Inside Ryan Fitzpatrick’s life as dad of seven and ‘Welcome to TV’ moment with Justin Herbert
There wasn’t much FitzMagic in this welcome to TV moment.
Ryan Fitzpatrick realized the reality of retirement shortly after he called it a career following 17 seasons in June 2022.
The Prime Video NFL analyst was referring to the time when he was sent to the Chargers’ facility to interview quarterback Justin Herbert on his first media assignment ahead of the 2022-23 season.
“I think back to last year, the first interview that I had to do,” Fitzpatrick, 41, recalled in an interview with The Post on behalf of Amazon and their fleet of more than 10,000 electric delivery vans by Rivian.
“Our first ‘TNF’ game was Kansas City and the Chargers. I flew out to L.A., I was going to talk to Justin Herbert for a little bit talked to him for 15 minutes and got a two-minute piece.
7Ryan Fitzpatrick on set of the Amazon Prime “Thursday Night Football” pregame show prior to a game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on November 2, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Getty Images“I just remember sitting outside the Chargers facility hoping to be let in the doors. And I was like, ‘Okay, I’m officially not a player anymore. I’m officially an outsider. That was my welcome to TV and media. And then Justin Herbert wasn’t very talkative either, so it wasn’t a very successful interview.”
Since then, Fitzpatrick has brought his eccentric personality to the sidelines on “TNF” including going shirtless in freezing Buffalo after the Bills beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 24-18, on Oct. 26.
“But, you know, since then, I’ve got to sit down with some of my good buddies, Bills quarterback Josh Allen and those have gone much better,” Fitzpatrick said.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a national treasure. @NFLonPrime | #TBvsBUFpic.twitter.com/1Gm1bKNzqC
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) October 27, 2023He recently teamed with fellow “Thursday Night Football” analyst and former NFL star Richard Sherman for a day of surprise deliveries to customers in one of Amazons 10,000 custom electric delivery vans from Rivian as the E-commerce company is working to have 100,000 electric delivery vehicles on the road by 2030, eliminating millions of metric tons of carbon per year.
Fitzpatrick has a new appreciation for “everything that goes in behind the scenes to make t such a successful production” at Amazon.
“Its definitely different,” he said about being “on the other side of it now,” where his weeks during the NFL season are centered around traveling to different cities to cover games and making it back home in time to attend one of his seven kids’ sporting events.
The Harvard alum and his wife Liza (ne Barber) live in Arizona with their three boys and four girls ranging from ages four to 16 right next door to his brother, Shaun, and his five children.
7Ryan Fitzpatrick talks with Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen on the Amazon Prime “Thursday Night Football” postgame show after a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Highmark Stadium on Oct. 26, 2023. Getty Images“My two oldest two are 16 and 14, and they’re not very happy now that they can’t have their father on their fantasy team,” Fitzpatrick said, laughing. “But we’ve moved on from that.
“My daughters are 12, 10, eight and six and then my youngest son is four. That’s been the eye-opening thing for me with my daughters, they’re super inquisitive about football and they were all born in different cities, so they pretty much all root for different teams.
“Most of my family leans toward the Bills, but my daughter, Zoey, for instance, has taken a huge interest in the Texans because she was born in Houston. She’s a huge C.J. Stroud fan.”
7The Amazon Prime “TNF” pregame show prior to an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on Dec. 7, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Penn. Getty ImagesFitzpatrick saw his fair share of cities after he was selected in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL draft by the then-St. Louis Rams.
He went on to play for nine teams across 17 seasons, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, Jets, Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Washington.
7Ryan Fitzpatrick takes a selfie with a fan prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on Oct. 26, 2023 in Orchard Park, N.Y. Getty ImagesFitzpatrick is the only quarterback in NFL history to win a game with seven or more different teams (Miami, Tampa Bay, New York Jets, Buffalo, Houston, Cincinnati, Tennessee), per NFL.com.
In 17 seasons, he started 147 games, throwing for 34,990 yards and 223 touchdowns with 169 interceptions.
“The cool part about this is, there’s less stress involved,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s different because as a player, even though you’re home, sometimes you’re not actually home you’re trying to be home, you try to be present, but there’s always you’re thinking about, whether it’s the next game and the game plan.
“Now, I get to be home all the time and it’s a lot of fun … So I think in turn it’s a lot less stressful for my wife than it is than it was when I was playing.
“For example, last year we had a couple of weeks off of school, so my kids got to come with me to Chicago (for a Bears game) and we spent the week in the city. They got to be a part of my world, and when I played, I tried to do that as much as I could, but there was always the stress of the job and the task and the meetings and the things that I had to do on the player side of things.
“I can immerse them in some of that … So for me to be able to have my family involved in that and be around is that’s a neat part of the job for me.”
7Richard Sherman and Ryan Fitzpatrick team up to surprise customers in one of Amazon’s 10,000 custom electric delivery vans from Rivian at the Amazon Delivery Station in Edison, N.J. Michael Simon/startraksphoto.comWhen he’s not working, Fitzpatrick coaches his kids’ basketball teams.
“It’s so much fun,” he said. “My brother lives next door to me and he’s got a basketball court in his backyard. I usually find myself with like five teams coaching all the different age ranges. That part for me is a really enjoyable part of the year.”
In addition to basketball, his two oldest sons also play football, one of his daughters is “super interested” in flag football and another enjoys playing soccer.
Fitzpatrick has a good grasp on his work-life balance.
He tries his best not to miss Wednesday dinners with the Prime Video crew when they all touch down in the city they’re scheduled to film in but is strict about making it home for his kids’ activities.
7New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick poses with his sons, Brady, left, and Tate, right, after the Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 29, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. APFitzpatrick’s routine goes something like this:
“It’s the Wednesday to Friday travel, and then I get back on Friday and still get my kids off the bus most Fridays, so that’s great,” he said. “To be able to have the weekends and spend that with them is amazing.
“For me, a simple thing on Sunday is being able to sit down and watch football with my kids and not just my two older boys, but my daughters as well. To sit there and have them asking all these cool questions and to be able to share this game with them that I love so much.
“They were always watching dad or more into the popcorn and whatever else was going on. But that’s been a cool part of my world that has changed, to be able to sit down and watch games with them.”
7Ryan Fitzpatrick, second from left, relaxes with his family after practice during training camp in 2016. APThe family is looking forward to the Super Bowl in February.
Fitzpatrick said he’s sticking with his original pick at the beginning of the season, when he said Baltimore and San Francisco will play in Super Bowl LVIII in 2024.
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