British Columbia Lions

Doug Flutie - Quarterback - 1990-91 - Boston College

 

Excerpt From 'Flutie' By Perry Lefko Warwick Publishing - Toronto Pg.84 

I had looked around the NFL and didn’t have a lot of options there. I started talking a bit with the British Columbia Lions, who had acquired my rights after Calgary took me off their negotiation list. Larry Kuharich, who became the head coach of the Lions after the 1989 season, immediately put my name on the team’s negotiation list just ahead of the Toronto Argo’s, who also put in a claim.

 

The Lions had the league-leading quarterback in passing yardage the year before in Matt Dunigan, who was earning a base salary of $210,000 a year. He was involved in a contract squabble pertaining to bonus money and was traded to Toronto on March 20 in a six-for-one deal. Once there, Dunigan was signed to a new deal. The Argo’s were courting Major Harris at the time. He played U.S.

college ball at West Virginia and had finished fourth the year before in voting for the Heisman. The day after acquiring Dunigan the Argos traded Harris’ rights to the Lions. The Lions flew me up in June and let me take a look at the facilities and the team and all that.

 

I wasn’t an expert on the CFL by any means, but I did have some knowledge about its history. I knew that Joe Theismann had played for Toronto in the early 70’s. I had heard Vince Ferragamo had gone up there to play in Montreal. I knew that Warren Moon had come from the CFL, but growing up I didn’t pay too much attention to the names or know any of the players. I hadn’t heard a lot about the CFL until my senior year when we were playing Alabama and its head coach Ray Perkins said I would make a good CFL quarterback.

 

I went to watch practice, and it was kind of at a rinky-dink little college – Trinity College – that they were using for a facility about 45 minutes outside of Vancouver. I kind of shook my head at the facilities, but when you looked at the guys on the field they were great athletes. Mark Gastineau, who was a key member of the New York Jets’ Sack Exchange, joined the team as a free agent that year. Mark had his share of problems before and after that, but as a person he was fine. I never had any problems with him. Major Harris was there. I talked to some of the guys, and they were shaking their heads watching Major, who was such a fantastic athlete. He could throw the ball a mile and run, but he had trouble learning the system; he didn’t really read coverage.

 

I was going back to Boston because the contract talks between my agents and the Lions’ management weren’t working out. That’s when Murray Pezim intervened. He called me over to his house,which was situated just off the downtown core. Murray treated me like a king for a couple days and even cooked for me. Murray loved to cook.

 

Murray was a real character. He described himself publicly as the “world’s greatest promoter.” He said all kinds of crazy things and didn’t care what people thought. It got down to him asking me what it would take to get me to play in B.C. We worked a deal for about $350,000 U.S. annually for two years. It was the highest salary in the league and the first in American currency. The contract called for $150,000 to be registered with the league as part of a standard player’s contract and $165,000 to be paid as part of a personal services deal. The remaining monies were for bonuses.

 

Murray announced the signing in his office in the early evening and proudly proclaimed “The B.C. Lions are going to kick the crap out of the Argos, and Doug Flutie will be there, Tell Dunigan that Gastineau is looking for him.”

 

Continued by CFL-H

 

Doug split playing time with Joe Paopao and Major Harris in his first season with B.C. under coach Larry Kuharich. Kuharich ran a NFL style offence which did not fully utilize Doug’s ability. Kuharich was replaced with Bob O’Billovich at mid-season and it is under O’Billovich that Flutie really began to blossom as B.C closed out the 1990 season. The Lions finished 6-11-1 in 1990.

 

Under O’Billovich in ’91 Flutie exploded passing for 6,619 yards a record in professional football. Flutie threw 38 Touchdowns and 24 interceptions. He also had 610 rushing yard as he one his first of 6 Most Outstanding Player Awards. Darren Flutie joined B.C. at midseason after being released by the Phoenix Cardinals in just 8 games as a rookie he had 860 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns, remarkable totals. The Lions finished 11-7 in 1991 but were defeated 43-41 by Danny Barrett and the Calgary Stampeders in the Western Semi-Final.

 

After the ’91 season it was time to negotiate a new contract for Doug, while he did consider a return to the NFL; the CFL was the best option for Doug both professionally and financially. After a drawn out contract dispute with Murray Pezim, Doug was contacted by Larry Ryckman new owner of the Calgary Stampeders. Ryckman was looking to make a splash and did so with a three year deal with an escalating salary of more than $1 million annually by the end of the contract. Included in the deal was also an option to own a portion of the franchise at the end of the deal. The deal was too good to pass up and Doug left the West Coast after an outstanding season in 1991.

 

              

   

-- statistics --

 

 

Doug Flutie     Boston College    
    Passing        
Yr Team Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg
1990 B.C. 392 207 2,960 52.8 16 19 55
1991 B.C. 730 466 6,619 63.8 38 24 89
1992 Cgy 688 396 5,945 57.6 32 30 81
1993 Cgy 703 416 6,092 59.2 44 17 75
1994 Cgy 659 403 5,726 61.2 48 19 106
1995 Cgy 332 223 2,788 67.2 16 5 63
1996 Tor 677 434 5,720 64.1 29 17 97
1997 Tor 673 430 5,505 63.9 47 24 78

Total

8

4854

2975

41,355

61.3

270

155

106

 

    Rushing    
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1990 B.C. 79 662 8.4 32 3
1991 B.C. 120 610 5.1 32 14
1992 Cgy 96 669 7.0 44 11
1993 Cgy 74 373 5.0 50 11
1994 Cgy 96 760 7.9 57 8
1995 Cgy 46 288 6.3 38 5
1996 Tor 101 756 7.5 37 9
1997 Tor 92 542 5.9 34 5
Total 8 704 4,660 6.6 57 66

 

-- NFL --

 

 

Yr Team Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg
1986 Chi 46 23 361 50.0 3 2 58
1987 NE 25 15 199 60.0 1 0 30
1988 NE 179 92 1,150 51.4 8 10 80
1989 NE 91 36 493 39.6 2 4 36
1998 Buff 354 202 2,711 57.1 20 11 84
1999 Buff 478 264 3,171 55.2 19 16 54
2000 Buff 231 132 1,700 57.1 8 3 52
2001 SD 521 294 3,464 56.4 15 18 78
2002 SD 11 3 64 27.3 0 0 47
2003 SD 167 91 1,097 54.5 9 4 73
2004 SD 38 20 276 52.6 1 0 29
2005 NE 10 5 29 50.0 0 0 13
Total 12 2151 1177 14715 54.7 86 68 84

 

    Rushing    
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1986 Chi 9 36 4.0 19 1
1987 NE 6 43 7.2 13 0
1988 NE 38 179 4.7 16 1
1989 NE 16 87 5.4 22 0
1998 Buff 48 248 5.2 23 1
1999 Buff 88 476 5.4 24 1
2000 Buff 36 161 4.5 32 1
2001 SD 53 192 3.6 16 1
2002 SD 1 6 6.0 6 0
2003 SD 33 168 5.1 17 2
2004 SD 5 39 7.8 20 2
2005 NE 5 -1 -0.2 2 0
Total 12 338 1,634 4.8 57 10