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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

OSTROWSKY: Doug Flutie, New England Patriots coming to Brandeis

Published: April 1, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.

This upcoming weekend, April 1st-3rd, the Athletes in Beantown autograph showcase, sponsored by ABN Sports, will be held at the Brandeis Gosman Athletic Center. This entertaining event includes both current and former professional athletes, most of whom have some connection to the Boston area. For a meager 5 dollar admission fee (2 dollars if youre a Brandeisian, no charge if youre under 12), you will be able to shmooze around the gymnasium with the guys and line up for autographs for additional fees.

The proceeds of this autograph and memorabilia show go to the Brandeis womens basketball team. What better way to say thank you for a tremendous season then by getting that little brother of yours a Jim Rice autograph for his upcoming birthday while at the same time helping out the girls squad? The show kicks off Friday night (5-9 p.m.) with Monte Irvin and Andre Tippett. Saturdays lineup (10am-5pm) includes former Boston bad boys, Jim Rice and Steve Grogan. Sundays roster (10am – 4pm) is not looking too shabby either with Naticks favorite son, Doug Flutie, scheduled to make an appearance.

The Gosman Athletic Center has never hosted this many renowned athletes since the Boston Celtics held their practices there last decade. These are not just any professional athletes that will be at your University. The roster includes a former Super Bowl MVP. An eight-time All-Star outfielder for the Red Sox. The heart of the defending champion New England Patriots defensive line.

Perhaps the biggest name of them all is the aforementioned Flutie. The little guy has become a New England folk legend for his last second Hail Mary Touchdown pass against the Miami Hurricanes. (The receiving end of that immaculate reception, Gerard Phelan will be in the building also). After dominating the Canadian Football League for more than a decade, Flutie bounced around in the NFL for a while. After wearing out his welcome in both Buffalo and San Diego, Flutie is now a free agent looking for one final hurrah (with perhaps New England again)?

There will be members of the all-world New England Patriots defense present. The notable ones include defensive linemen Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren as well as linebacker Roosevelt Colvin. Warren, in only his sophomore season, seemed to be improving on every play in the 04- 05 season. He had particularly strong performances against conference foes, Kansas City, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.

Wilfork filled in nicely as nose tackle for the departed Ted Washington. The big man logged 42 tackles. Colvins a particularly interesting player. Before suffering a career threatening injury in week 2 of the 2003 season, he was one of the premier linebackers in the NFL. Over the course of his last two seasons as a Chicago Bear in 01 and 02ds, Colvin accounted for 21 sacks and 134 tackles. His hopes are on the bubble for returning to full strength in the upcoming season.

Then theres Jim Rice, who knows a little something about being on the bubble. Rice has come up just short for the zillionth year on the baseball writers ballots for earning a ticket to the elusive Hall Of Fame. Rice had a tremendous career in Boston, possessing the rear combination of being both a contact and power hitter. He was the bright spot for the incredibly disappointing 78 Red Sox, winning the AL MVP award. The only other bright spot that comes to mind in the 78 season was that glaring sun in outfielder Lou Pinellas eyes in the one game playoff, but apparently that wasnt even bright enough. Rice is currently a co host on NESNs post Red Sox game show WB Mason Extra Innings.
Other athletes scheduled to be present include Wilber Wood, Dan Klecko, and Bill Lee.

Many Brandeisians (myself included) complain about the lack of excitement over sports at our school. Itll be a while before this many noteworthy athletes come to the Deis field house over the span of less than 48 hours. Anyone who has any interest in pro or college sports should come out this weekend. It will only make what is already expected to be one of the greatest sports weekends of the year, with the NCAA Final Four and Baseballs Opening Night, even better.

Arguably the best aspect of the program, is addition through subtraction. Jose Canseco has decided to NOT make a highly anticipated appearance. At least you re not gonna be ratted on if you cut in line.