Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick '05
Buffalo Bills and former Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05 has enjoyed quite a bit of attention recently for leading a perennially underachieving team to an unblemished 3-0 record. After Fitzy’s heroics against the Patriots, ESPN named the former Crimson star as the top player in this week’s Cross-Sport Power Rankings.
That was just one of several ESPN features on Fitzpatrick in recent weeks. Another that has grabbed the attention of many (including our very own Greg Mankiw) was an interview with Fitzy during ESPN’s NFL Sunday Countdown.
Rachel Nichols sat down with Fitzpatrick to talk about what everyone else talks to Fitzpatrick about: what it means to play in the NFL without having come from Auburn, LSU, Florida, etc. Instead of letting this bit be like the hundreds of interviews that discuss how hard it is for a Harvard man to throw a football, the segment added a new twist.
Find out after the jump!
Our alumni tracker for the week again remains focused on Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05, who completed Mission: Impossible on Sunday, when he led Buffalo to victory over New England for the first time in eight years.
The Harvard alum, who is currently leading in ESPN.com’s poll for AFC East Player of the week, threw for a season-high 369 yards, completing 27-of-40 throws with two touchdown passes. With the help of running back Fred Jackson and a couple of key interceptions by his defense, Fitzpatrick directed a come-from-behind win to give the Bills’ their first 3-0 record since 2008.
The Brown band used an unusual formation during halftime of the Harvard-Brown game.
The artistic folk aren’t normally the kind to make a big splash at a football game.
But at Friday night’s football game, a pair of on-field performances caught the attention of the 18,565 in attendance.
Entertainment during pauses in games has been around almost as long as the sports themselves. Still, the Harvard Crimson Dance Team may have taken its mandate to entertain a little too far. The troupe came on at the end of the first quarter, but as the Crimson and Brown made their way back onto the field, the dancers didn’t move.
And for a solid 30 seconds, the dancers and the football players shared the gridiron, much to the confusion of the fans and apparent bewilderment of the referees.
The stranger performance of the night came from Brown’s band at halftime. It started just like any other band performance—unfamiliar fight songs, two-year-old cultural references—when it took a rather peculiar turn.
They arranged themselves like, well, what looked like a male sex organ that spanned most of the length of the field. I’m not sure if they meant to give Harvard the shaft.
So, without further ado, readers can choose their cheap one-liner about the picture from the following options:
1. It definitely looked smaller than when they practiced. Must’ve been cold.
2. 25-second routine? That’s about right.
3. Insert your own joke based on the fact that the name of the school is, hilariously, Brown.
It was an exciting game, and it was much tighter throughout the contest than the final score indicates. But there really is nothing quite like a little fifth-grade humor to make a rainy football Friday game that much better.
Harvard’s Friday home opener against Brown is one of two main Ivy attractions in the next few days. Last year, the Bears took the Ancient Eight opener against the Crimson, 29-14, on their home field. This year, Harvard does not want to repeat last season’s less-than-stellar start. As of now, the Crimson has never lost a night game at home. They hope to continue this streak on Friday.
Here's who to look out for during this week’s contests:
Brown: The Bears’ senior quarterback, Kyle Newhall-Caballaro, proved that individuals could make a comeback. After missing most of last season due to injury, Newhall-Caballero had an impressive return outing last week, as he went 22-37 for a total of 292 yards as well as three touchdowns. If his success continues this week agaisnt the Crimson, Brown’s season will definitely be on the rise.
Harvard: If the Crimson wants to handle the Bears, senior quarterback Collier Winters must have a big impact on the game. Against Holy Cross, Winters passed for 265 yards and two touchdowns, but deuces were wild and he also had two interceptions. This summer, Winters won the “Air it Out” competition at Peyton Manning’s Passing Academy, beating both collegiate and professional athletes. He is going to need to repeat that accuracy this weekend and connect with teammates in order to beat Newhall-Cabellaro head-to-head.
Former Crimson wideout Mike Cook '10 is playing for the Herlev Rebels in Denmark this season—one of a number of Crimson football alums continuing their careers around the world.
The call of the football field has kept life in a cubicle at bay for a few recent Harvard graduates.
While some, like Collin Zych ’11—who made it all the way to the Dallas Cowboys' final cut—had their pro dreams recently put on hold, a few others have taken up pro careers at varying levels around the world.
Former Crimson offensive guard Brent Osborne ’11 has been working out with the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad for the 2011 season. After initially being cut in training camp, Osborne was recently resigned by the Seahawks.
The seven-man practice squad of an NFL team is essentially a scout team that runs plays for the starters to practice against. For example, Osborne and his offensive teammates prep the Seattle defense for their upcoming offensive opponent.
“I’m doing everything in practice all the other guys are doing, just with fewer reps,” Osborne said.
Current quarterback Collier Winters ’12 attributes Osborne’s success to his dedication and gusto.
“He really led by example,” Winters said. “Every day he would show up and put everything into it.”
Over the summer, Osborne stayed in Cambridge to work out with Crimson strength coaches to prepare for the NFL, along with former players such as Zych and Marco Iannuzzi ’11.
The offensive lineman hopes in the future to move beyond the practice squad and earn a place on the team.
“I’m trying to get better every day, and in the future compete for a spot on the roster,” he said.