Posted on August 4, 2016, by Travis Pulver
When Ryan Fitzpatrick was sitting in class at Harvard, he probably daydreamed from time to time about what life would be like in 15 years. Would the mathematics student be working on one of the world’s toughest equations? Would he be dominating the finance world? Would he be the rare Ivy League athlete that makes it in professional sports?
Will there be news articles written about his hair? Who would have ever thought the answer to that question would be yes.
Over the course of the last two seasons, his beard had taken on a life of its own, but during his contract holdout–which has been all over the news and social media–it appears that he let the hair on his head grow out as much as his face. So when he reported to training camp, not only did he have a beard that would make a mountain man cry, but he had a poof of hair on his head that small birds could hide in.
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While it had to make his head pretty warm, it ended up being a pretty good thing. Rather than field nothing but questions about his contract situation he got to talk about his hair.
During one media appearance, he joked that he couldn’t get it cut while he was at home because the media had staked out his barber shop. In an interview with Suzy Kolber he tried to be funny (NFL):
Kolber: I’m kind of wondering what woman does? As long as your wife is cool with it, we’re good but
Fitzpatrick: That’s the thing. I’m not really trying to impress anybody. I already got my wife locked down hopefully, but hopefully, we’ll cut it soon.
“Soon” has come and gone. After losing a bet with some of the guys on the team he shaved his head. No one has stated what the bet was, but it appears that Fitzpatrick honored his end of it and shaved off that mountain of hair that was on his head—and it’s already paying off for him.
Not only is his helmet probably fitting better and his head cooler during practice, but the team—and him specifically—had a terrible practice on Tuesday. Last season, Fitzpatrick and the Jets were in a slump, Fitzpatrick cut his hair, and the team rattled off five wins in a row. Wednesday’s practice—after the haircut—was much better than Tuesday’s.
According to some media reports, it was his best practice of training camp so far.
His wide receivers were a little taken aback by their quarterback’s hair when he reported to camp (Newsday):
“I don’t know what’s going on with the hair and beard. I thought we got past that last year,” receiver Brandon Marshall said last week.
“Full beard, mini ’fro. It looked like he just got off the golf course,” Decker said.
However, now that he’s cut it, his center is a little disappointed in him (NFL):
“Clearly, I’m disappointed in him,” said center Nick Mangold, who has an impressive head of hair himself. “He looks like a tennis ball. But, on the other hand, his beard is still intact, and I’ll take beard over head hair.”
He wasn’t so disappointed that he didn’t rub Fitzpatrick’s head for luck heading out to practice, though.