Larry Fitzgerald: Wikis

  
  
  

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Larry Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald catches a touchdown pass at the 2009 Pro Bowl
No. 11     Arizona Cardinals
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: August 31, 1983 (1983-08-31) (age 26)
Place of birth: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 217 lb (98 kg)
Career information
College: Pittsburgh
NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Debuted in 2004 for the Arizona Cardinals
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2008
Receptions     426
Receiving Yards     5,975
Receiving TDs     46
Stats at NFL.com

Larry Darnell Fitzgerald, Jr. (born August 31, 1983, in Minneapolis, Minnesota), is an American football wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He was drafted third overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Cardinals. He played college football at Pittsburgh.

Contents

Early years

For three years, starting at the age of 15, Fitzgerald was a ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings.[1] He spent his freshman year at Minnehaha Academy, where he started on the Redhawks varsity football team as a defensive back and played on the losing end of one of the most lopsided games in Minnesota state high school football history when DeLaSalle High School beat the Redhawks.[2] For his sophomore year, Fitzgerald transferred to the Academy of Holy Angels, where he played alongside future University of Wisconsin quarterback John Stocco, and then to the Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania, in the middle of 2001 to help him better prepare for college. He graduated a year and a half later in May 2002. He originally committed to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., before enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh.

College career

Fitzgerald attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he was widely considered one of the best wide receivers in college football. After his sophomore season, Fitzgerald was recognized as the best player in the NCAA with the 2003 Walter Camp Award and the Touchdown Club of Columbus's Chic Harley Award, and as the best wide receiver in college football with the 2003 Biletnikoff Award and the Touchdown Club's Paul Warfield Award. He was also a unanimous 2003 All-America selection and a runner-up for the prestigious Heisman Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in college football; Oklahoma's Jason White won that award by a relatively slim margin.

In just 26 games with the Panthers, Fitzgerald caught 161 passes for 2,677 yards[3] and set a new Pitt record with 34 receiving touchdowns.[4] He was the first player in school history with back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons,[5] and his 14 games with at least 100 yards receiving broke Antonio Bryant's previous all-time Panthers record of 13.[6]

Fitzgerald also holds an NCAA record with at least one touchdown catch in 18 straight games.[7]

Professional career

Fitzgerald left the University of Pittsburgh after a tremendous year in which he caught 92 passes for 1,672 yards and 22 TDs. He was drafted third overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals, whose then coach, Dennis Green, knew Fitzgerald from his time as a Vikings ball boy.

In 2004, Fitzgerald had 58 receptions for 780 yards and 8 touchdowns. On December 12, 2004, Fitzgerald became the youngest player at 21 years and 110 days, to record at least 2 touchdown receptions in a single game. In 2005 he led the NFL with 103 receptions for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns and was named to his first Pro Bowl. Fitzgerald teams with Anquan Boldin to create one of the most dangerous wide receiver tandems in the NFL. In 2005, they became only the third duo from the same team to each catch over 100 passes and also the third pair of teammates to top the 1,400-yard mark.

In 2006, Fitzgerald was injured and missed part of the season but still produced 69 receptions for 946 yards and 6 touchdowns. As part of his 2007 Pro Bowl season, he caught 100 receptions for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns. Following the 2007 season Fitzgerald signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension with Arizona. While still under contract at the time, performance bonuses forced the team's hand into a massive extension.[8] Fitzgerald's numbers earned him the nickname "Sticky Fingers" and "The Best Hands in the NFL" in local media.[9]

2008 season

Fitzgerald makes a touchdown catch at the 2009 Pro Bowl

During the NFC Championship for the 2008 NFL season, Fitzgerald tied an NFL record with three touchdown receptions in a playoff game. His three touchdown catches occurred in the first half; he became the first player in NFL history to accomplish that feat in a conference championship game.[10] Fitzgerald also set a single postseason record with 546 receiving yards, 30 receptions, and 7 touchdown receptions, surpassing Jerry Rice's records of the 1988–89 NFL playoffs. He and the Cardinals represented the NFC in Super Bowl XLIII.[11][12] During Super Bowl XLIII, Fitzgerald caught two touchdown passes in the Cardinals 27-23 loss to the Steelers.[13] Fitzgerald followed up this performance by catching two more touchdown passes in the 2009 Pro Bowl, earning him MVP honors.[14] After the Pro Bowl was over it was revealed that Fitzgerald had been playing at least the whole postseason with a broken left thumb as well as torn cartilage in the same hand. It is speculated that Fitzgerald has had this injury since November 5, 2008, when he showed up on the injury report with an injured thumb.[15] After his record-breaking postseason, capped by his Pro Bowl MVP award, many analysts, including NFL Network's Jamie Dukes, regarded Fitzgerald as one of the best receivers in the NFL.[16]

Statistics

Year Team G GS Rec Yards Avg Lng TD
2004 ARI 16 16 58 780 13.4 48 8
2005 ARI 16 16 103 1,409 13.7 47 10
2006 ARI 13 13 69 946 13.7 57 6
2007 ARI 15 15 100 1,409 14.1 48T 10
2008 ARI 16 16 96 1,431 14.9 78T 12
2009 ARI 16 16 97 1092 11.3 34T 13
Tot. ARI 92 92 523 7,067 13.5 78T 59

Personal

Fitzgerald's father, Larry Fitzgerald Sr., is a sportswriter for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. When he covered Super Bowl XLIII, he was believed to be the first reporter to cover his own son in a Super Bowl.[17]

Fitzgerald's mother, Carol, died of a brain hemorrhage while being treated for breast cancer in 2003.[18]

Fitzgerald also has a younger brother, Marcus R. Fitzgerald. Marcus is an American football wide receiver for the California Redwoods of the United Football League.

In January 2010, Fitzgerald appeared in a television commercial saying that he was completing his college degree at the University of Phoenix while also playing football many weekends at the Arizona Cardinals' University of Phoenix Stadium.

In December 2008, Angela Nazario, a former Oakland Raiders cheerleader and the mother of Fitzgerald's child, filed for and won an order of protection against Fitzgerald, alleging that he had shoved her during a domestic disturbance. No charges were filed.[19] Fitzgerald's father claimed that Nazario made the accusations in an attempt "to get a lot of money," and his lawyers have said that they cannot discuss the case because a judge had it sealed.[18]

In the media

Fitzgerald was featured on the cover of the EA Sports video game NCAA Football 2005. He was also announced as one of two players (with Troy Polamalu) who are on the cover of Madden 2010.[20] This makes him one of two people (along with Shaun Alexander) in the history of the EA Sports American Football games to appear on two different covers.

References

  1. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-13851748.html
  2. ^ Larry Fitzgerald Jr.: A long way from home
  3. ^ Fox, Ashley (2009-01-23). "Tough love". = The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio). http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2009/01/23/super_1-23.ART_ART_01-23-09_C1_6LCL9JQ.html. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  4. ^ Pitt 2007 Football, University of Pittsburgh, 2007, p. 132, http://www.fansonly.com/photos/schools/pitt/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/07guide-9-recordbook.pdf, retrieved 2009-01-30 
  5. ^ Magruder, Jack (2009-01-14). "Fitzgerald leads Cards with Pittsburgh ties". Pittsburgh Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, Penn.). http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/racing/s_607025.html. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  6. ^ Pitt 2007 Football, University of Pittsburgh, 2007, p. 137, http://www.fansonly.com/photos/schools/pitt/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/07guide-9-recordbook.pdf, retrieved 2009-01-30 
  7. ^ Fox, Ashley (2009-01-23). "Tough love". = The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio). http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2009/01/23/super_1-23.ART_ART_01-23-09_C1_6LCL9JQ.html. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  8. ^ ( – Scholar search) Cards, Fitzgerald agree to $40M deal, Fox Sports, 2008-03-11, http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7899730?MSNHPHMA, retrieved 2008-03-11 
  9. ^ Cizmar, Martin (2009-01-28), Talking (to) trash, Phoenix New Times, http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2009-01-29/news/talking-to-trash/, retrieved 2009-01-28 
  10. ^ Larry Fitzgerald catches 3 TDs, Cardinals lead NFC title game over Eagles 24-6 after half
  11. ^ Fitzgerald shines as Warner leads Cardinals to franchise's first Super Bowl
  12. ^ Warner throws for 4 TDs, Cards stun Eagles 32-25. Retrieved on 2009-01-18.
  13. ^ http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/default.aspx?s=nfl-news-display&nid=A22403401233603262A
  14. ^ http://www.azcentral.com/sports/cardinals/articles/2009/02/08/20090208fitzprobowl-ON.html
  15. ^ http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_11660421
  16. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d80e50dfc&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true
  17. ^ Rick Reilly: Larry Fitzgerald Sr.'s Toughest Assignment Yet ESPN.com, January 25, 2009
  18. ^ a b Lapointe, Joe (2009-01-17). "One Step From Super Bowl, Fitzgerald Is Suddenly an Open Book". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/18/sports/football/18cardinals.html?ref=sports. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  19. ^ Bell, Jarrett (2009-01-18). "The Bell Tolls: Work, family lines blur for Fitzgerald's dad". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2009-01-16-the-bell-tolls_N.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  20. ^ Lee, Kevin (2008-04-27). "Fitzgerald & Polamalu On Madden NFL 2010 Cover". GamerCenterOnline. http://www.gamercenteronline.net/2009/04/27/fitzgerald-polamalu-on-madden-nfl-2010-cover/. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Adrian Peterson
Pro Bowl MVP
2009
Succeeded by
Incumbent







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