The Behrend beacon. (Erie, Pa.) 1998-current, November 05, 1998, Image 9

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    Out o
Flutie’s NFL troubles behind
him; Bills’ success is next step
Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Doug
Flutie is leaving more than just an
unsuccessful past in the National
Football League behind him. At
the midway point of the 1998 NFL
season, Flutie has already forgot
ten his troubled background, and is
now leaving in his tracks some of
the league’s best pass rushers, quar
terbacks and teams on his
way to the ultimate foot
ball dream, a Super Bowl
Now it may be hard to
associate the Buffalo Bills
with a Super Bowl cham-
pionship, seeing as how
they are most remembered
for their infamous Super
Bowl flops in the first half
of this decade. The early
’9os were a joke when
mid-January rolled around
and the Bills received their
annual “Super Bowl
Slaughter" by the NFC’s most
dominant team. These continuous
embarrassments gave the country
a team to laugh at and love to see
lose. Even Bills’ fans themselves
must have hoped for some other
AFC team to take over the reins of
their conference and be victim to
the NFC’s streak of dominance.
What makes even a bigger mock
ery of Buffalo's woes, however,
was the fact that the Denver Bron
cos were able to take those reins
that the Bills couldn’t control and
steer the AFC to a Super Bowl vic
However, at the same time that
Buffalo receives those pitiful
laughs, a window of opportunity
for the AFC and the Bills has been
opened. The Broncos were the
straw that broke the NFC’s back,
and now the chance for continued
AFC success is theirs for the tak
ing. So without the burden of the
AFC’s credibility on their hacks,
the Bills can feel confident, if given
the chance, to win that elusive NFL
After an 0-3 start, the Bills have
won five straight games to move
them into a four-way tie atop the
AFC East. Some might ask, “what
has accounted for this sudden suc
cess in Buffalo?” The answer may
be too small to see and too quiet to
hear, but his presence in the Bills’
line-up can’t be ignored. The 5’9",
176 pound Doug Flulie is playing
at a much higher level than his size
may indicate. Flutie has quickly
established himself as one of the
league’s most efficient quarter-
I acks and is emphatically putting
to rest the criticism over his size
and unsuccessful NFL past.
Flutie’s professional football ca
reer started in New Jersey, playing
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for the United States Football League.
After one season there, he attempted to
move his game to the NFL. After un
productive seasons for the New England
Patriots and the Chicago Bears that saw
him start only 14 games in 4 seasons in
the late 1980 s, Flutie made probably the
smartest decision of his life. He moved
his game to the Canadian Football
League and wasted no time in making a
name for himself.
In 1991, Flutie broke Warren Moon's
CFL single season passing records for
attempts, completions and yards. He
was rewarded with the league’s Most
Valuable Player award for the first of six
times. Following his breakthrough year
in 1991. he was signed by the Calgary
Stampeders in March of 1992. He was
once again named the league’s MVP,
leading the Stampeders to the Grey Cup
After four seasons in Calgary. Flutie
signed with the Toronto Argonauts. He
played his final two seasons in Toronto
and wrapped up the most storied career
in CFL history. The Argos won two
straight Grey Cups behind the arm of
Flutie. He was named the league’s MVP
for an unprecedented sixth time in only
seven years. His final season saw him
throw for 5,505 yards and a club record,
47 touchdowns.
Flutie's overall accomplishments in
the CFLdidn't go unnoticed by the NFL.
On January 20 of this year. Flutie signed
with the Bills as a free agent. He was
seen as a backup for the multi-million
dollar paid Rob Johnson who was also
signed this past off-season. However,
with injuries plaguing Johnson through
out this ’9B season, Flutie look full ad
vantage of the opportunity.
At age 36, Flutie has the Bills headed
in the right direction. In only three starts,
he has thrown for 1087 yards and has
led the Bills past the league's toughest
teams. Buffalo has handed San Fran
cisco and Jacksonville their first losses
of the season and just upset Miami this
past weekend.
With the Bills’ success, Flutie is sud
denly Buffalo’s hero...or magician as
some people are beginning to call him.
His “magic" has him ranked fourth in
the NFL, joining the league’s most effi
cient veterans. Randall Cunningham
(age 35), Vinny Testaverde (34), Steve
Young (37), Doug Flutie (36), and
Neil O’Donnell (32) are ranked 1-5
in the NFL for passing efficiency.
Fans in Canada and throughout the
United States are beginning to follow
Flutie’s every move. Fans love to
watch him scramble and elude the
league’s biggest defenders. Even I, a
one-time mocker of the
Bills, am beginning to
cheer for the unexpected
underdog. My laughs are
beginning to shift from
Buffalo’s once humorous
Super Bowl losses, to
Flutie’s defenders who
can’t seem to grab hold of
the small and old quarter
back. What those defend
ers are beginning to grab
a hold of, is the under
standing that Flutie is one
of the last quarterbacks
you want to be facing
when Sunday rolls around.
It may not be just the football suc
cess of Flutie that suddenly has Flutie
Fever sweeping across the continent.
I don't even think that it is his own
brand of cereal called Flutie Flakes
that have given him such a household
name. But part of the reason that 1
respect Flutie is his love to just play
the game. Money isn’t a factor for
this growing (not in si/e, but in popu
larity) superstar. He signed for only
S2OO.(XX). In sports today, that is what
you make if you arc just a practice
dummy. But Flutie has proven he is
more than that. He has his opponents
looking like the dummys. and
himself: "a steal of a deal" for the
The incredible foul hull story of
Doug Flutie isn't over yet. If he con
tinues to pul Buffalo fans in the seals
at Rich Stadium, the Bills will have
an automatic' five-year extension on
their contract. The Bills need to sell
I I million dollars worth of luxury
seating before December I to elimi
nate any chance of the Bills playing
elsewhere in the future. Flutie helped
put over 79,000 fans in the seats last
week and with continued sales,
Flutie’s popularity could skyrocket
higher than those ticket sales.
Flutie's story is probably not even
over yet. Give him another week and
another chapter will probably be writ
ten. But how much more can Flutie
do that he hasn't already? Buffalo
knows the answer to that. The play
offs would be great, a Super Bowl
appearance would be better, but the
ultimate conclusion to this miraculous
story would be to do just that. Per
form a miracle: the Bills win Super
Snyder is sports editor for the Bea
con. His column appears every week.
- Individual and team competition . Registration Deadline
-At Eastway Lanes October 30
- Saturday November 7 v ,
3 vs. 3 Basketball „ . .
In Conjunction with Schick Super Hoops Registration Deadline:
M yy Novemberl3
- Games begin Monday, November 1
5 vs. 5 Basketball
M, W Registration Deadline:
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Commuter Euchre Tournament
Registration Deadline: November 6
Men’s soccer tames
Gators in perfect week
By Jason Snyder
sports editor
The Behrend men's soeeer team
will enter the AMCC Championships
this weekend coming off two hard
fought victories over Buffalo State
and Allegheny College. With the
wins, the men finished the regular
season with a 12-8 record, tying
Behrend’s all-time record for wins in
a season
The men hosted Buffalo State this
past Thursday in which they pulled
off a 3-1 victory. Dan Falk scored the
AMCC Athlete of the Week
Tiffany Beers served with AMCC recognition
Tiffany Beers was named the AMCC Volleyball Athlete of the Week for the week o:
October 27 - November 2. She led the Behrend women’s volleyball team to a 3-0 week
behind her strong offensive and defensive skills. Only a freshman, Beers was able to recon
25 kills and 27 digs in the women’s 3-2 win over Pitt-Greensburg. She followed up that
performance with 15 kills and five aces to lead the Lions to an important win against AMO
rival, Laßoche. Beers is from Townville, PA where she attended Maplewood High School.
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November 5, 1998 - The Behrend College Beacon - pa t
game's first goal followed by Travis
Lang who scored just before the half.
Buffalo State was able to cut the lead
in half oil a goal by Paul Sterling in
the 68th minute. However, the Lions
were able to bounce back and clinch
the win with Josh Castillo's goal in
the closing minutes of the game. Be
hrend doubled Buffalo State for shots
taken, 16-8.
The Lions then hauled Allegheny
College this past Tuesday. The game
was much more evenly matched as the
Gators scored lirst off a goal by Brad
Smith in the 68th minute. Behrend’s
Travis Lang scored in the 92nd m
to send the game into overtime. 1
once again saved the Lions in tb
tra session with the game-winn
the l()2nd minute to give the Beh
men their first ever win over All
eny. Assistant coach Chuck Ban;
commented on the win saying,'
team played really well. We pi;
hard and it was a great all-around
1 think we really rose to the oeeasi
Behrend will now play in
AMCC Championships this weel
at Frostburg State in Maryland.