As a tribute to Sunday’s San Diego Chargers victory over the Buffalo Bills, there is no better time for me to explain why the northeast region still chooses Doug Flutie over Rob Johnson.

It’s been over two months of football action for the Buffalo Bills without Doug Flutie and there have been rare signs of life from the “younger and stronger arm” of Rob Johnson as promised.

So far, a prayer has emerged from some Bills’ fans, “how can we get Doug back?”

As Buffalo residents prepare their Bud, chips and dip for Sunday’s game, a few packs weren’t wearing the Bills’ caps or waving the team’s banner. Instead, they were tuned into the Chargers’ pre-game and cladly dressed in Flutie’s old No. 7 jersey while munching on week-old Flutie Flakes.

But the devoted have lost grips on the reality of the apparently simple situation ? Flutie is not coming back even if we beg. Not after the way the Bill administration underrated his quarterback skills, his leadership ability and most of all his character.

“I’m off to a new beginning here in San Diego,” Flutie said in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

It seemed like it was yesterday when the Buffalo Bills chose Johnson over Flutie due to cutbacks in the salary cap. The “ongoing controversy” as described by Sports Illustrated between the two QBs was the talk of last spring in the upstate New York region.

Although gossip and debate has toned down and Bills fans continue to cheer for its home squad, lately it seems many have lost faith in this changeup.

Furthermore, as much as fans love to hate those who leave, Flutie is still revered.

And why shouldn’t they betray their loyalty to the Bills?

Not only did Flutie lead San Diego this season so far to second in the AFC West, turning their 1-15 record last season completely around, but he is currently one of the most notable QBs in the NFL. All the while, he has maintained his down-to-earth appreciation for the city of Buffalo and for the team that helped cast his spotlight.

“The Buffalo situation to me was a big step in my career, to get back to the NFL and re-establish myself,” Flutie said in the D&C. “It was very special.”

And Flutie himself is magical. During Sunday’s matchup, the 39 year old pulled away from a collapsed pocket and scored on a 13-yard dash with about a minute left, giving San Diego the chance to run away with a 27-24 win over the Bills.

Off the field, Flutie also has demonstrated that he has the competitiveness, the drive and the passion for the goals that he sets his eyes on.

Aside from battling the stigma of his size in NFL, he has also been fighting against autism by starting up the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation on behalf of his son.

Meanwhile, Johnson continues to attempt to dig the Bills out of last place in the AFC East and a 1-5 record, while he figures out how to be an effective QB out of the shotgun position.

Last spring, Johnson whined and complained that the press should pay attention to the fact that he wants to emerge from Flutie’s shadow and to realize that “his job is to win.”

Well Rob, I’ve got one thing to say ? do your job. It takes more than a great arm and good aim to pull off big victories.

After you realize that, maybe you’ll earn the respect and popularity of Buffalo that you think you deserve.

Wu can be reached jwu@campustimes.org.



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