Doug Flutie, whose parents died of heart attacks within an hour of each other on Wednesday, will work the Notre Dame-Boston College football game Saturday night at Fenway Park, NBC announced.
Flutie, a college football legend who won the Heisman Trophy for the Eagles in 1984, has been part of NBC’s Notre Dame broadcasts since 2011. This is his first full season as the color analyst for the network, which carries all of the Irish’s home games.
Flutie’s iconic status in New England and his first-hand knowledge of the Notre Dame program made him a focal point of the promotion for Saturday’s game, which will air on the NBC Sports Network. But his status was left in doubt when his parents, Dick and Joan Flutie, died of heart attacks Wednesday.
Flutie, who starred at Natick High School, gained national fame at BC, and had a 21-year professional football career (1985-2005) in the USFL, CFL and NFL, announced his parents’ death in a statement.
“My Dad had been ill and died of a heart attack in the hospital and my Mom, less than an hour later had a sudden heart attack and passed away,’’ Flutie wrote on Facebook. “They say you can die of a broken heart and I believe it.’’
NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network executive producer Sam Flood provided a statement Wednesday night offering condolences to Flutie and his family. “As a valuable colleague, teammate, and friend, we know what an important role Doug’s parents played in his life,’’ Flood said.
NBC Sports did not indicate Wednesday whether or not Flutie would still work the game. But Thursday night at approximately 6:30 p.m., an NBC spokesman passed along word that Flutie indeed would be in the booth at Fenway Park Saturday night. Flutie was not quoted in the statement and was unavailable for comment.