Fitzmagic Calls it a Career

Fitzmagic Calls it a Career

by June 3, 2022 0 comments

Being a quarterback in the NFL comes with quite a bit of responsibility, and it also requires having a thick skin. They are usually the most loved by their respective fans, although not without criticism for their mistakes. But they are also the most hated by the other 31 teams, especially if they are successful. Their lifespan in the league, with few exceptions, is very short. The league’s most valuable player award almost every year goes to a quarterback.

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Journeyman quarterbacks who aren’t ready to ride off into the sunset try to sign on with teams as a backup and more often than not are responsible for mentoring the next face of the franchise signal-caller. When they do get on the field they try to make the most of their snaps.

One of the few exceptions to the love/hate relationship is the seventh round, 250th-overall pick by the then-St. Louis Rams in the 2005 NFL Draft out of Harvard, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Labeled “Fitzmagic”, he played for nine teams in his 17 seasons in the NFL. The 39-year-old has announced that he is retiring from the NFL this week.

Beginning to End

Fitzpatrick’s  career started in St. Louis and ended with a six snap stint in the nation’s capital with the Washington Football Team, before getting injured and missing the rest of the 2021 season. In between, he played for the Cincinnati Bengals, the Buffalo Bills, the Tennessee Titans, the Houston Texans, the New York Jets, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Miami Dolphins, where he led the team in rushing in 2019, albeit with a whopping 243 yards.

Fitzpatrick threw for a career total, just one first down short of 35,000 yards and 223 touchdowns. Although he never played in a playoff game, he endeared fans, not only at every stop along the way but throughout the league. Whether it’s the beard, his gritty play to give his team every opportunity to win, or his press conference swagger, complete with gold chains and hairy chest exposed.

Even if you were not a fan of the nine teams he played for, he’s a tough guy not to like. Fellow Prime Time Sports Talk writers were polled for their thoughts on Fitzpatrick:

“He was a leader and one of the all-time best teammates in the history of the NFL. How he went to Harvard but he doesn’t act like he is better than anyone and because of that, he is probably the one athlete that people unanimously want to grab a beer with.” @michaelschiro4

“Fitzy ain’t pretty but has found a way to succeed everywhere. His time in Cincy seemed to kickstart that latter part of his career, which was as scrappy as his beard. The gold chain and open collar has to be one of the swaggiest looks since Namath.”

“In 2020, he led the dolphins to beat the patriots making them a Wild Card team and giving the Chiefs home field advantage in the playoffs. Other than that, when he comes to mind, I just think of someone who doesn’t give up, just keeps doing what he loves as best as he is able to.”

“He replaced Trent Edwards twice in Buffalo. That was enough to endear him to Bills fans.”

Hopefully, this isn’t the last we see of him. If he’s not in the studio somewhere talking football or on the sidelines in an NFL city, it would be a downright travesty for a personality like his to not be involved with the NFL in some way. 

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

Husband, father of 3 and an avid sports fan. Living out my childhood dream of writing about sports, now that I'm in my forties.

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