Currently (2005) employed as a backup (American) football quarterback by the San Diego Chargers. His younger brother Darren, now retited, played slotback for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger Cats and is the CFL's all-time reception leader.

Doug won the Heisman Trophy with Boston College in 1984. At the end of the 1984 season at the Orange Bowl1, Doug completed a 47-45 upset victory over the Miami Hurricanes when he threw a hail Mary on the last play of the game. "The Pass" was caught as time expired, giving the Boston College Eagles the win.

Doug started in professional football in 1985 with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals. Doug played one season with the Generals before the USFL folded in 1986.

Doug moved to the NFL in 1986 with the Chicago Bears, who had obtained his rights from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for draft picks and a bag of practice footballs. He played a bit with Chicago before being traded in 1987 to the New England Patriots (again for draft picks and footballs). He played with the Patriots in 1988, going 6-3 and in 1989, going 1-2. The Patriots gave up on Doug after the 1989 season, thinking him too small for the NFL (he's 5'9").

In 1990 Doug came to Canada. He joined the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League, playing in all 16 Lions games. The following year, 1991, was Doug's breakout year, with 730 pass attempts, 466 completions and 6,619 yards. The first of his Most Outstanding Player awards came that year.

The following year, Doug moved to the CFL's Calgary Stampeders, leading the Stamps to a Grey Cup victory. Another Most Outstanding Player award followed. He had two more stellar years in 1993 and 1994 - no Grey Cup, but another two Most Outstanding Player awards. In 1995 Doug suffered ligament damage in an elbow and missed seven games. He returned to the team late in the season and they went to the Grey Cup finals, but lost to the Baltimore Stallions2.

In 1996 Doug joined the CFL's Toronto Argonauts, taking that formerly sad-sack team to the 1996 Grey Cup. He repeated the feat with the Argos in 1997, winning the Most Outstanding Player honours again in both seasons.

In all, Doug played eight seasons in the CFL, from 1990 to 1997.

  • Grey Cup wins: 3 - 1992, 1996, 1997
  • Grey Cup MVP: 3 times - 1992, 1996, 1997
  • CFL Most Outstanding Player awards: 6 - 1991-94, 1996-97

In 1998, Doug returned to the NFL. He joined the AFC's Buffalo Bills as a backup to the talented but fragile Rob Johnson. Still the NFL pundits doubted him because of his size, and saw Flutie's signing as a sop to the legions of Ontario NFL fans who watched the Bills each week. However, Doug stepped in for Johnson in game one of the season, when Johnson left the game with a concussion. Doug took over for good in game 5, after Johnson went down with a rib injury. Doug then started games 6 though 15, going 11-1 on the season. Doug and the Bills lost their Wild Card game that year to the Miami Dolphins.

Doug then led the Bills in the 1999 campaign, taking them to a playoff berth once again. Still, the specter of Johnson hung over Doug's head. In the last, meaningless game of the season, Doug lost his starting job to Johnson, as the Bills management "tried him out." A full scale quarterback controversy ensued, capped off when to Doug's dismay, the team started Johnson in the Wild Card game versus the Tennessee Titans. That game ended with the Music City Miracle, and the Bills season was over.

In 2000 the quarterback controversy raged, with Flutie replacing #1 starter Johnson several times as Johnson's injury woes continued. During the US Federal election, Buffalo lawn signs touting Flutie or Johnson appeared, overshadowing the 'real' election as Buffalonians debated the only issue that really mattered to them - football3. Doug went 4-1 as a starter that year, but couldn't win back the #1 job.

The Bills cut Flutie loose after the 2000 campaign, and he signed a six-year deal with the San Diego Chargers. He started all 16 games in 2001, but had an uneven season on a mediocre team. In 2002 he started only once, but in 2003 a poor 1-7 start by Charger's young QB prospect Drew Brees allowed Doug 5 starts in which he performed well, going 2-3. Brees reclaimed his job in 2004, with Doug getting only one start, in the final (and meaningless) game of the 2004 season. Doug ran for one touchdown and threw for another in the game.

Doug holds degrees in computer science and speech communications. He should be able to find work once his NFL career is finally over - not that he'll likely need to do so. He is also involved in his charitable foundation, established in honour of his son Doug Jr., who was diagnosed with autism at age 3.

Doug's charitable foundation, The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism ws established in 2000. It funds childhood autism research, provides financial aid to families who need assistance to care for children with autism, and provides links to resources for families dealing with autism. Grants are awarded annually to organizations in areas that Doug has played professionally: New England, New York, New Jersey, southern California, and areas of Canada. The Foundation has raised over 5 million dollars to date. Learn more at

Sources: Numerous, including the NFL, CFL, and San Diego Chargers' official sites. Plus watching football when I should have been outside in the cool fall air.

  1. kto9 points out: The "Hail Mary" was on Nov. 23, 1984 in the stadium named the Orange Bowl, but not the Orange Bowl game. BC went on to play in the Cotton Bowl game that season.
  2. This was the year of the CFL's short and sad experiment with US expansion.
  3. Well, and Dominik Hasek's groin, but we won't go there.

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