It’s a genuine love story with a tragic ending. It’s a story about two people who were married for 56 years and couldn’t be apart from each other. Veteran quarterback Doug Flutie, who rose to fame when he was the quarterback for Boston College and captured the Heisman Trophy in 1984, saw this tale unfold. Flutie, who went on to play 12 years in the National Football League, was the son of Dick Flutie, who died of a heart attack in November of 2015. One hour later, Joan Flutie, Dick’s wife and Doug’s mother, also died of a heart attack.
Doug Flutie’s college football career
Doug Flutie wasn’t your prototypical quarterback. He stood 5-foot-10 inches and weighed just 180 pounds, but went on to play 21 years of professional football. Flutie became a household name when he was leading the Boston College Eagles in the early 1980s.
Flutie played four years as the starter for Boston College, racking up 10,579 passing yards to go along with 67 touchdown passes. He threw for 3,454 yards and 27 touchdowns in his senior year, guiding the Eagles to a 10-2 record and a No. 5 ranking in the AP poll. Flutie was the winner of the Heisman Trophy that season.
Flutie played a major role in one of the greatest college football plays of all time. In November of 1984, Flutie scrambled around and fired a “Hail Mary” pass that was caught by Gerard Phelan. The pass went for a touchdown on the final play of the game. The touchdown gave Boston College an improbable 47-45 victory over the University of Miami.
Doug Flutie’s professional career
Doug Flutie went on to have one very wild ride in the world of professional football. Out of Boston College, Flutie went on to sign a deal with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL. The deal made his te highest paid rookie in any professional sport at $7 million over five years, according to The Associated Press. With Flutie signing with the USFL, the Los Angeles Rams drafted him in the 11th round of the 1985 NFL draft.
When the USFL folded in 1986, the Rams traded Flutie’s rights to the Chicago Bears. He appeared in four games with Chicago, tossing three touchdown passes in 1986. Flutie was then traded to the New England Patriots in 1987. The 1987 season was a strike year for NFL players and Flutie crossed the picket line to play for the Patriots. Flutie remained with the Pats through 1989 and then he joined the Canadian Football League.
Flutie spent eight seasons in the CFL and is considered one of the greatest players to ever play in the league. In 1998, Flutie returned to the NFL as a member of the Buffalo Bills. He spent three seasons with the Bills, followed by four more with the San Diego Chargers. He ended his NFL career back with the New England Patriots.
Flutie’s parents die after suffering heart attacks one hour apart
After his football playing days were over, Doug Flutie became a college football analyst. He also appeared on Dancing With the Stars. On Nov. 18, 2015, Flutie experienced the biggest loss of his life when his father, Dick, who had been ill, died of a heart attack in the hospital. Less than one hour later, Flutie’s mother, Joan, suddenly had a heart attack and also died.
On his Facebook page, Flutie wrote, “They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it,” Flutie said, according to ESPN. “I would like to honor my parents for all that they did throughout my and my brothers’ and sister’s lives. My parents were always there for their children, from the days my Dad coached us as kids and my Mom would work the concession stands, through to this morning.”
Flutie continued, “The most important part of their 56 years of marriage was providing opportunities to their children,” Flutie continued. “They were incredible parents and grandparents and my family and I will miss them both. On behalf of me and the entire Flutie family, I would like to thank you all for your well wishes and prayers during this difficult time.”