28 Years Ago: He Did It! He Did It! Flutie Did It!!

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 24, 2012

Doug Flutie's Hail Mary in Miami is still the ultimate Heisman moment, 28 years later.


Some people say that Colonel Mustard did it in the study with the candlestick.

These people are wrong. Every football fan knows that "Flutie did it. He did it! Flutie did it!!" in the Orange Bowl with the football. The date was Nov. 23, 1984, also the Friday after Thanksgiving, as it was this year.

The exchange between the play-by-play man Dan Davis and his color commentator (trying to find the name now) when the ball hits Gerard Phelan in the end zone is priceless:

Color guy: "Oh, he got it!"

Dan Davis: "Did he get it?"

Color guy: "He got it!!"

The final score in Boston College's remarkable 47-45 shootout win over Miami was the ultimate Heisman moment at multiple levels.

One, remember, cable TV was still relatively new in 1984 and a lot of people still had only old broadcast stations. You didn't have 12 different college games on at any given time on everything from regional sports networks to ESPNU. 

There was typically only one game on at a given time. And on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1984, that game was Boston College-Miami, little Doug Flutie and the upstart Eagles vs. Bernie Kosar and the defending national champion Hurricanes who had shocked mghty Nebraska in the Orange Bowl just 11 months earlier.

So EVERYBODY watching football from coast to coast that day was watching BC-Miami.

Two, looking back on history now, it's easy to see that Flutie was really the player who heralded the change from old 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust college football to the wide open college game we see today.

He was the first player in history with both 10,000 yards of total offense and with 10,000 passing yards. 

He proved that smaller schools with less talented teams could compete with the big boys by outflanking them in the air. And that's what Flutie did.

Three, some people believe that the Miracle in Miami won the Heisman for Flutie. But Brent Musberger references him as the likely Heisman winner several times during the broadcast of the game. He was re-writing the record books, and changing the game of college football, all while being "too small" to play.

The pass in Miami was simply the moment that sealed Flutie's legacy in football lore. Hell, the play was seen by fans throughout the college football season this year, as part of the UPS "game changers" ad campaign.

The moment might also have left an impression on thousands of under-sized teenage boys in Boston and beyond with big football dreams, who still remember the game as if it were yesterday. 

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