Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary to beat Miami squares off against Bill Belichick resigning as the Jets’ head coach in the first round of Boston’s Greatest Sports Moment tournament.
2. Doug Flutie’s Hail MaryDoug Flutie wasn’t a household name when he arrived at Boston College to play quarterback in 1981. But after throwing a last-second Hail Mary touchdown pass to Gerard Phelan to give Boston College a 47-45 win over Miami on Nov. 23, 1984, Flutie earned a permanent place in Boston — and sports — lore. The play was a dramatic ending to one of the most exciting games in college football history, as Flutie and Hurricanes quarterback Bernie Kosar combined for 919 passing yards and five touchdowns in a windswept shootout at Miami’s Orange Bowl. Flutie went on win the Heisman Trophy, breaking BC records for passing yards and touchdowns and graduating as the NCAA’s all-time passing leader with 10,579 yards. Boston College finished the 1984 season ranked No. 4 in the country and saw a 16 percent jump in applications the following year, a phenomenon referred to as the “Flutie Effect.”
15. Belichick resigns after one day as Jets coachSometimes, destiny has a weird way of working out. Just hours after being named New York Jets head coach in 1999, Bill Belichick decided that his heart belonged in New England. Belichick formally resigned on the back of a piece of notebook paper (“I resign as HC of the NYJ”). Belichick joined the Patriots as their head coach for the 2000 season. The Patriots were required to give up a first-round draft pick as compensation, which might have been the most one-sided trade in sports history. The Jets didn’t end up that bad in the trade, turning that pick into Shaun Ellis, but the Patriots received the greatest coach of his generation. Entering the 2011 season, Belichick has gone 126-50 since joining New England and is 14-5 in the playoffs with three Lombardi Trophies.
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