Ed Driscoll

OK, Maybe It Is Your Father's NFL...

At age 43, this may very well be Doug Flutie’s last season, one that was spent backing up Tom Brady in New England. If so, how cool is this to go out on?

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 Patriots backup 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,” said usually dour Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who broke into a wide smile when his sprightly quarterback split the uprights off one bounce. “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.

“He’s got a skill and we got a chance to let him use it, and I am happy for him. First time since ’41,” said Belichick, a football historian who last month brought out a leather helmet in his media session. “It might be 60 years again, too.”

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame web site, the league’s last drop kick for points was on Dec. 21, 1941 — two weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor — when Ray “Scooter” McLean converted for the Chicago Bears to beat the New York Giants 37-9 in the NFL championship game.

“Flutie might have been there the last time it happened,” placekicker Adam Vinatieri joked.

As Flutie said after the game, “if that ends up being my last play, it wouldn’t be bad.”

And how!