Ryan Fitzpatrick is a journeyman NFL quarterback who has played both as a starter and a backup. Following his current team’s stunning September 16 (2018) victory over the champion Philadelphia Eagles, the Tampa Bay Bucs’ backup arrived for his post-game press conference looking less like a football player and more like a cross between a modern hipster and a ‘playa’ from the disco era. His sunglasses really sealed the deal.
Pictures of the Fitzpatrick press conference are all over the internet if you care to see them. Anyone who has already viewed them knows, in no uncertain terms, that Ryan Fitzpatrick is comfortable in his own skin. He is also not afraid to get in your face about being a top-notch NFL quarterback who dares defenses to take him seriously. And that leads us right back to the sunglasses.
It is true that sunglasses are eye protection first and foremost. But we would be lying to ourselves if we claimed people don’t care what they look like in them. We all do. We all stand in front of the mirror and try out dozens of pairs of sunglasses before we buy. Why? Because sunglasses can make or break a person’s image.
Yes, I’m That Cool
In Fitzpatrick’s case, his sunglasses sealed the deal with anyone who questioned his commitment to cool. His sunglasses say, “I’m cool whether you know it or not.” But they did a whole lot more. They also sealed the deal in terms of Fitzpatrick’s modern millennial-70s disco fusion. He made it clear that he is his own man regardless of how it plays in the national media.
Could it be that Fitzpatrick’s fashion choices for his post-game interview were meant to put the rest of the league on notice? Perhaps. It may have also been a hint to the Bucs’ coaching staff that he does not plan on going quietly when the team’s starter returns in a couple of weeks. Combining a pair of dark aviators with a track jacket left open to expose the QB’s chest and quite a bit of bling made a clear statement to anyone willing to pay attention.
Fitzpatrick was telling the rest of the league that, while they all may see him as a throwback, he can still play with the best of them. He was making it clear that he is not interested in being discarded on the scrap heap of forgotten backup QBs lost in the limelight of star players.
Sunglasses and Personal Image
People who follow fashion and the science of personal image would not at all be surprised by Fitzpatrick’s choice of sunglasses. They know that sunglasses can make or break an image. It’s all about the eyes.
Science has confirmed that the eyes are one of the first things a person looks at when meeting someone for the first time. That’s why we commonly say that the eyes are the window to the soul. So the image one projects with his/her eyes plays a big role in first impressions. Sunglasses are a big part of that.
The importance of sunglasses to personal image is one of the reasons aviators have been so popular for so long. According to Olympic Eyewear, the aviator style continues to be an industry best-seller year after year. People associate a certain image with aviators to the extent that they will purchase that particular style over all others.
Sunglasses can indeed seal the deal for a person’s personal image. Just ask Ryan Fitzpatrick. And by the way, his teammates probably figured it out after the Philadelphia win. Time will tell.