We have funny definitions of a “bad day.” We think a bad day is when our team loses, the traffic is bad, and we left the umbrella at home. When our socks don’t match, it’s a bad day. For former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, Wednesday was a bad day. In one day he lost both of his parents. They died just one hour apart from each other.
Dick Flutie had been ill for some time, and was in the hospital when he died of a sudden heart attack. Less than an hour later Joan, his wife of 56 years, died of a sudden heart attack. The cause of Joan’s death, according to Doug – a broken heart.
Doug Flutie is an icon to Boston College football fans. He is less known for a 12-year professional career in the NFL and Canadian Football League than he is for one play. He is less known for his Heisman Trophy and Grey Cup Championship than he is for one play in college, on November 23, 1984, when he threw the Hail Mary pass that beat the University of Miami on the last play of the game. With that one play, Flutie took down the defending national champions, 47-45, and became the first player in history to pass for over 10,000 yards in his collegiate career. That has kept him in the news ever since.
But today, Doug Flutie is more proud to be one of four children of Dick and Joan, whom he honored on his Facebook page. “I would like to honor my parents for all 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. The most important part of their 56 years of marriage were providing opportunities to their children. They were incredible parents and grandparents and my family and I will miss them both. On behalf of the entire Flutie family, I would like to thank you all for your well wishes and prayers during this difficult time.”
I love Doug Flutie – not for his football exploits, television commentary, or personal achievements. I love Doug Flutie because he did what so few do today. He honored his parents. Life is about more than scoreboards, money, and fame. I’m thankful for Doug Flutie because he gets it.