Brian Dowling (American football)
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|Date of birth||April 1, 1947|
|Place of birth||Cleveland, Ohio|
|NFL draft||1969 / Round: 11 / Pick 277|
|1969||Minnesota Vikings (camp)|
|1970–1973||New England Patriots|
|1974–1975||Charlotte Hornets (WFL)|
|1977||Green Bay Packers|
Brian John Dowling (born April 1, 1947) is a former college and professional football player and was the starting quarterback of the Yale University football team in the late 1960s. He set, and held for decades, a number of Yale passing records. Dowling finished 9th in vote for the 1968 Heisman Trophy, and was awarded the Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Award for sportsmanship in 1967. At Yale, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
Dowling lost only one football game in grammar school, and never lost a game he completed throughout high school and college. In Dowling's final collegiate game, his 1968 Yale team was undefeated, nationally ranked and heavily favored going into The Game against Harvard University at Cambridge. Although likewise unbeaten and untied, the Crimson were also unheralded. Harvard, trailing 29–13 with 42 seconds remaining, rallied to tie the game, while Dowling stood helplessly on the sideline. As a result, both schools shared the Ivy League title. The contest's result inspired the Harvard Crimson the next day to print the headline, "Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29".
Dowling played football in high school for St. Ignatius High School, located in Cleveland, Ohio. He played in two consecutive City Championship games in 1963 and 1964; St. Ignatius lost to Benedictine High School, 30-16, in the 1963 game but avenged the loss the following year with a 48-6 victory over Benedictine. As a 2-way player, Dowling still holds the Ohio high school football state record for career interceptions with 33.
Dowling played briefly in the National Football League for the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 1969 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings, but cut in training camp. He had two touchdown passes and three rushing touchdowns during his NFL career.
Dowling is currently an insurance industry consultant who works with a venture capitalist in the Boston area.
- Gene Weingarten, Doonesbury's War. The Washington Post, October 22, 2006, p. W14.
- Randall Beach, Character forever linked to tie game Yale ‘lost’ to Harvard in ’68. New Haven Register, March 5, 2010.