We catch up with legendary quarterback Doug Flutie to discuss the Capital One Cup, politics, the art of catching a foul ball, and, of course, being a good man.
In September, Doug Flutie signed on as a member of the advisory board to the Capital One Cup, which is awarded annually to each of the top men’s and women’s athletic programs in the country.
Why did you get involved with the Capital One Cup? Why is that important to you?
I’ve had a long-standing relationship with Capital One—they’re synonymous with college football. I think it’s a great project because it’s, number one, rewarding excellence in athletics across the board, and number two, it’s involved with academics as far as the $200,000 scholarship for male and female student athletes.
You endorsed Senator Scott Brown in the recent election. Was that your first public endorsement of a political candidate?
I’d say it was the first legitimate public endorsement, yes. We have loosely been affiliated before, but I’ve never stepped front and center with someone like that. It was something I felt very strongly about: he ran on a platform of creating jobs and represented a lot of things that I believe. He and I used to play a lot of basketball together, on and off for years.
So would you call yourself a Republican?
I would say I’m a Republican. But I do have a lot of Democratic beliefs.
Have you been happy with his performance so far?
I have. He’s stayed true to what his platform was and where he stands. There’s no doubt.
We hear you’ve caught a lot of foul balls—what’s your lifetime total?
[Laughs] Total? I believe it’s around eight. As a kid, I used to go to pre-season games down in Vero Beach, Florida. Two of those were legit ’cause I caught the balls rather than chasing them down. We used to stand at the top of a walkway and watch foul balls go over the top and chase those into the parking lot.
Then I had a streak of four straight games. Let me get this in order: Tampa Bay Rays game at Fenway up in a luxury box—caught a ball. Playoff game out in Anaheim behind the first base dugout—caught a ball. Opening day against the Yankees sitting on the Green Monster—caught a ball. And then the next game I went to was against the Yankees a little later on, on a line drive down the first-base line. So, I had four consecutive games where I actually caught a ball.
And then the fifth game I went to, I’m on the left field line at Fenway, first row, where it juts out at the foul line, and we had a ground ball jump out on the third base line come right to us, and I let my buddy get it instead of me. And that would have been five straight.
Are those your usual seats down on the left-field line?
Yeah, well, those are my favorite seats, and a buddy of mine has ’em, and occasionally they give ’em to me, so it’s all in where you’re sitting. I mean, if you’re getting good seats, you’ve got a shot.
Do you still bring your glove?
Still bring my glove, primarily because a lot of times I’m sitting down in the first few rows. I mean, I saw a line-drive foul ball hit an elderly woman in the forehead and ricochet into the upper deck.
Who taught you how to be a man?
Probably my father. He coached me at a young age and built discipline in me. After him, I think Tom Coughlin. Coughlin, the head coach of the New York Giants, was my offensive coordinator in college, and he taught me discipline—how to work hard at football.
What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
Best advice I never took. Pat Haden told me when I was coming out of college, “Look. They’re gonna offer you what they’re gonna offer you. Hire a lawyer by the hour to negotiate the deal, rather than having an agent.” And I didn’t do it, and I got an agent instead, and it probably cost me a lot of money.
What advice would you give kids—teenage boys—who are trying to figure out what it means to be a good man?
You know what’s right and what’s wrong, and it’s a choice. Just make the right choice. It’s very simple. It’s very cut and dry. Everybody knows, and a lot of times we just choose to be bad or choose to make the wrong decisions, and we know we’re making the wrong decisions.