The two weeks or so of courtship Doug Flutie by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats came to an end on Saturday. As the New England Patriots bellied up to the bar and offered the diminutive little field general a one year contract and a chance to end his career back in his beloved New England from whence it all began.
And with that bit of business taken care of, Darren Flutie could head for a Tim Horton's instead of a Gold's Gym. The fantasy camp of the Flutie Brothers will not take place in Southern Ontario this year, there will be no Flutie to Flutie finish in the CFL.
Darren had stated he would come out of retirement to join his brother Doug should he decide to return to the CFL for a grand finale tour. To that end he had started the necessary wind sprints and strength work to survive a training camp in less than one months time.
But the chance to play in front of the hometown fans of Massachusetts proved to be more of a lure than the opportunity to play pitch and catch with brother Darren in Hamilton. So Darren will head back to the press box, while Doug carries the clipboard in Foxboro.
And perhaps that's all for the best, while no doubt an exciting possibility for CFL fans to see Flutie back in the passing league, there's also the idea that you can't really go back in time to recapture some magic. The Flutie years in the CFL were filled with some pretty impressive moments, perhaps they would be tarnished just a little by a slower Darren and an older Doug.
With the Flutie boys taking their skills in other directions, Danny McManus can now concentrate on getting things in line for what will most likely be his farewell tour of the CFL. McManus was kind of lost in the excitement these last few weeks and that's not particularly fair. Danny Mac has been just as important to the CFL and surely deserved a bit more respect than the vision of the baggage on the side of the field.
He should slip easily into a mentor role and the Tiger-Cats would be foolish not to take advantage of all that accumulated knowledge from his many years in CFL combat. As he prepares for the Hamilton camp, perhaps now he can receive a bit of appreciation from the Black and Yellow faithful. Never complaining in the dark days of the franchise, he should be provided with some gratitude for keeping his team on an even keel when all around him were looking for the lifeboats.
While it may have been fun to have had the Fluties together for one final run, it's just as important to respect a guy that has stayed with the CFL through thick and thin. Now the problem for the Cats is how to spin all of this into a positive, besides this Flutie/McManus melodrama the Cats also let the popular Joe Montford go in the off season. Interestingly enough, Montford suggested as he was leaving that while it may be all and shiny on the surface, inside the Ti-Catss offices it's the same old atmosphere regarding player management. Before they hit the field, Ti-Cat management have some fence mending to deal with in the dressing room.