There is the beginning of a lovefest for Fitz unfolding in buffalobillsland, and it makes one wonder just who, among recent buffalo sports stars, does The Fitz remind us of. There is an obvious choice within recent bills history. but, in what follows, i offer another different spin, equally, if not more delicious, to contemplate.
i offer this brief essay on Fitz Mania because I believe this is the real deal, not some fly by night performance of a "career backup," but instead, a certifiable star in the making, in buffalo, who will--with his distinctive style and manner of being--become one of the all time beloved sports figures in buffalo history.
ridicule the notion, laugh at the implication, i really do not care. all i seek to do is make a note, at this moment, on one of the most fascinating star in formation processes in nfl history, certainly buffalo history.
the player that The Fitz most reminds me of, is the one and only Danny Briere, the former Sabres star forward who dazzled us with his speed and puck handling and what seemed to be his "sixth sense" for how to set up and score goals.
it is not simply the fact that Briere became a star in Buffalo, but that he was essentially a "career journeyman" before arriving, and was considered not to have the required "physical assets" to become a great player. yet over the course of a few seasons he developed into one of the greatest Sabres ever, only to have his star power in Buffalo cut short by the decision of Upper Management to let him go come free agent time.
a few years later another player, for a different professional sports team in Buffalo, is picked up during the offseason, is quickly and unanimously labelled a "career backup," a journeyman quarterback, another in a long line of seemingly "uninspired" offseason acquisitions by the bumbling bills Upper Management.
lo and behold, less than two years into his stint in Buffalo, he is doing stuff on the field of play no QB has done since Jim Kelly, including throwing for three or more TD passes in two consecutive games, while putting together one of the greatest road performances in the history of the franchise against one of the best defenses in the league.
like Briere, there are many who are not impressed, because he lacks certain critical "physical assets." but also like Briere, he seems to have an uncanny capacity to make magic happen despite these journeyman-like physical qualities.
when looked at closer, what makes The Fitz so much like Briere is he is an overachiever, who brings incredible excitement to the game, and makes you wonder how it is that someone like him can be so good, given his clear physical shortcomings.
i do not think of The Fitz as another Flutie, because unlike Flutie, The Fitz is no Flake.
Despite Flutie's capacity for magic, he was known as a bit of an egomaniac, and a House Divider not Uniter.
No one ever complained about Danny Briere in the locker room, and no one will ever complain about The Fitz either.
He is an emerging Sports Star in Buffalo in the best sense of the word: a humble, superficially "physically limited" player that overcomes almost unanimous professional skepticism through force of will and dedication. with a few opportunities, often given to those who persevere despite their officially labelled weaknesses, this sports star in formation eventually persuades even his most dogged doubters that he is the real deal, a true Stud at his position, one who makes all those around him better, and capable of leading a renaissance in Bills football, just as Danny Briere helped lead a renaissance in Sabres hockey.
there are those who say we need to draft a Franchise Quarterback this coming draft, just like there were many who said Briere was not good enough to carry the Sabres to a Stanley Cup.
i do not make claims for the power of prophecy, but i will make the statement without reservation, that it is no accident that The Fitz is becoming The Man in Buffalo.
We have seen this movie before, just a few years ago, with the other professional sports team in Buffalo. And we let him get away, because Upper Management did not think he was Good Enough to lead us to the Promised Land.
I hope the Bills Upper Management does not make the same mistake, and dismiss the Good Fortune that has fallen into their laps, in the Lucky Charm of The Fitz, the Harvard Man, Journeyman, Second Hand Man, Career Backup Man, who seems to have more than a little bit of the Luck of the Irish in him.
As a pretty Irish town, among other ethnic staples in Buffalo, we should understand what this means...
The Fitz was once a famous mayor of Boston.
Could Our Fitz, become The One to Bring the Ultimate Prize to Buffalo?