Buffalo and Beirut… Two Cities Linked by History and Football

American football players in fight for goal at stadium.

This blog post was written by Consul General Mark Marrano

American football (and yes, this is not soccer!) sets the stage for one of the most anticipated annual sports events in the United States: The Super Bowl!  On February 12, the American Football Conference’s Kansas City Chiefs will play the National Football Conference’s Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.

More than just a sports event, the Super Bowl is one of the most-watched television broadcasts in U.S. history.  It is also an opportunity for Americans to gather family and friends –not just football fans– to watch this televised event as well as the halftime which showcases famous pop stars.  This year, it is featuring none other than Rihanna!

Portrait of Doug Flutie
Doug Flutie during the 2009 US Open. Photo credit: Edwin Martinez on Flickr (Modified).

Previously, I wrote about the historical link between the cities of Buffalo and Beirut through Consul General George Wadsworth II, the first highest-ranking U.S. diplomatic representative to Lebanon in 1942.  But did you know there is also a sports link through (American) football?

Buffalo and Beirut are connected through Doug Flutie, a former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.  Doug Flutie played professional football for 21 years and won many awards and recognition.  During the two years he was with the Buffalo Bills, he led them to the playoffs, the last quarterback to do so for the next 17 years.  Doug Flutie is well known to Bills fans, but less known is that his paternal great-grandparents were Lebanese immigrants. Much to my surprise and those of my cousins in Buffalo, “Flouty” also spelled “Flouti” (فلوطي) is a fairly common name in Beirut.

So much shared history.  Looking forward to my next “find.”