Clinton Dem.
I got the same pleasure watching him scramble around and making a big play as I did watching Mugsy Bogues slam dunk in the NBA. Doug is also a very classy guy. I hope he gets a contract broadcasting. It would be nice if he could stay attached to the game.
His level of political sense is pathetic.
But as a football player, his instincts and scrambling ability have been off the charts. The Bears would have done well to keep him.
Sorry, I wasn't aware of his politics.
Yeah, but he went 0-4 against my West Virginia Mountaineers.
"But as a football player, his instincts and scrambling ability have been off the charts. The Bears would have done well to keep him."
As I recall, his biggest problem with the Bears was the lack of support from his teammates. They resented him coming in at the end of the '86 season. The offensive line always gave 110% for McMahon, but fell off signficantly with Tomczak and especially Flutie...
i have to disagree. He didn't get a chance with Chicago to embarass Ditka, and he played pretty well at New England right after he left there, compiling a winning record there as a starter. The CFL was good for him, but he could have gotten seasoning in the NFL as well imo. Although I'll admit I'm out of my depth arguing CFL with a Yooper!
Did you hear about Tom (Iron Mountain)Izzo naming his son after Mateen Cleaves? Pretty awesome imo.
Yeah, McMahon was constantly using his awesome charisma to undermine the other QBs, especially T-Zack and Flutie.
I heard that it really wasn't so much a 'retirement' as it was that Flutie was traded for some slightly-used sports equipment.
What's really pathetic about this is that I woulda sworn this guy had retired ten years ago.
He endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2000, at which point I basically wrote him off.
Flutie was always too small to play in the NFL (even in the mid-1980s a QB under 6'2" was considered "smallish," and a 5'9" QB was considered "tiny"), which was why the Bears got so much grief for drafting him.
In his stint with the Bears, his biggest problem was poor decision-making. He wasn't ready for the NFL. He scrambled around and then threw interceptions. McMahon scrambled around - and threw touchdowns.
After seasoning in Canada, when Flutie returned to the NFL he was a much better, smarter, savvier and more mature athlete. He was a pleasure to watch when he played for the Bills.
This might interest you from the Bears History Channel:
It has been well documented in several books on the subject that the off-field distractions played a part in the demise of a potential dynasty. Players envied others that received more attention (and money); even player's wives became competitive with each other. In a 2004 documentary, then General Manager Jerry Vainisi said he was very concerned about the team focusing too much on off-the-field issues, but with the Head Coach doing more endorsements than anyone, there wasn't much that could be done. In the same documentary, Ditka said "if you think I wasn't going to enjoy the fruits of my labor, you're crazy."
Then there was the trade for quarterback Doug Flutie, the mother of all distractions. Ditka and Vanisi engineered the trade for the diminutive signal-caller, reportedly against the advice of President Michael McCaskey and personnel boss Bill Tobin. Ditka and Vainisi felt they had to shore up the quarterback situation with McMahon's recurring injuries, so they traded '87 draft picks for the 1984 Heisman Trophy winner from Boston College.
The trade for Flutie did nothing but inflame the team, which felt to a man that Tomczak and Steve Fuller were capable of carrying the Bears to another Super Bowl.
I am not a football fan, but when Doug played for Buffalo, he just brought that team together and provided enthusiasm and excitement that I hadn't seen before or since. He was a leader who brought the team together.
The Bears won the '85 Super Bowl while rife with dissension. I remember Flutie on offense. I wanted to love him. He just didn't git r dun.
That is interesting! I don't disagree, but he still was just a rookie and QBs take time to develop. McMahon's yapping about "America's favorite dwarf" like so much of what (I think over-rated) McMahon said and did, was highly unprofessional, although on the field i must admit he did "git'r dun."
Votes and supports Democrats. F'im!
New England fans will never forget when he filled in during the strike season wining 75% of his games, coach Ray Berry benched him in favor of 'Champagne' Tony Eason who stunk the joint out to just miss the playoffs.
He was fun and he was tough, but given the defense that team had the fact they won only one Super Bowl is quite simply terrible. When T-Zack got his chance, he did just as well and in fact was a better runner than McMahon. he was good, but as far as wins you have to take into consideration the fact that the Bears were the most talented team that year, maybe of any year. It wasn't just the defense-- they were loaded at every offensive position, too.
Was that the Hail Mary pass?
Hillary Supporter - PUKE!
Drop kick extra point - Awesome!
Yeah.. My most most striking image of him is striding out of the fog after the Fog Bowl. Phildelphia was such an exciting team that year, and it looked like Randall and Buddy Ryan would finally take the Bears out. Randall threw for about a billion yards, but McMahon didn't make any mistakes and took the Bears to a win in the most surreal game I've ever seen.
That pass saved me from being in a 60 car pile-up.
I lived in Syracuse & was leaving had to do some Christmas shopping. One section of the interstate was frozen solid. Had I not run back into the house to watch the end of the game I would have been smack in the middle of it.
In fairness to Flutie, Chicago is a rough place to be a QB. The Bears have had only a handful of really great quarterbacks in their long history. And McMahon was utterly wild and uncontrollable - Ditka didn't call him "Mad Mac" for nothing.
"He even took on Roselle with his headband endorsements."
Don't forget "PLUTO"!
Tomczak was so incredibly inconsistent. When he was on, he was truly superb. I recall the first game of the '87 season against the Giants, he was brilliant. But unfortunately that was the exception. I always liked him. He was a walk-on after his OSU career, not exactly a QB factory.
Very true,especially passing wise, but he did have very good running ability.
How can anyone not like a walk-on?:)
I jumped off his band wagon when he campaigned for Hillary when he was with the Buffalo Bills.