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Flutie's Surprise Is Quite the Kick

January 02, 2006|From the Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — For 21 years, Doug Flutie's career has been defined by one play. Now the "Hail Flutie" has its historic bookend.

The 43-year-old Patriot backup quarterback converted the NFL's first successful drop kick since 1941, making an extra point in the fourth quarter of the Miami Dolphins' mostly meaningless 28-26 victory Sunday over New England.

"I think Doug deserves it," Patriot Coach Bill Belichick said. "He is a guy that adds a lot to this game of football, has added a lot through his great career -- running, passing and now kicking."

The league's last drop kick for points was on Dec. 21, 1941, when Ray "Scooter" McLean converted for the Chicago Bears.

"Flutie might have been there the last time it happened," kicker Adam Vinatieri joked.

The ball was more round until 1934, making the bounce more predictable. And the rules were changed to require the kicker to be behind the line of scrimmage, relegating the drop kick to a riskier version of an extra point.

Flutie took his position for a regular shotgun snap, then retreated to the 12-yard line to await the ball.

He caught the ball, dropped it to the grass and kicked it off the short hop straight through the uprights.

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