Ryan Fitzpatrick is part of the media now, but he spent 17 seasons in the NFL answering questions and challenging rumors about his playing time, injuries, and future. He knows that there are always going to be rumors and reports about pro athletes that may or may not be true but will still get discussed because that’s how the machine works. Still, in an interview with The Dan Le Batard Show on Tuesday, it was made clear that there are certain rumors he’d rather not discuss anymore.
The Thursday Night Football analyst joined Le Batard’s crew (Le Batard was dressed up like WWE wrestler Kane for reasons we don’t have the energy to find out) by phone to discuss all manner of NFL topics and things were pretty light-hearted until Stugotz brought up a rumor that appears to be a particular pain point for the former quarterback.
Hard hitting journalist @Stugotz790 asked Ryan Fitzpatrick about the rumor that came from a Washington, DC sports radio caller who alleged Fitzpatrick injured his hip on a waterslide….and immediately offended him. Oh no.
— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) September 13, 2022
“There were several reports last year, now granted these reports came from callers into a Washington, D.C. sports radio station, that you had hurt yourself last year before the season on a water slide,” said Stugotz. “I think that’s…listen, you probably shouldn’t be doing that right before the NFL season, if indeed these rumors are true, so I just wanna find out if they’re either true or put the rumors to bed. Did your career end on a water slide?”
There was a noticeable pause before Fitzpatrick responded.
“No, I got hurt in a game and I think everybody saw that,” Fitzpatrick said, clearly annoyed. “I am now part of the media but I think we all, and you probably already knew 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 doesn’t make sense and no, that never happened.”
Le Batard pressed on, chiming in to ask “How does Ryan Fitzpatrick attack a waterslide? Is it feet first? Head first? On the belly? How’s this one working?”
Fitzpatrick again paused, chuckling to himself in an annoyed manner, before responding, “We can move on to something else.”
The broadcast team playfully chastised Stugotz for crossing “the line” with his question, but when Le Batard asked Fitzpatrick why that question seemed to cross the line with him, the Amazon analyst stewed over the direction of the interview.
“I’m glad we’re not on Zoom right now. I’m glad it’s just on air,” Fitzpatrick said. “Look, I mean it’s not the “line”. This is like a “gotcha” like we have some crazy rumor that never happened that we are going to give breath to. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
La Batard then sincerely apologized, saying “we did not know we were hitting a sensitive spot, we were just fooling around.”
Fitzpatrick mustered a very glum “thank you” and that appeared to be the cue for the interview to end, absolving all parties from continuing down any further awkward exchanges.
The offending rumor did indeed make the rounds last September after a caller into 106.7 The Fan’s “BMitch and Finlay” spilled what sounded like some inside gossip about Fitzpatrick’s supposed water park shenanigans.
— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) September 13, 2021
Much like with the recent Masked Singer suspicions surrounding Tom Brady, the rumor sounds pretty dubious from the jump. And given how annoyed Fitzpatrick was with the mere mention of it, it’s pretty fair to assume that it was nonsense. As that injury ended his final season in Week 1 before he officially retired, there’s probably some lingering resentment there.
We’re guessing the next time Fitzpatrick appears on the show, whenever that might happen, they’ll probably keep Stugotz away from the microphone for a while.
You can watch the full appearance here.