BOSTON (CBS) — When the B.A.A. announced that The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation For Autism would be the presenting sponsor of the Boston Marathon Adaptive Programs, it was a full circle moment for a kid from Natick.
“I’m a 58-year-old kid who’s running around trying to find the next activity,” said Doug Flutie, former Boston College hero and NFL quarterback.READ MORE: Des Linden, Yuki Kawauchi Among 13 Champions Returning For Historic 125th Boston Marathon
Flutie said it is an absolute thrill for him and his family to be the face of the adaptive programs for the famous race.
“When I was a kid, I would walk out to 135 and watch it go by,” he recalled. “Then I used to what we called ‘bandit’ it — run from the beginning, sneak in and run to Natick, 10-11 miles. I’ve actually got a chance to run it a handful of times now, but it’s been part of my life for years.”
Doug and his wife, Laurie, launched their foundation in 1998, when their son Doug Jr. was diagnosed with autism.
“At two-and-a-half, he was speaking in full sentences. He slowly regressed and lost his speech. He still doesn’t speak; he’s non-verbal,” Flutie explained. “He goes horseback riding on Thursdays. I’ve got him on a surfboard, pushing him in the little waves during the summer.
“Physically, he’s great. Physically, he can do anything,” he continued. “He can take off and run on you, and I’ve got the old knees. I can’t chase him down anymore.”READ MORE: Field Size Of Boston Marathon Won't Change After Mass. Reopening Announcement
Flutie hopes that this year is just the beginning of a long relationship between his foundation and the Boston Marathon.
“I would love to see it be a long-term partnership, and we can continue to be the face of autism,” said Flutie. “It’s something that has made me think about the possibility of maybe pushing Dougie for the Marathon. Maybe get him involved in that respect and be a big part of it.
“I’d really love to attempt that,” Flutie added.
It was through the Boston Marathon that Flutie got to know Dick Hoyt, and he sees parallels between the two fathers and sons.
“He inspired us all over the years. It’s such an inspiration to watch that, and the bond,” Flutie said of the Hoyts. “I’d love to somehow be a part of that and give it an effort. My Marathon experience has been unbelievable. To be able to do it with my son would just magnify that tenfold.”
Wouldn’t that be something to see? Flutie admits that after six surgeries, his knees aren’t what they used to be.MORE NEWS: Hopkinton To Name Street After Boston Marathon Legends Dick And Rick Hoyt
But Boston sports fans know that Doug Flutie is not one to back down from a challenge, and he sounds serious about attacking this one head-on.