Commentary

Flutie's Heisman mostly stays home

Updated: October 4, 2011, 8:33 AM ET
By Jack McCluskey | ESPNBoston.com

It's almost 27 years old, but it's not exactly a world traveler. In fact, it doesn't get out of the house much.

Doug Flutie's Heisman Trophy has a nice setup in a corner of his living room in Natick, Mass. And that's where it stays, mostly going unnoticed by the man who won it.

Flutie doesn't spend a whole lot of time with the trophy, not because he doesn't appreciate the reminder it provides but because he just doesn't spend much time in his living room. He's currently a college football analyst for NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) and is making the rounds to support the Capital One Cup, a program that rewards two schools for excellence in men's and women's sports.

"It's a great combination of the academic side and the athletic side," Flutie said. "It helps create camaraderie on campus and gives the non-revenue generating sports a chance to get heard."

Flutie said he's frustrated with the direction college football is headed, especially when it comes to academics. He'd like to see more college students playing football, and fewer football players just getting by (or being helped to get by) in college.

When football started to take off for Flutie, he changed his major from computer science to communications -- not because it would be less challenging, but because he just couldn't afford the late nights sitting at a computer terminal (sometimes just waiting for access) debugging programs. He needed his rest for Saturdays and he thought communications was something he could use after football, too.

Those decisions obviously paid off.

On the strength of a senior season in which he threw for 3,454 yards and 27 touchdowns and became the first major college player to amass 10,000 career passing yards, Flutie won the 50th Heisman Trophy.

He was announced as the winner on Dec. 1, 1984, but he didn't actually get to take the trophy home until a few days later.

Which raises a question: Once one has won the Heisman, how does one get the Heisman home?

"I think I took it on the plane with me," Flutie said, though he wasn't exactly sure. "I remember once somebody flying with a Heisman, having to buy another seat for it."

That didn't happen to Flutie.

When he got the famous stiff-arm icon home, "I sat it in a room and I didn't really show it around."

Which is not to say it's never gotten around.

Soon after the 5-foot-9, 180-pound quarterback won the award, helping put Boston College on the map nationally in the process, his father, Richard, took the trophy to work with him. Richard was an engineer at a Marlboro, Mass., computer company, and he wanted to show off what his son had won.

More than two decades later, it's clear the visit made quite an impression.

"I still run into people on the street who say, 'I used to work with your father, I remember the day he brought the Heisman in!'" Flutie said.

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

ALSO SEE

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES