Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a happily married man. The 33-year old New York Jets quarterback wore his wedding band during a game against the Buffalo Bills on September 15, and his loyal fans took notice.
When Fitzpatrick was asked if he always wears his wedding ring when he plays, he grinned and quickly said, “Yeah, I do.”
“Any reason?” the news anchor asked.
“I love my wife,” he replied. The Harvard graduate then kissed his ring while smiling from ear to ear.
The Gilbert, Arizona, native married his wife, Liza Barber – also a Harvard grad – back in June 2006. The happy duo have five children together: Maizy, Zoey, Lucy, Tate, and Brady.
This isn’t the first time the topic of Fitzpatrick’s wedding ring has been mentioned. He was asked about his choice to wear it during his time with the Buffalo Bills back in 2011.
“I haven’t seen a reason to take it off, I guess,” he told The New York Times. “It stands for something. It’s not like I’m trying to throw a message in anybody’s face. It’s just a personal thing between me and my wife. It’s important for me not to take it off.”
Fitzpatrick and Barber’s engagement story is a unique one. Back in 2005 – just after beginning his career with the NFL – the football pro purchased an engagement ring with money from the couple’s joint bank account before hiding the ring in his car.
While out shopping together later the same day, a cashier at The Gap thought the duo may have been overcharged for an item. Barber said she’d check their bank balance later, and Fitzpatrick knew he had to propose right away – before his girlfriend had a chance to check their account.
Barber was craving McDonald’s, so Fitzpatrick took the opportunity to pop the question over a meal of Chicken McNuggets.
“I asked her when she was between her third and fourth Chicken McNugget,” Fitzpatrick shared with The New York Times. “She had sweet and sour all over her face.”
Five years into their marriage, Fitzpatrick acknowledged that never taking his wedding ring off has one minor drawback. “There’s certainly a few more nicks on the ring than when I first got it,” he joked. “I can’t tell you how they all got there, but it’s pretty beat up.”