It was disclosed on a podcast on Monday that Ryan Fitzpatrick was prompted to remove his shirt during the Buffalo Bills’ playoff game against the New England Patriots in January.
On Saturday, a surprising appearance by the veteran QB and his two oldest boys at Highmark Stadium to witness his former team, the Bills Mafia, take on the Patriots in the AFC Wild Card Round. It wasn’t long after the game that a picture of Fitzpatrick with a beard and no shirt went viral on the internet. Check out the best bookmakers for betting on the NFL!
“I go to the Super Bowl the last five, six years with my two oldest boys,” Fitzpatrick said on the ESPN Adam Schefter Podcast. “This year, I just wasn’t really feeling going out to L.A. The Bills had a home playoff game. So it was like, ‘The Bills have a home playoff game, let’s make this our trip’.”
The idea of going shirtless came from his boys, despite the fact that it was single-digit temperatures back then.
“We flew up that day, went to the game, and the whole time from the car through the parking lot to the game my boys were like, ‘We’re taking our shirts off, dad’,” Fitzpatrick added. “I was like, ‘OK, it’s negative-3 out, just relax.’ It was after the seventh touchdown. It was such an amazing energy and feeling in that stadium, I felt like it was time. Me and my boys threw the shirts off.”
Others who witnessed Fitzpatrick’s attendance in Saturday’s matchup verified that he was engrossed in the game and kind to the people surrounding him.
“I lasted maybe three or four minutes, and after about 10 minutes I had to tell my boys to put the clothes back on because the frostbite was coming soon. It was a great experience and one to share with my boys I’ll never forget.”
Fitzpatrick was a member of nine NFL teams. Since leaving the Bills in 2012 after only four seasons, Fitzpatrick has played for six different teams, but Bills Mafia will always have a special place in his heart.
— Built in Buffalo (@BuiltInBuffalo_) August 26, 2021
During his time with the Bills, he was 20-33 as a starter and amassed a 59-87-1 career record. He ranks 32nd on the all-time list with 34,990 passing yards and 223 touchdowns that puts him in 36th of all time.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever felt as at home in a stadium or with a fanbase,” Fitzpatrick said. “I was in Buffalo for four years, but those are my people. I feel like I understand them, and they understand me. It was one of the great pleasures of my career playing in Buffalo.”
Fitzpatrick said last week that he was retiring from the NFL. When he did this, some people in Buffalo thought that he might “retire” with the Bills. But it doesn’t sound like anything like that is happening.
Fitz on playing in Buffalo: I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more at home in a stadium or with a fanbase. I was in Buffalo for four years but those are my people. I feel like I understand them and they understand me. https://t.co/iilQicGF2M
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) June 6, 2022
“I have just so much gratitude for the opportunities I was given, and so much gratitude for the people who believed in me,” Fitzpatrick said. “I gave guys chances to make plays. I didn’t just sit back and try to survive. I tried to go out there and thrive and play without fear.” Check out the top sports betting sites for betting on the NFL!
Fitzpatrick said something about holding a retirement press conference when he was on Schefter’s podcast.
“It’s not like one particular team is going to hold a press conference for me,” he said.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the Bills will provide him with a one-day deal. Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, still has a soft spot for the place.
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