The character in Gary Trudeau’s “Doonesbury” comic strip that wears a football helmet and goes by the name B.D. was inspired by Trudeau’s Yale University classmate Brian Dowling.
Dowling was quarterback for Yale in the late 1960s and later for the New England Patriots in the NFL. Dowling was 16-1-1 in his junior and senior years at Yale. He later went on to become a sportscaster.