By: Miami Dolphins Managing Editor Kayla Morton and Kansas City Chiefs Managing Editor Braden Holecek.
After 15 years in the NFL, playing for eight different teams, current Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is not only the most popular person for the Dolphins, but for the Kansas City Chiefs as well.
Petition, Donations Honoring Fitzpatrick
Kansas City fan Chase Myska has started a petition for Fitzpatrick to bang the drum at Arrowhead Stadium prior to a game, a tradition for the franchise. Additionally, many fans have donated to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, an organization Fitzpatrick is a huge advocate of. But, why the sudden support?
Miami Playing for More Than Pride
Fitzpatrick lead the Dolphins into Foxborough for the regular season finale on Sunday against Miami’s inner-division rival. In a season with no postseason hopes, the Dolphins were moreso playing for their own pride. However, they did also have a sliver of hope in the back of their minds knowing they could have an influence on the Patriots’ placement in the postseason if they could somehow find a way to win.
Meanwhile over in Missouri, the Chiefs team was focused on their own game at hand. Little to none of the score updates from the Dolphins and Patriots game were shown on the scoreboard until the very end of their game. Meanwhile, inside of the stadium and around Kansas City, the focus was largely on the contest in Foxborough.
Chiefs Needed Dolphins to Win for Chance at Bye
If the four-win Miami team could somehow go into New England and beat the 12-win Patriot team, who won the division for the 17th time since 2000, Kansas City had a shot at a first-round bye for the playoffs. The Chiefs would also have to beat the Los Angeles Chargers as well in order for them to jump New England and gain the No. 2 seed.
Score updates gave Chiefs fans early hope. Miami jumped out to an early 10-0 lead thanks to an interception return for a touchdown from Dolphins cornerback Eric Rowe on Tom Brady. However, to Kansas City fans, it felt like this was going to be similar to the week before when Buffalo visited New England. The Patriots were eventually going to be able to pull it out, right?
Dolphins Win in New England for First Time Since 2008
Despite a back and forth game, Fitzpatrick eventually lead Miami on a game-winning drive. He connected with tight end Mike Gesicki for a go-ahead TD with 29 seconds remaining in the game to take a 27-24 lead.
Near the end of the Chiefs game, Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes had an advantageous matchup with a linebacker on coverage of wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Mahomes found Hill with ease and basically put the game away. Once that happened, Chiefs fans turned their undivided attention to the Dolphins game.
Chiefs owner and C.E.O., Clark Hunt, was seen in his suite turning on the other game, while the scoreboard provided real-time score and clock updates of the Dolphins’ matchup. The team and the fans realized what was going on. New England would eventually fumble a Hail Mary attempt to end the game, and Kansas City would go on to beat Los Angeles 31-21. For the first time since 2008, Miami went into Foxborough and won.
Following the Chiefs game, the players were consistently saying, “Hey, Fitzmagic bro,” to each other.
Andy Reid Acknowledges Miami
There was a certain mix of excitement and astonishment from what seemed like everyone involved with the team. Many players shared their thanks on Twitter. Andy Reid even ended his opening statement in the post-game press conference by saying, “Hail to the Dolphins”. Later on, he added “I’ll have to send him some famous Kansas City steaks,” in regards to Fitzpatrick.
Chiefs Fans Thanked Fitzpatrick in Many Ways
That’s exactly what the Chiefs organization did. In addition to the change.org petition and the donations to Concussion Legacy Foundation, Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins got a whole lot of barbeque.
Radio host of 610AM in Kansas City, Carrington Harrison, shared the link to the charity. Many fans donated $14, the number Fitzpatrick wears.
Local Chiefs fans even took to stores to stock up on Dolphins gear, and it made the news.
As of Friday, the petition for Fitzpatrick to bang the drum currently sits at 37,285 signatures of the 50,000 goal. It is yet to be seen if Fitzpatrick would be in Arrowhead if the petition number is reached. However, after the donations and love from fans, Fitzpatrick seems like the type of guy who would love to rub it in just a little bit more. The Chiefs have a chance to host the Patriots in a rematch from last season, so it would be just that much sweeter if Fitzpatrick was behind the drum in the Divisional round.
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– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.