Posted on tsn.ca earlier today
Flutie closes the door on CFL return
8/18/2006 6:44:21 PM
TORONTO (CP) - Doug Flutie officially closed the door Friday on a potential return to the CFL.
The eight-time winner of the league's outstanding player award admitted while his close friendship with Toronto head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons tempted him to return to the Argonauts earlier this month, he's very content to remain in retirement.
"I was tempted only because of the friendship that we have and I love the game up there and it would have been an opportunity to say goodbye to the CFL," Flutie said Friday during a conference call.
"But I kind of like the way I ended things up there and the way I ended things down here and I wasn't in a rush to go running back and take any more hits on the field."
Flutie spent eight seasons in the CFL with B.C., Calgary and Toronto before returning to the NFL following the `97 season. He spent last season with the New England Patriots before retiring in the off-season to become a football analyst on ESPN's U.S. college football broadcasts.
But Flutie, 43, was poised to return to the Argos prior to their 26-23 road win over Saskatchewan on July 22. In fact, he had a plane ticket for Toronto and was scheduled to begin practising immediately with the club before having a change of heart.
"Toronto had run into some issues at quarterback with injuries and all that," Flutie said "Pinball and I are very close friends.
"We've kept in touch and he's giving me some calls to try and entice me a little bit to come on up and help him out."
Toronto opened the year with veteran Damon Allen at quarterback, but he suffered a broken finger in the club's season-opening win over Hamilton. Backup Spergon Wynn took over and immediately had trouble leading the Argos offence with any sort of consistency.
During Toronto's 26-23 win over Saskatchewan, Wynn suffered a head injury after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from defensive tackle Scott Schultz on the final play of the first half. Wynn's helmet flew off from the impact, leaving his head uncovered as he was taken down hard on to the turf at Mosaic Stadium.
Wynn laid on the field for several minutes before being gingerly placed on a stretcher and taken off the field via ambulance. That left No. 3 quarterback Eric Crouch, in his first CFL season, to assume starter's duties in Wynn's place.
Fortunately for Toronto, Wynn was back practising with the club immediately and didn't have to be placed on the injured list. But with Crouch suffering from shoulder problems, the Argos went out and re-signed veteran Michael Bishop to take his spot.
And Allen has since returned to the lineup, saying he likely won't require additional surgery on his injured finger until the end of the season.