Friday, June 25, 2010
Flutie: 'I live for the Red Sox'
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For many Boston sports fans, it is probably hard to believe that Doug Flutie is now 47 years old. Time flies.
Flutie, who was a guest instructor at Tedy Bruschi's SBLI Football Clinic on Thursday, still looks like he could lead a football huddle. But these days he's more interested in stepping into the batter's box, following the next generation of Fluties in their endeavors, and watching the Boston Red Sox.
Flutie answered questions from ESPNBoston.com about how he's approaching this phase of his life, while sharing his thoughts on the Boston sports and media scene:
Q: What is the daily grind like for you?
A: "I'm having fun. I'm playing men's baseball all summer long. I've cut down on the work. I'm going to do some [broadcasting] for Versus, 10 games in the UFL [United Football League]. I am still active with endorsements, with MetroWest, Eastern Bank, and Capital One. There are a couple of other things on the burner that are coming around within this year that will be nice. Overall, I'm trying not to work that hard while enjoying myself, running around and watching my nephews play ball -- a couple are in the high school [at Natick] and Billy is at [Boston College]. My daughter [Alexa] just graduated college and she's a dance major. She's done a couple of dance videos already and won Miss Massachusetts a couple of weeks ago. She's going out for Miss United States the second week of July, out in Las Vegas. She will probably wind up going to New York and trying the Broadway thing."
Q: How is your son Dougie and your work on behalf of autism doing?
A: "Dougie is doing great. He's come along slowly but he's definitely coming along. His awareness level is excellent. He's learned to swim, so he's very independent in the pool. He does horseback riding once a week. During the summer he does water sports. He will be dependent on us the rest of his life, but he has to be the happiest kid around. Our foundation has continued to grow (for more on the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autisim, click here). We're 11 years in, and we just had our golf tournament the other day, so we're still going strong and hard, providing a lot of services for families in the area."
Q: Are you a close follower of all the Boston sports teams?
A: "I live for the Red Sox. I thoroughly enjoy them. For whatever reason, baseball has been a lot more fun for me in recent years. I loosely follow the Patriots and I root for them. I loosely follow the Celtics and then it gets to playoff time and I don't miss a game. Same with the Bruins. I'm not the diehard fan anymore. I'm a diehard fan when it comes to going to the high school games and watching my nephews play."
Q: Where do you envision your life heading in the coming years?
A: "We have a beach house in Melbourne Beach, Florida and I eventually see us going down there to retire, but I'm still going to be so integrated in the community up here that I'm going to keep a place here and I will be up here a lot because all my endorsement opportunities, from a work and income standpoint, are up here. Overall, I'm slowing down. I want to enjoy myself."
Q: Many associate you closely with Boston College. What are your thoughts on what has taken place with their athletic program?
A: "I love [football coach] Frank Spaz[iani]. We go back to [when I played in] Calgary, and he was in Winnipeg even before that as a coach. I wish him all the best. My nephew Billy is in his fifth year [on the football team], so over there, I follow all the programs closely. Al Skinner being let go, he's a guy that's been around a long time, so there are some questions there with the basketball program. I hope they pick it back up to where they were. Hockey has been amazing. They've continued to play at the highest level and win national championships. It's a fun atmosphere to be around at BC and I still enjoy being around it. [Athletic director] Gene DeFilippo has done a tremendous job."
Q: What have you learned in your experience working in the media?
A: "I thoroughly enjoy doing games [as a color commentator] because that's where I feel I have a little expertise and I can use it. The studio shows, to me, it's a lot of guessing and I don't like that. I don't like the whole talk-radio aspect of having air time to fill, so all of a sudden you take a topic and people go and get on tangents and they don't realize what it morphs into, and the people they hurt with the things they say. I really don't like that aspect of the business, but I do like doing games."
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPN Boston. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.