SI Vault
Passing Time
Leigh Montville
June 22, 1998
At 35 and with nothing left to prove in Canada, little Doug Flutie is taking one last shot at making it big in the NFL
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June 22, 1998

Passing Time

At 35 and with nothing left to prove in Canada, little Doug Flutie is taking one last shot at making it big in the NFL

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The basketball is finished at 2 o'clock on a Monday afternoon at the Longfellow Sports Club in Natick, Mass. The businessmen are showering, dressing, talking about the stock market and personal relationships and missed layups, getting ready to go back to the job. Doug Flutie is getting ready to go to lunch. He is still wearing his shorts and sneakers.

"You're not taking a shower?" he is asked.

"No," he replies.


"I don't need it," he explains. "I kind of, you know, just stay sweaty all day."

His schedule for this day is pretty typical. Let's see, he has run four or five miles, lifted weights for an hour, played basketball with the same lunchtime group that gathers every noon. After lunch he will meet his brother, Darren, and they will run sprints and go through drills, throwing a football back and forth. Then he will return to the gym and play a higher grade of basketball with college kids.

On other days there might be variations—a game with his rec-league soccer team, perhaps, or a session on the drums with his band—but this is his usual off-season routine. He is 35, still flying around like a teenager. He could be Peter Pan in a damp sweatshirt.

"Take away the part where you go to classes, and he's like a college kid," says Jack Mula, Flutie's agent of three years.

"Remember when you'd get up in the morning, throw on any clothes that were around the room, clean or not, and just go? Not worry about shaving? Nothing? That's Doug."

His life—his athletic life, at least—seems frozen in time and place and circumstance. His hair is still long and black, rock-and-roll hair. His weight is still 175. His height is still 5'10" in any program, 5'9" in stocking feet, about 2'11" in the estimation of most NFL scouts. He looks no different from the way he did in 1984, when he was a Boston College quarterback, when he made a miracle pass in Miami, when he stood behind the Heisman Trophy at the Downtown Athletic Club. He feels no different. He's free from chronic injury, and even after 12 seasons of professional football on six teams in three leagues in two countries, his knees are intact.

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