TAMPA – Buccaneers backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is a “Cuber.’’ That’s right, a “Cuber.’’ That’s what hobbyists who have a knack for solving the Rubik’s Cube puzzle in a matter of seconds call themselves.
At least, that’s what those who are willing to admit they are indeed “Cubers’’ call themselves. Those who’d rather not be lumped in with what might be conceived as a crowd of geeks call themselves “Closet Cubers.’’
“DeSean (Jackson) might be a ‘Closet Cuber,’’’ Fitzpatrick said of his new teammate. “I’m not. I’m out there.’’
Oh, is he out there. Fitzpatrick doesn’t just kill down time solving Rubik’s Cube puzzles. He teaches others how to solve them as well. Just last week, in fact, after the Bucs wrapped up their last OTA workout of the week, Fitzpatrick flew back to New Jersey to do just that.
“I (had) my final class with the kids on Friday,’’ the Harvard graduate said. “I’m teaching second and third-graders after school. Got a class of about 10. I limit it to 10 because teaching 10 kids how to do the Rubik’s Cube at one time is difficult.
“It’s something that’s just kind of a hobby of mine that I have a lot of fun with, and there’s a ton of interest in my son’s school. I think right now we’re up to six of the 10 (kids) can do it. None of them can beat me yet but there’s one girl that’s awful close.’’
Fitzpatrick doesn’t teach the class alone. Though he can solve the Rubkik’s Cube in about a minute he gets help from his son Brady, a fourth-grader who often frustrates his father because he can solve the puzzle faster.
“He makes me mad because he’s at about 42 seconds, which gives him about 18 seconds to watch me and laugh at me when I’m trying to finish mine,’’ Fitzpatrick said. “I (also) taught my wife how to do it, so when she was in labor it was one of the things we did to keep her mind off of it.’’
Fitzpatrick said he’s got his wife completing the puzzle in right around two minutes, and for those who might want to give the puzzle a try, the Bucs asked Fitzpatrick recently to provide them with a quick demonstration on how to get it done.
That video can be found right here, and with this being holiday weekend, there may be no better time to start learning how to solve the Rubik’s Cube than right now. After all, it shouldn’t take you any more than a minute or two.