For an instant, time was frozen again, dating back 24 years to a November day when Doug Flutie was still just a kid from Natick and Boston College.
"I was just having fun,'' he said this afternoon outside of Alumni Stadium at the unveiling of a life-sized statue commemorating his legendary Hail Mary pass to beat Miami on Nov. 23, 1984.
For Flutie and his teammates and friends, today was a reunion as they gathered before a crowd of couple of hundred fans who watched a highlight video of his career.
"It's like a family reunion for all of us,'' said Flutie. "Boston College is such a big part of my life and it always has been.''
So on a warm, breezy November afternoon, as the BC band played again and the crowd cheered, Flutie, Gerard Phalen (who caught the game-winning TD pass), and assistant head coach Jack Bicknell Jr. (who snapped the ball on the play) all were able to step back in time and remember the moment which has become the benchmark for Eagles football.
"To me [the pass that beat Miami] was just a play,'' said then-coach Jack Bicknell Sr. "What I remember is the years, so many moments, so much fun.''
Flutie tried to put it into perspective.
"Just thinking about how much fun we had,'' he said. "These kids don't have any fun. They work their tails off. It's nowhere near as much fun.''
Regarding the statue, Flutie could only shake his head.
"I'm a little bit in awe,'' he said. "I've received a lot of honors, a lot of awards, but I was really anticipating today, being with people who care about each other for 30 years and then coming down and seeing the statue, to know you are going to be there and be part of the history of Boston College.
"My nephew (BC wide receiver Billy Flutie] is going to walk across campus and see that statue every day. I don't know how to describe it, but it's really cool.''
(Photo by Bill Greene, Globe Staff)
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell