Flutie adds another check to resume with drop kick
By JIMMY GOLEN
By JIMMY GOLEN
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — For 21 years, Doug Flutie's career has been defined by one play. Now the "Hail Flutie" has its historic bookend.
The 43-year-old Patriots backup converted the NFL's first successful drop kick since 1941, making an extra point in the fourth quarter of the Miami Dolphins' mostly meaningless 28-26 victory yesterday over New England.
"I think Doug deserves it," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who broke into a smile when his quarterback split the uprights off one bounce. "He is a guy that adds a lot to this game of football, has added a lot through his great career — running, passing and now kicking.
"He's got a skill and we got a chance to let him use it, and I am happy for him. First time since '41," said Belichick, a football historian. "It might be 60 years again, too."
According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Web site, the league's last drop kick for points was Dec. 21, 1941 when Ray "Scooter" McLean converted for the Chicago Bears to beat the New York Giants, 37-9, in the NFL title game.
The ball was more round until 1934, making the bounce more predictable. And the rules were changed to require the kicker to be behind the line of scrimmage, relegating the drop kick to a riskier version of a place kick or extra point.
But when ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman mentioned to Belichick that he'd seen Flutie drop kick, the coach called his quarterback into his office and asked if he could do it.
"I said, 'I could do it,' " Flutie said.