One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for November 20, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
On March 17, 2009 I got a special treat. I got to interact with former Boston College and NFL Quarterback Doug Flutie. Doug also happens to be a former Heisman Trophy Winner.
He came to UNC Pembroke to be part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. I have a picture somewhere of the two of us on campus that day. He was very gracious the entire time he was on campus. I have an autographed poster of his appearance on campus hanging prominently in my office.
Poster from Doug Flutie
Doug is a football great, who is remembered for the last second “Hail Mary” that defeated Miami in 1984.
When he came to campus he visited the UNCP spring football practice and spoke to the players and coaches.
(l-r) Dr. Allen Meadors, Doug Flutie, and UNCP Football Coach Pete Shinnick-March 2009
Doug taped an interview in the studios of WNCP-TV and had dinner with students and fans in the Chancellor’s Dining Room. I was also part of that dinner. Everything went according to the plan he agreed to in his contract until after his talk concluded.
During his talk someone asked him a question about playing some touch football with his intramural team after the talk. Doug responded by saying he didn’t bring any workout clothes. The student who asked the question got up and left.
He said that after his talk he would sign autographs. He was a model of patience, signing autographs for an hour in the Givens Performing Arts Center after speaking. When the last person received the autograph there was the student who asked the question holding work out gear and shoes. “I guess I’m playing football later,” Doug said according to the Fayetteville Observer who was covering the event.
He proceeded to join a few UNCP Students on the Lumbee Hall Field which is located just north of Lumbee Hall and adjacent to Sammy Cox Baseball Field. The news got out and before long 50-60 students came out by midnight. At the end of the game, Doug bought pizza for everybody.
The students were posing for photos and everybody had a great time.
Picture of Doug Flutie on Lumbee Hall field after a game of football.
One of the students asked him to throw him a pass. The student said he always wanted to say he caught a pass from Doug Flutie. Doug responded by saying he would, as long as the student didn’t say it was ‘the pass.’”
Doug is friends with Newy Scruggs who is a UNCP Grad and he shared with me the tragedy that Doug Flutie endured yesterday. He lost both his mom and dad within one hour of each other.
The Friend-DOUG FLUTIE
The Friend of the Friend-DICK and JOAN FLUTIE
Comments from a son
Below is what Doug Flutie posted on Facebook on Wednesday November 18, 2015
It is with a heavy heart that I am making this statement.
This morning my family experienced the tragic loss of my father, Dick and mother, Joan. My Dad had been ill and died of a heart attack in the hospital and my Mom, less than an hour later had a sudden heart attack and passed away.
They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it. I would like to honor my parents for all that they did throughout my and my brothers’ and sister’s lives.
My parents were always there for their children, from the days my Dad coached us as kids and my Mom would work the concession stands, through to this morning.
The most important part of their 56 years of marriage was providing opportunities to their children. They were incredible parents and Grandparents and my family and I will miss them both. On behalf of me and the entire Flutie family, I would like to thank you all for your well wishes and prayers during this difficult time.
Doug Flutie is one of the class people I have ever met. Really sorry for his loss.