Sports from the point view from the guy that holds the clipboard for the guy that holds the clipboard.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Doug Flutie's Hail Mary: 25 years later

Twenty Five years ago, after following the entire game and making it home to catch most of the 2nd half, the 9 year old me, missed one of the greatest plays in college football history.

In 1984 Boston had 2 things going for it sports wise Larry Bird and Doug Flutie.  It was the last time Boston truly cared about College Football.  Flutie was a local hero, Natick High, and a legit Heisman candidate.  And no one knew that he'd win that trophy on this day when BC lined up against rival Miami, and Flutie would play meet a fellow Heisman hopeful Bernie Kosar.  (really dumb people, like me, just realized that voting for the trophy was already closed before the game, so doug just made the voters look good.  Also did you know Flutie was the first QB to win the award since 1971?  Now it's given by default to the best QB.)

It was November, so my Dad and I had errands to run that day.  We wanted to watch the game, but we had a list to kill first.  So off we went, we get to Lechmere and the score was 7-7, we get to Filene's and the score was 14-14, by the time we made it to Sears it was 21-21 at the half.  Home we went.

The back and forth continued after we got home and Miami went up 45-41 with a minute left to play.  BC moves the ball down around mid field and due to the first down the clock stopped with those now magica 6 seconds left.  I told my dad that is was over and they would never be able to win.  He told me that they could and I should stick around and give them a chance.

I left the room.

He let me leave the room.

My Dad watched me walk out of that room, and off to another TV to watch cartoons or some dumb afternoon movie or some other dumb thing on TV that was not one of the greatest plays in college football history.

Not a minute later my Dad starts screaming and yelling and jumping up and down.  I thought he was faking it to get to me.  He screamed, "I'm not kidding!  We'll being seeing replays of this for the rest of our lives!"  I grudgingly came back into the room, to catch the replay, a replay I will see for the rest of my life.

He did it.  Doug Flutie threw the impossible Hail Mary that is now the cliche Hail Mary replay.

And I missed it.  Because my Dad let me leave the room.  He should have said, "Boy sit your butt down until the clock reads :00 and the ref says the game is over!"  But he did not.  My Dad is an asshole.

But like all good Dad's he was not an a-hole for fun, or randomly, his a-holery fell clearly in the bounds of tough love.

Flash forward to 2001, and the Snow Bowl . (That's the name, sorry Oakland fans, winners get to nickname games, not the losing teams.  Especially losing teams that play excellent Defense for the first 55 minutes of a game, but stop playing D for the last 5 minutes and OT.)   The infamous Raiders-Patriots playoff game, the last game at Foxborough Stadium.  So when the tuck play happened, it looked bad.   I got up, went to the bathroom and then sat my back back down because the game was not over.  And the game really was not over.  I watched Oakland's D just flat out give up.  Forget that play, Oakland gave up 3 points in 3 quarters and then gave up 13 points in 10 minutes.  That is why they lost

Flash Forward again to 2004, this time it's Game 4 of the ALCS, Yankees-Red Sox.  Now I had to work that night and was listening to the game in the car.  I got home just as the A-Rod slapping the ball play happened.  On the Radio the play was not as obvious as it was on TV and I thought he was safe and it was nearly game over.  So I got out of my car and ran upstairs to get in front of the TV.  Where I saw another, albeit minor, miracle happen.

So thanks Dad for being an A-hole that day 25 years ago, no I won't ever forgive or forget and he would not want me to.  But thank you for teaching a valuable lesson, The Game is not over until the refs say it's over!  I continually annoy my wife with this, and she actually likes sports.

To this day the words "Flutie flushed" reverberate through my mind.

1 comment:

Richard said...

I remember Lechmere, I remember Flutie and THAT PASS. I remember caring about college football then, and not caring now. I know that's shameful. I remember Flutie on SNL with Eddie Murphy as Desmond Tutu, and breaking Flutie's Heisman Trophy.