November 23, 1984 -
On a wing and prayer, Boston College showed it wasn't a fluke, but Flutie. That's Doug Flutie, who clinched the Heisman Trophy with one magnificent "Hail Mary" throw.
Trailing 45-41 with six seconds left and the ball on Miami's 48-yard line, Flutie called for "Flood Tip," Boston College's version of everybody go deep. The 5-foot-9¾ quarterback scrambled back and to his right, giving four receivers time to reach the end zone. From his own 37-yard line, he planted his left foot and let it fly, 64 yards in the air.
No tip was needed. The ball went over two Miami defenders and settled poetically into the waiting arms of Flutie's roommate, Gerard Phelan, a yard deep in the end zone. The touchdown gave the Eagles an incredible 47-45 victory over the defending national champions in Miami's Orange Bowl.
"I knew I could throw it that far, even against the wind," Flutie said. "I can throw 75 yards if I have to. Actually, I had to take a little off it to keep it in the end zone."
Earlier in the game, Flutie had become the first to pass for more than 10,000 yards in a major-college career. Until this game, no two college quarterbacks had surpassed 300 yards apiece in one game. Flutie finished with 472 yards, while Miami's Bernie Kosar threw for 447.
Odds 'n' Ends
Growing up in Baltimore an Orioles fan, Flutie's favorite pitcher was Jim Palmer, who wore number 22. That became Flutie's favorite jersey number.
Flutie's first love was basketball, and he made varsity as a sophomore at Natick (Mass.) High School. He was all-league in basketball and baseball as well as football.
He burst into the spotlight as a sophomore when, in the final minute against Braintree, he completed three passes and then kicked the game-winning 38-yard field goal -- the first attempt of his career -- with three seconds left.
Flutie met his future wife, Laurie Fortier, in high school and they were married in 1985. They have two children, Alexa (born March 21, 1988) and Doug Jr. (born Nov. 21, 1991).
Flutie took trumpet lessons in junior high school. In their first year of marriage, Laurie bought him a drum kit for Christmas.
With his brother Darren, a former Canadian Football League star wide receiver, on guitar, the Fluties formed a band called Catch This. They later renamed it the Flutie Brothers and recorded an album in Toronto in 1995. Flutie has since toured in the off-season.
Flutie has been invited to appear to play drums on stage with several rock 'n' roll bands, including the Dave Matthews Band, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
On Sept. 26, 1983, Flutie became the first Boston College athlete to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The title read, "Little Big Man."
While Flutie's 10,579 career passing yards have been surpassed as the NCAA Division I-A record, it remains the Boston College mark.
In Flutie's final three seasons, he took BC to three bowl games: Florida Citrus Bowl (lost 33-26 to Auburn), Liberty Bowl (lost 19-18 to Notre Dame) and Cotton Bowl (defeated Houston 45-28).
He earned degrees in computer science and speech communications at BC.
In 1985, Natick named one of its streets "Flutie Pass" after him.
In the late 1980s, Flutie played quarterback for a flag-football team in Massachusetts during the summer.
On Oct. 30, 1988 -- a year and 17 days after he was traded by the Bears to the Patriots for an eighth-round draft pick -- Flutie threw a career-best four touchdown passes against his former Chicago teammates in a 30-7 New England rout.
When Flutie joined the British Columbia Lions in 1990, his teammates included former New York Jets defensive end Mark Gastineau and former West Virginia quarterback Major Harris.
In the CFL's 1992 Western Division final, he led Calgary on a 73-yard drive with 1:13 remaining to defeat Edmonton, 23-22.
Flutie was the CFL's passing champion five times in his eight seasons and finished with 41,335 yards passing. He threw for 270 touchdowns. He also ran for 67 scores.
A decade after their "Hail Mary," Flutie and Phelan reenacted their play in a Boston ballroom where Flutie was honored by 1,000 people. Throwing over the low-hanging chandeliers, Flutie had to put the ball within a five-yard area from 50 yards. He did.
In 1998, Flutie introduced the cereal Flutie Flakes and had half the proceeds donated to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. By 2005, the charity had raised more than $7 million.
The cereal's success led to a spin-off, a "Flutie Flakes" candy bar.
In the Chargers' 2001 season finale, Flutie set NFL personal bests in completions (34), attempts (53) and passing yards (377) in San Diego's 25-22 loss to Seattle.
Flutie had four 300-yard passing games in 2001.
He has skated in practice with the Boston Bruins and taken batting practice with the Red Sox.
On April 14, 2005 at Fenway Park, Flutie -- a huge Red Sox fan -- snared a ball for the fourth straight game he attended. Three were in Boston (one was a homer atop the Green Monster) and one was at Anaheim.
On New Year's Day 2006, Flutie - in his final game - became the first NFL player to score on a drop kick since Ray "Scooter" McLean on Dec. 21, 1941 when he converted the extra point after a Patriots touchdown.
In his 21 seasons in pro football (12 NFL, eight CFL and one USFL), Flutie threw for 58,178 yards and 369 touchdowns.
In 2007, Flutie was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.