Quick Takes


    The Chargers should thank their lucky stars that Eli Manning didn’t want to play for them in 2004. San Diego has Philip Rivers, Shawne Merriman and Nick Kaeding to show for Manning. Rivers is the #7-rated QB in the NFL at 94.5, Merriman is a superior LB, and Kaeding is an excellent K. And Eli is a gross disappointment at #23 and 76.0 this season. San Diego’s General Manager A. J. Smith knows what he’s doing.


    Now for two GM’s who don’t!  Every year, I ask the same question…………How do Matt Millen and Isiah Thomas keep their jobs?  Millen’s Detroit Lions are 2-9 and Thomas’ New York Knicks are 6-11 this season. The Lions are done this year, but the Knicks have a long season left, not that it will matter. So how do they keep their jobs?


    The O. J. Simpson book and Fox interviews were scrapped. Rupert Murdoch canceled the whole thing. "I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project," said Murdoch, whose News Corp. owns both Fox Broadcasting and publisher HarperCollins. "We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."
    Rupert Murdoch should have thought about the pain this would cause these families before he did it.


    Denise Brown, Nicole’s sister, was a guest on Larry King’s show this week. She and her attorney are concerned about Simpson’s book selling somewhere, like on-line. And Denise drove home the point about O. J. being the sicko he must be to continue to cause the Brown and Goldman families this misery. And, as she stated, how does he possibly explain such a book about how he “would have” killed their mother to his children?!

    Great idea for a book: “How I Would Kill O. J. Simpson” by Charles Manson. And after he writes it………………


Story of the Week



    The diminutive Doug Flutie first captured the nation's imagination during his senior season in a nationally televised 1984 game against the University of Miami. With Miami completing a dramatic drive to take the lead, 45-41, in the closing minute of the game, Flutie and Boston College had possession at their 20-yard line with 28 seconds to go. After two quick plays, six seconds remained on the clock. In the last play of the game, Flutie completed a desperation “hail mary” caught by Gerard Phelan in the end zone, giving Boston College the win.

    In his senior campaign, Flutie threw for a Boston College record 3454 yards and 27 touchdowns, including 'The Pass.' His performance that season captured Flutie the celebrated Heisman Trophy. Over his four-year college career, Flutie totaled 11,318 total yards of offense, and became the NCAA's all-time leader, surpassing Jim McMahon's record.


    Doug Flutie started his professional football career in the United States Football League (USFL) with the New Jersey Generals in 1985. After the USFL folded, Flutie signed with the NFL's Chicago Bears in 1986, starting one game. He signed with the New England Patriots for a three year stint in 1987. In his best season in Foxboro, 1988, Flutie threw for 1150 yards in nine starts.

    After the 1989 season came to a close, Flutie went north of the border to the CFL for an eight-year career that ranks as perhaps the greatest quarterback career in Canadian football history.

    In 1990 Flutie signed with the British Columbia Lions as the highest paid CFL player in the league.  He earned his first of six Most Outstanding Player Awards following the 1991 season. Flutie won his first Grey Cup in 1992 with Calgary. He would go on to win two more Grey Cups with the Toronto Argonauts before returning to the National Football League in 1998.

    Doug Flutie became the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback in 1998 after the team started 1-3. In his first start, he passed for 2 TDs and led a 4th quarter comeback against Indianapolis on October 11. The following week Flutie scored the winning touchdown against Jacksonville as the clock ran out. The Bills' success continued as the team compiled an 8-3 record with Flutie at the helm. Despite being eliminated in the first round by the Dolphins, Flutie was selected to play in the 1998 Pro Bowl.

    Flutie threw for 3171 yards and 19 TDS in 1999, leading the Bills to a 10-5 record. However, most of his season was overshadowed by a controversial decision to rest Flutie for the final game in favor of replacement Rob Johnson. To the chagrin of Buffalo fans everywhere, the Flutie-less team lost 22-16.


    In 2000, Flutie was named the Bills backup, and appeared in only 11 games, starting five. However, Flutie once again had his chance to shine. After a sub-par start to the season, Rob Johnson was injured against San Diego in overtime. Once again, Flutie was called on to make magic. Engineering a drive downfield, Flutie set up the team for the game winning field goal. After losing three of their first five, the Bills now stood at 3-3. The Bills won three of the next four with Flutie in the lead, losing only to Minnesota, undefeated at the time. Despite his success, Flutie was once again relegated to backup as soon as Johnson returned from injury. In his final game in Buffalo, Flutie completed 20 of 25 passes, for 366 yards, and three TDs.

    In 2001, Flutie moved west and signed with the San Diego Chargers, who were coming off a disheartening 1-15 season. San Diego would finish 5-11, but Flutie threw for an NFL career high 3464 yards.

    Flutie was Drew Brees' backup in 2002, attempting only 11 passes. In 2003, Flutie replaced a struggling Brees when the Chargers were 1-7. The 41 year-old became the fifth oldest QB to start a NFL game. Flutie also scored two rushing touchdowns in a game, the first player over 40 to accomplish that feat. He also became the oldest AFC Offensive Player of the Week, winning the award for the fourth time. Flutie's record as starter that year was 2-3, as he once again passed for over 1000 yards with 1097.


    Doug was Brees’ backup in 2004 in San Diego, and Tom Brady’s backup in 2005 in New England. During those two seasons, he played in only seven games, starting just one. He attempted just 48 passes those two seasons. Flutie then retired from pro football, a true legend of the game, one of its most respected players, and one of my all-time favorites.


Last Week’s Trivia


    The inaugural season for the Cy Young Memorial Award was 1956, given to the outstanding pitcher in MLB. In the beginning, the NL and AL shared that award, and did so until 1967. Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers won baseball’s Cy Young and the National League MVP in 1956.


Trivia Question of the Week


          Before this great power forward became a starter and eventual Hall-of-Famer, he won the NBA’s Sixth Man Award…………not once but twice. Who is this NBA star? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.