Quick Take

    One of my poker friends (She’s Jessie Deriso of Dallas, now a Las Vegas resident) told me the following:

    Pete and Sam were best friends for many years, and avid baseball fans. They made a pact that when one dies, the other would contact the survivor to let him know if there’s baseball up there. When Pete passed away, he contacted Sam. He told Sam he had good news and bad news. "What’s the good news?" asked Sam. "The good news is that there are great ballparks up here, and there are baseball games 24/7. It’s fantastic!" stated Pete to his friend. "So what’s the bad news?" asked Sam. Pete then told his buddy, "The bad news is you’re pitching Friday."

Story of the Week


    It was November 23, 1984. The game was a perfect Thanksgiving weekend match-up. The University of Miami Hurricanes, led by quarterback Bernie Kosar, versus Doug Flutie’s Boston College Eagles. Boston College came into the game with a record of 7-2, its most successful season since 1942. Miami, the defending national champions, held a record of 8-3.

    Despite wet and windy conditions at Miami’s Orange Bowl, with star passers on both teams, the game was an aerial show. The lead changed hands several times, with Boston College taking a three-point advantage into the final minutes. But just 28 seconds away from a Boston College victory, Kosar led Miami to the end zone, and a 45-41 lead. It wasn’t over yet.

    Boston College received the ball, and Flutie managed to move his team 32 yards in three plays. Six seconds remained on the clock. Boston College had the ball on the Miami 48-yard line. Flutie called for all of his receivers to converge in the end zone at the same time. It was "Hail Mary" time.

    Flutie took the snap, and was quickly chased out of the pocket to his right. This gave his receivers the needed time to get to the end zone. Flutie’s pass traveled 64 yards, a remarkably long distance, especially into the wind and the rain. Gerard Phelan, Boston College’s ace receiver, went up for the ball. He pulled the ball in, and fell to the end zone turf.

    There was a part of this play that should not be overlooked. Phelan had streaked by Miami’s defensive back, Darrell Fullington, en route to the end zone. Fullington had caught up with Phelan in the end zone, but mistimed his jump for the ball, and on the way up was bumped by one of his own teammates. The ball passed right through their outstretched arms before Phelan grabbed it.

    Boston College had upset the mighty University of Miami, 47-45. The diminutive Flutie had engineered one of the most exciting and dramatic finishes to any college football game in history. Doug Flutie would go on to win the Heisman Trophy, and play in the Canadian Football League and the NFL. What Flutie has lacked in size, he’s made up in heart during his entire football career, and has always been a winner.

Last Week’s Trivia

    This Hall-of-Famer hit a home run in his very first big-league at-bat, but never hit another one for the rest of his 21-year career. Pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm’s only career homer, in 1952 as a New York Giant, was clearly an aberration.

Trivia Question of the Week

    What MLB pitcher who retired in 1975 won 25 or more games during a season three times, and 20 or more games during a season six times, and yet never won the Cy Young Award? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.