Ryan Fitzpatrick revealed how he was urged to take off his shirt in a playoff game between the Buffalo Bills against New England in January on Monday’s broadcast.
Fitzpatrick, 39, discussed his retirement last week after 17 seasons in the NFL ESPN podcast Adam Shifter, and his love for Buffalo has been a topic of discussion.
The quarterback went to the wild cards game on January 15 at Haymark Stadium with his two oldest sons. A picture of a bearded and topless Fitzpatrick went viral on social media after the match.
“I’ve been going to the Super Bowl for the last five or six years with my two oldest kids,” Fitzpatrick told Shifter on the podcast. “This year, I didn’t really feel like coming out to Los Angeles, where the Bills had a home playoff game. So it was like, ‘The Bills have a home playoff game, so let’s make this our trip.”
“We flew 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.’ I was like, ‘Okay, it’s negative-3, just relax.’ It was after 7th touchdown. There was an incredible energy and feeling on that court, and it felt like it was time. My boys and I threw the shirts off.
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“It took about three or four minutes, and after about 10 minutes I had to tell my boys to put the clothes back on because frostbite was coming soon. It was a great experience to share with my boys that I will never forget.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever felt at home on the field or in a fan base. I’ve been in Buffalo for four years, but these are my people. I feel like I understand them, and they understand me. It was one of the greatest pleasures of my career playing at Buffalo.”
Fitzpatrick played for nine NFL teams. He compiled a career record of 59-87-1 as a starter, including 20-33 with the Bills. He passed for 34,990 yards (32nd all-time) and 223 touchdowns (36th all-time).
Here are some other notes from Fitzpatrick on his retirement:
• When calling it stop: “I have so much gratitude for the opportunities I had, so much gratitude for the people who believed in me. … I gave men opportunities to do plays. I didn’t just sit around and try to survive. I tried to get out there and thrive and play without fear” .
• On his favorite NFL QB: “Josh Allen is my favorite because he looks so effortless. He’s so talented, he still doesn’t know how good he is. He will keep improving. It also doesn’t hurt that he plays in Buffalo. It doesn’t hurt that he fits in that city with The letter T, only in terms of his behaviour.”
• On the blow he received from London Fletcher in the 2011 victory over Washington, which improved the Bills record to 5-2. (Buffaloes lost the next seven in a row): “London broke my sternum and broke six of my ribs. Low center of gravity, hard head. It was my fault. I made the wrong protection call, the guys listened to me at the front and I got bombed.”
Fitzpatrick also scored his 12 most memorable matches. they may have been:
2005: Rams vs. Texas. Dropping 21 points, the Rams mustered to win 33-27 in overtime.
2008: Bengals vs Jaguar. The Bengals win 21-19. The first win of his career as a rookie.
2010: Billing vs. Bengals. The Bells won 49-31. “The first time I felt this indomitable feeling. … Stevie Johnson did “Why so serious?” that game.”
2011: Bills vs. Patriots. “We beat them 34-31. That was when Tom Brady didn’t shake my hand.”
2014: Texas vs. Billings. “The first and only game of revenge I felt like I had ever had. I felt like the guys in Houston were gathering around me.” Texas won 23-17.
2014: Texas vs. Titans. Fitzpatrick threw six TD passes in a 45-21 win.
2015: Jets vs. Patriots: “We won fifth in a row and went 10-5. They won the lottery and elected to go for us. I got to shake hands that game.”
2016: Aircraft vs. Billing. Gates won 37-31. “The first Thursday night game of that season. Nothing can go wrong. Everything we did in that match was perfect.”
2017: Bucks vs. Cardinals. Down 31-0, Boss went up and lost 38-33.
2018: Bucks vs. Saints. Bucs won 48-40. “One of those games where nothing can go wrong. It was the start of three games from 400 yards to start the season, something that had not been done to start the season by any quarterback.”
2019: Dolphins vs. Patriots. Dolphins won 27-24 in the final drive, and Butts needed a win to secure a home field advantage.
2020: Dolphins vs. Raiders. Dolphins 2 dropped with 19 seconds left at 25, leading the field goal win in 26-25 wins.