Gonna smile. I’m gonna laugh. You’re gonna get a blood bath. You gotta go go go go, goodbye! Glad to see you go go go go, goodbye! -Ramones
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! The Cowboys entered this season as playoff favorites. Word on the street was that they were going to be the first team to host and play in a Super Bowl this February. Take a look at them now. Well, there’s just an empty space and there’s nothing left here to remind me. To remind me what was supposed to have been. I can’t say I’m bothered. I can’t say I’m upset. I can’t say I’m losing any distaught over the fact that because of the Cowboys’ disappointing start, pressure is building on Jerry Jones to jettison his coach. I can’t say anything like that.
You have to know, where I grew up, Doug Flutie was big. Larry Bird big. Bobby Orr big. Yaz big. When Flutie crossed the picket lines in his first tenure with the Patriots, we didn’t care that he was a scab. Steve Grogan did. New England went crazy for Flutie. He was just the shot in the arm we needed. The shot in the arm we had all been waiting for. After the strike, fans clamored all over the airwaves to keep our hero in the starting line-up. Not to be. The mantra that haunted his NFL career resonated. Too short. Never make it. I never bought that. I say he was ostracized for being a scab. I was heartbroken when he left the Patriots. I never forgave Steve Grogan for that. I never will.
I will never forgive Wade Phillips either. Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to 1998. Ahhh, 1998. Terry Nichols is sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing. The first night game ever at Wrigley Field is played. Sweet Child of Mine is playing on the jukebox. Die Hard is playing at the local Bijoux. And oh ya. Doug Flutie returns to the NFL. Hooray Doug Flutie!
Flutie left the Patriots and went on to a great career in Canada. A stellar career in Canada. Had all the free beer and sausages a man could want. But as much success as he enjoyed in the CFL, the desire to make it in the NFL was greater. When the Buffalo Bills came calling, Doug Flutie heeded that call. Heeded the call and took over an awful team. In his first start as a Bill, Flutie passed for two TDs and led a fourth-quarter comeback against the Indianapolis Colts. He didn’t stop there. He took an awful team and led them all the way to the playoffs. He earned himself Comeback Player of the Year. His reward? Rob Johnson named the starter the following season. Hey Wade Phillips, you sonnaofabitch, are you out of your godammed mind!?
I’m pissed. Flutie’s pissed: ”Anyone who would be content to be a number two doesn’t deserve to be on the field.” That’s why we loved him in the first place. Down goes Johnson. Doug Flutie to the rescue. Flutie scrambling. Flutie bootlegging. Flutie wheeling. Flutie dealing. Rumbling, stumbling. bumbling. Positioning the Bills for another winter of playoff football. Johnson comes back.
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner. But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away. Flutie sits for the last game of the season. Flutie sits for the Playoffs. The Music City Miracle playoffs. Disgusting. He still makes the Pro Bowl. He still was named backup to dumb old Rob Johnson the next year. It was inevitable Dougie would be moved. But know this sports fans: Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. The Bills have not appeared in a playoff game since Phillips replaced Flutie with Johnson.
And now this. And now, like Carl Spackler, I have to laugh.
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!