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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hall of Famer Doug Flutie inspires audience at UNCP

by Chris Adams

Doug Flutie, former professional football player, encouraged an audience of 500 to be team players on March 17 at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Givens Performing Arts Center.

Doug FlutieFlutie is known most for leading Boston College to victory in 1984 by his desperation “Hail Mary” pass caught in the end zone, with only six seconds left on the clock and at the 20-yard line.

“Don’t sit and wait for things to happen,” Flutie said as part of the University’s Distinguished Speaker Series. “Your attitude and approach makes all the difference in the world.”

Flutie is also a Heisman Trophy winner, and inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame and Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

“Coach didn’t want me to play because I was too small,” he said.

Flutie talked about growing up in Florida, and how he learned to be a team player at a young age.

“Money was tight,” he said. “It made me appreciate opportunities even more.

“Having an attitude of ‘me-me-me’ is like a cancer on the team,” he said. “I’d take 1,000 character-type guys over Terrell Owens any day.”

Doug FlutieFlutie talked about the importance of team responsibility and all members of the team working toward a common goal. He continued to speak on bringing your dreams to life.

“Once you realize that dreams are possible, the door is wide open,” he said. “No one is going to walk up and hand you an opportunity, you have to get it. Being prepared brings opportunities.”

Flutie and his wife are also the founders of the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism that is named for their son.

The foundation hosts four fundraisers a year and holds sponsorships to raise money for autism research, he said.

Flutie said he will be remembered for his lifelong dedication to the foundation and hopes the research will continue in his son’s honor.

The football star was the last speaker in the 2008-09 series that included Louis Gossett Jr., Arianna Huffington, Patch Adams and Hugh Johnston.

Also read: Football great Doug Flutie proves he still has game!

Chris Adams is a senior Mass Communication major.

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