Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Logo of The Middlebury Campus
Monday, Dec 5, 2022

The Inside Story

Author: David Lindholm Assistant Sports Editor

I had just come in from the sub-zero temperatures of the tundra where they played the NESCAC men's soccer quarterfinals, and I saw that the common room in my hall was packed full of burly, unshaven men. This could have meant only one thing; it was Sunday and the NFL was on TV. They were all watching the Giants, and I asked if anyone knew the score of the San Diego Chargers – Buffalo Bills game. I received no audible answers, just a bunch of blank stares and a few expressions that meant "dunno" before the guys turned back to the TV.

The last few years, the Bills were my favorite team, and this year it's the Chargers. This is true for only one reason: Doug Flutie. Now if any of the six of you who actually read this column don't know who Doug Flutie is, I'll give you a quick bio: Flutie won New England's heart when he completed a Hail Mary pass for Boston College to upset Miami 47-45 in 1984, the season that he won the Heismann Trophy. In 1989 he moved to Canada to play in the CFL, where he became a star. He was MVP six times in nine years, and won the Grey Cup (CFL's Super Bowl) three times.

These two QBs, Flutie and Johnson, couldn't be more different. Flutie is fun to watch and is a nice guy, whereas Johnson is a boring jerk. The only mistake Flutie has ever made was signing the contract to do all the 10-10-220 commercials. In short, Flutie rules, and Rob Johnson sucks. Take my word for it.

So when the Bills cut Flutie at the end of last season, the Chargers immediately picked him up. Now, San Diego is 5-2 and Buffalo is 1-5. I was eagerly awaiting Sunday's game so that the two QBs could go against each other for the first time. The game was going to be intense; Bills owner Ralph Wilson said last spring that he'd rather beat the Chargers this year than win the Super Bowl.

Flutie and Johnson shook hands during the pre-game coin toss. "It was very professional," Flutie said. "He even made eye contact." Johnson said, "We just don't get along personally, that's all. I respect him professionally." And then the battle began. Both QBs played exceptionally well, but in the end, justice was served. Flutie powered into the end zone with 1.10 seconds left in the game, scoring on a 13-yard run to give the Chargers a 27-24 victory.

Rob Johnson had a great game—his stats were just about equal to Flutie's—but, as was the case in Buffalo, he just got shown up. Part of the reason why the Bills played Johnson over Flutie is because Johnson is 28 years old, and Flutie just turned 39. But Flutie is the best quarterback so far this year. No, he's the best quarterback in the NFL. In fact, I think he's the best quarterback ever.