Leftovers and talking points out of yesterday's news of Doug Flutie's retirement:
Start with Stephen Brunt's assessment in the Globe:
Through some of the roughest years for the grand old game, with the league's very existence hanging in the balance, the combination of his brain, his skills, and the rules and culture of Canadian football proved to be a match made in heaven.
Argue the fine points all you like, but who, really, was ever better?
It's a fair question, and two other names come immediately to mind: Warren Moon and Damon Allen. Even though those two won more Grey Cup titles, I'll take Flutie for the skill set he brought to this more improvisational, wide-open game. There's never been a better fit.
Mark Kreidler is asking whether Flutie belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (and while we're on the subject, perhaps Flutie's entire pro oeuvre might be deemed worthy someday by Profootballreference.com):
Who gave the NFL the keys to the executive washroom in Canton? Where on the building does it say "Pro Football Hall of Fame, a Mark Goodson/Paul Tagliabue Production?"
Doug Flutie might have no more business rushing the steps of the place than Paul Crewe, but I'll tell you what: Flutie had one startling, statistics-grabbing, championship-winning, scramble-matic career in pro football. He just didn't do the best of it in the NFL.
Kriedler isn't the only one asking the HoF question, PFT also making the case for Flutie: "Flutie's unique path, and extreme success, are the kinds of thing that should be inspiring kids with an interest in the sport long after we're all taking a permanent nap in a pine box."
And over at the Wages of Wins, a look at Flutie's second coming to the NFL by the numbers leads to this conclusion:
Would Flutie had performed at this level for twenty-one years had the NFL not engaged in size discrimination? We will never know. The data tells us, though, that he was an above average quarterback when given a chance. And perhaps this teaches a lesson the NFL should heed: Size isn’t always everything.
UPDATE: I should have been on this earlier, but here's a post from Eric McErlain on the topic that's worth a look:
College Football Hall of Fame? You better believe it.
CFL Hall of Fame? Absolutely.
But Canton? I'm afraid not, but something tells me Flutie, who already has achieved more with his 5'8" frame than anyone could ever have imagined, doesn't care all that much. Besides, if he had, he would never have gotten half as far as he did.