‘Dancing with the Stars 22’ spotlight: Will Doug Flutie, Karina Smirnoff embrace their underdog status?

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There is something about Doug Flutie on “Dancing with the Stars” that we really appreciate and like. Maybe part of it comes from being someone who once ate a box of Flutie Flakes, or maybe part of it just comes from him just having that underdog spirit about him. He was never someone who had a typical career in the NFL, and he defied the odds and expectations to become one of the more popular players of his era.

Is Flutie going to be able to do enough to stand out this season, especially with there being such a crowded field? This is something we’re going to try and figure out in this latest edition of our show spotlight series.

Claim to fame – Flutie played in several different leagues, but may be best known to some north of the border as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the Canadian Football League. After many years in Canada, he did have stints with the Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers, and eventually as a backup for the New England Patriots. He played a couple of years into his forties, and was still very effective not just as a passer, but also a runner. For our money, he may be one of the most entertaining quarterbacks we ever watched.

Partner – Karina Smirnoff. Karina has danced with an extremely wide array of people in her many seasons of the show, is a former champion, and has also proven herself to be especially effective at training current and former athletes. It’s easy to understand why she would be chosen for Doug.

Strengths – The biggest thing that Doug has going for himself is that he’s a fighter, and as a result of that, he’ll probably be a really hard worker over the course of his time there. He’s also got a cult following among football fans, and we think he’ll be able to pull in support all over the country. It’s a little different than current players / fellow contestants Antonio Brown and Von Miller, whose support is a little bit more limited.

Weaknesses – Quarterbacks don’t necessarily have the best history on “Dancing with the Stars,” at least compared to wide receivers and other positions. While athletic, we’re not sure the skills translate as well. Also, Flutie’s been retired now for around a decade, and he probably has some more physical limitations than some of the contestants who are in their twenties during this competition.

Prediction – We’re trying to separate our personal love of Flutie from how he’ll do on the show as a dancer, and right now, we’d say that his ceiling is four or five weeks. The biggest thing for us is simply that we don’t know what he’s going to be like as an entertainer, and if his dancing his not the best, he’ll need that to fall back on if he wants to make it longer than a month in the competition.

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