When Ryan Fitzpatrick sees the Chiefs on his team’s schedule, he thinks about the difficulty of managing Arrowhead Stadium and a story about his mother.
Battling Arrowhead’s noise is a problem common to most opposing quarterbacks as it will be Sunday when the Jets arrive for a 3:25 p.m. kickoff.
Where Fitzpatrick’s mother enters his Chiefs’ history dates back to his earliest pro days, with the St. Louis Rams.
“What did they call that game, the President’s Cup, the Governor’s Cup?” Fitzpatrick asked.
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And with that, you know the story would be good.
Fitzpatrick was the Rams’ seventh-round selection in 2005 from Harvard and was no sure bet to make the team. He picks up the story.
“I was in St. Louis, trying to make the team, playing that meaningful last preseason game,” Fitzpatrick said.
Suggested that he couldn’t remember who won those Kansas City-St. Louis games dubbed the Governor’s Cup, Fitzpatrick said he distinctly recalled his first encounter.
“I know we won one of the years only because it was at home in St. Louis,” Fitzpatrick said. “I was walking out after the game, feeling so good, we won the game and I think I played good, I guess well enough to make the team.
“Somebody yells at me, ‘Players only, you’re walking through the wrong exit!’ And my mom turned around and said, ‘He’s Ryan Fitzpatrick! And he just won the game for the St. Louis Rams!
“That’s the only reason I remember we won one of those games.”
Twelve years later, Fitzpatrick is with his sixth team and has the Jets off to a nice start, a 1-1 record and coming off a 37-31 victory at Buffalo. In that game, Fitzpatrick threw for 374 yards.
He has many weapons at his disposal: wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker and running back Matt Forte among them.
“The biggest thing with us, it’s an experience group,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’ve got talent but we have guys on the same page and understand what we’re trying to accomplish every play. To me, that’s the biggest difference this year from any other year I’ve played.”
That and his mom doesn’t have to remind fans about the quarterback.