Most fans likely think of former NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick as the jovial, fun-loving figure who used to dress up in sunglasses and gold chains at post-game pressers in Tampa Bay. Or maybe as the shirtless fan at a freezing cold playoff game in Buffalo.
However, the new Amazon Prime Video pregame analyst showed another side of his personality this week while doing press for his new Thursday night TV gig.
During an interview with the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, co-host Jon Weiner (aka Stugotz) asked the former QB about rumors his injury last season started with an in-season mishap at a water park. The result was an incredibly awkward interaction and a premature end to the interview.
The Ryan Fitzpatrick Dan Le Batard interview
As part of his new gig on Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football, former NFL QB Ryan Fitzpatrick — who started games for nine NFL teams in his 17-year NFL career — did press with several prominent sports shows, including the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.
Toward the end of a fun, free-wheeling interview between the hosts and Fitzpatrick, Stugotz asked the question that would make things awkward.
In a light-hearted way that is germane to the show, Stugotz asked Fitzpatrick what he thought was a ridiculous question about Washington sports radio callers saying the QB got hurt at a water park in the D.C. area before his Week 1, season- and career-ending hip injury.
“Ryan, so there were several reports last year — now, granted these reports came from callers into a Washington, D.C., radio station — that you had hurt yourself last year before the season on a waterslide,” Stugotz said. “And I think, listen, you probably shouldn’t be doing that right before the NFL season if indeed these rumors are true. So, I just want to either find out if they’re true or put the rumors to bed. Were you indeed — did your career end on a waterslide?”
That’s where the interview took an awkward left turn.
Fitzpatrick got tense and awkward with the ‘Dan Le Batard Show’ crew
Instead of laughing the question off as he should have, there was an awkward pause before Fitzpatrick responded:
No, I got hurt in a game. I think everyone saw that. I mean, I don’t know. I’m now part of it. I’m now part of the media. But I think we all — and you probably already know the answer to that question. I know it’s funny and light, but now you give a rumor some more breath, but it’s silly, and it doesn’t make sense, and no, it never happened.Ryan Fitzpatrick on the ‘Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz’
To try and ease the tension, Dan Le Batard (dressed in full costume like the WWE wrestler Kane) tried to go even lighter.
“How does Ryan Fitzpatrick attack a waterslide?” Le Batard asked. “Is it head first? On the belly? How’s this one working?”
Fitzpatrick was not amused and curtly responded, “We can move on to something else.”
The show hosts erupted, yelling at Stugotz for crossing the line with his “water flume buffoonery,” trying one more time to defuse the tense situation.
However, the interview was too far gone.
After another awkward silence, Fitzpatrick told Le Bartard he’s happy the interview “isn’t on Zoom right now,” presumably so they couldn’t see his annoyed face. He also accused the show of “gotcha” journalism that “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
After that accusation, Le Batard got serious and apologized. Fitzpatrick let the apology uncomfortably hang in the air for a few seconds, and the interview ended rather abruptly.
The ultimate journeyman QB is part of the first-ever streaming service-exclusive pregame show
The oddest part about the interview and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s reaction to a light-hearted question is that, as he mentioned, he is now part of the media.
On Thursday, September 15, Amazon Prime Video will start exclusively broadcasting Thursday Night Football games. It is the first time in history a package of NFL games is only available on a streaming service.
The pregame show crew for the broadcast will be host Charissa Thompson along with former NFL players Tony Gonzalez, Richard Sherman, and Fitzpatrick, and journalist Michael Smith.
For the games themselves, Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit will be on the call.
Thursday Night Football on Amazon kicks off with a fantastic matchup as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs take on Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers to start Week 2.
Let’s hope the Amazon pregame show (which starts at 7 pm ET) with Fitzpatrick is a little more fun than his Dan Le Batard interview. Hopefully, Charissa Thompson won’t ask him about waterslides.