You Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone Article

After 21 seasons in professional football, Doug Flutie is hanging up his cleats and calling it a career. Despite making one of the most famous plays in college football history with a last second Hail Mary pass to beat Bernie Kosar's Miami Hurricanes, the 5'10' ' quarterback has never received the admiration he deserves.

Doug Flutie has been disrespected since the start of his career. Whether he is being labeled too short or too much of a scrambler, Flutie has gone above and beyond the call of proving his doubters wrong.

With a Heisman trophy, a Pro Bowl appearance, a half-dozen CFL Most Outstanding Player awards, countless other Canadian Football League honors, and an extremely underrated NFL career under his belt, maybe it's time that the former 11th round pick gets the respect that he deserves.

Flutie has played in three different professional football leagues and has made an impact on all of them. His first professional league, the USFL, folded after his first season. After his one season with the USFL, Flutie made his way into the NFL in 1986 with the Chicago Bears. In 1987, in a strike-riddled NFL, Flutie signed with the New England Patriots and was labeled a scab for participating during a hold out. In 1990, Flutie entered the league where he would become most famous and have the best days of his career, the CFL. It was in the CFL that Flutie gained notoriety for being a passing threat.

Flutie threw for 41,355 yards and 270 touchdowns during his eight seasons in the CFL. He holds the record for four of the CFL's top five highest single season completion marks and threw for a CFL record 48 touchdowns in 1994.

In 1998, Flutie returned to the NFL and earned the Comeback Player of the Year honors with the Buffalo Bills. That same season he made his first trip to the NFL's Pro Bowl in Hawaii. In 1999, Flutie led the Bills to a 10-5 record and a playoff berth. However, during the playoffs, Wade Phillips made the questionable decision to start Rob Johnson against the Tennessee Titans in a game that would go on to be known as the Music City Miracle. The Bills lost 22-16 on a last second, mind-boggling, 75-yard kickoff return by Kevin Dyson.

In 2001, Flutie signed with the San Diego Chargers. In San Diego, he never recaptured the glory of his days in the CFL or the greatness of his first couple of seasons with the Bills, but he was always fun to watch. After a few lack-luster seasons, Flutie was released from the Chargers in 2005 at age 42.

After leaving San Diego, Flutie yet again signed with the New England Patriots. Even though he went on to play only one season for the Pats, Flutie accomplished something that had not been done in the NFL for 65 years. During the Patriots' final regular season game against the Miami Dolphins, Doug Flutie drop-kicked an extra point. No player has drop-kicked an extra point since 1941.

Football God John Madden even went as far as to say, "Inch for inch, Flutie in his prime was the best QB of his generation."

Neither back when he was an amazing player standing behind a center about to score his team 6 points nor now retired and sitting on the first base line at Fenway Park taking in a Red Sox game, will Flutie get the respect and admiration he deserves for a career most professional athletes can only dream.

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