Darren Flutie - Wide Receiver - 1991-02 - Boston College
Local star finds success north of the border - John Goode, Boston.com Correspondent,November19, 2004
NATICK, Massachusetts -- He is considered one of the greatest Canadian Football League receivers of all-time.
Darren Flutie, Doug Flutie's younger brother, played 12 seasons in the CFL before retiring in 2002 as the league's all-time leader in receptions (972) and second all-time in receiving yards (14,359). During his career, Flutie scored 66 touchdowns, averaged 14.8 yards per catch and played in four Grey Cup games, winning twice.
"I am very thankful and no question am very proud of (my career in the CFL)," said Flutie. "I was a borderline guy in the NFL. The opportunity to go up to Canada and play was just a blessing for me and my family. I am certainly proud of what I accomplished, but I am also very thankful for it."
These days, Flutie has returned to his hometown of Natick with his wife Terri and their two children, Taylor, 9, and Troy, 8.
"We bought our first house in Franklin (Massachusetts) and we had promised each other that by the time our kids got to be school age we wanted to move back to Natick because we love the community," said Flutie. "We knew the people in Natick and knew the teachers that would be teaching our children. It was important for us to be involved in the Natick community because we think so highly of it."
Flutie keeps a close eye on the Natick High football team, where his nephew Billy Flutie was the starting quarterback this year.
"It's really neat that he plays for Tom Lamb," said Flutie. "My brother Bill (Billy's father) played for Tom Lamb, Doug played for Tom Lamb, and I played for Tom Lamb. I think the world of him (Lamb). For us it's just a joy to watch him and to seem him grow and develop."
With his football career behind him, Flutie is now the Vice President of Sales for the Merrill Corporation, a financial printer in Boston.
"I interviewed with a couple of financial printers and ultimately interviewed with Pete Cronan - my boss at Merrill Corporation," said Flutie. "We have a strong Boston College connection and a link with professional football. I am beyond enjoying it and it has totally surpassed my expectations of how much I would enjoy it."
Flutie is still involved with the CFL as well, serving as an analyst on CFL broadcasts. Flutie was given the chance to audition for the analyst broadcasting position shortly after he retired and at first was very hesitant.
"When I retired in 2002 I had retired to stay home with my family and didn't necessarily think my playing days were over," said Flutie. "About two months later the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) called me and asked if I was interested in doing any analyst work for the CFL.
"I wasn't interested because I wanted to stay home. They said come up, audition and if you don't like it at least we get the audition. I went up and they were very impressed and they did whatever it took to get me up there. I ended up getting the job and going up there."
Flutie still loves playing sports, especially basketball and soccer. He enjoys anything he can do with his family, particularly coaching his children's sports teams. He coaches his son's Pop Warner football team and basketball teams and his daughter's basketball and soccer teams.
Flutie grew up playing sports in Natick. He enjoyed an outstanding football career at Natick High School and then enjoyed success playing for Boston College. Flutie's freshman season at B.C. was Doug's senior season when he won the Heisman Trophy (1984).
"Coming out of Natick I had a few different options, but my thinking was why not go to Boston College the school that gave my brother such a great opportunity," said Flutie. "I know I am going to get an opportunity. It's local, it's respected and there is a strong B.C. network once you graduate. To me it was a no brainer.
"A lot of people said why are you following your brothers footsteps because you will always be Doug's little brother. That's something I am proud of. I am proud of what he accomplished and proud to be his younger brother."
After college, Flutie played one season in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and was with the Phoenix Cardinals for a short period. Soon after, Flutie joined his older brother in the CFL signing with the B.C. Lions in 1991.
"I did love the CFL, but like most players the money is a lot better in the NFL," said Flutie on whether he ever considered trying to get back to the NFL.
"At one point during the 96-97 season when I was at the top of my career I had looked at going back (to the NFL) and had some offers (Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys) to go back. It just wasn't enough of a commitment from the NFL teams to make that jump from the Canadian Football League."