Pranksters catch Bills GM Buddy Nix criticizing Ryan Fitzpatrick (Audio)
Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix and Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik fell victim to a cruel hoax on Friday, but it is Nix who will likely have to do some damage control as a result. With some witty thinking and a little luck, a couple of 20-year-olds managed to splice themselves into a phone call between the two executives so they could listen to them talk business the day before the tampering period began.
Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky explains the entire prank in detail, but basically it all started when the young men called the Bills’ publicly-listed front office number on Thursday claiming to be Dominik. When the receptionist forwarded their call to Nix’s office, they panicked and hung up.
But Nix kept calling back. The pranksters ignored Nix’s call several times, but eventually they came up with a plan to call Dominik’s office claiming to be Nix and create a game of phone tag between the two. As they were on the phone with the Bucs, Nix called again. They answered the phone this time, put it on speaker, and remained silent while the Bucs employee patched them through to Dominik. Before they knew what happened, the two GMs were on with each other with Nix trying to figure out why Dominik hadn’t returned his calls and how he got the wrong number.
Then, the fun began. NIx and Dominik discussed the new free agent rules and talked about a couple of players they are trying to move and/or work out deals with. The full audio of the phone call can be heard at Deadspin, but the most unfortunate part for Nix came when he began complaining about Buffalo’s situation with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Have a listen:
“We’re still struggling here with our quarterback, you know, Fitzpatrick,” Nix explained. “I say struggling, we’re not really struggling, he’s gonna have to do something or we’ll have to. We just can’t afford to pay that kind of money for a guy who’s fighting for probably a backup job.”
Nix then began venting to Dominik about how life is so much easier when you have a reliable quarterback. He used his time with the San Diego Chargers when they had Drew Brees and Philip Rivers as an example. On Tuesday afternoon, the Bills said they were looking into the matter.
“We are aware of the report on Deadspin involving a phone conversation with Bills GM Buddy Nix,” the team wrote. “We have made the league aware of the report and are reviewing it with legal counsel.”
You could argue that Nix should have confirmed whose phone number he was calling before continuing to call the pranksters back, but who would think about something like this happening? Nix is 73 years old and may not be as technologically savvy as others, but it’s hard not to feel sorry for him. The stuff he said about Fitzpatrick is the type of stuff GMs say about players all the time, but now he is going to have plenty of damage control to do.