When discussions are started world-wide about who the best wide receivers in the National Football League are, without a doubt Larry Fitzgerald’s name is always near the top of the list; whether you have an interest in the Arizona Cardinals or not. After being recognized world-wide after his Super Bowl appearance, it is hard to talk football and not mention the guy’s name. When it comes down to what players give the most back to their charities and charities in general, it becomes even harder not to bring him back up in the conversation.
In 2004 the Arizona Cardinals selected Larry with the 3rd overall pick in the NFL Draft. One year before he was drafted his mother passed away from breast cancer. Since the interest with charities and extensive involvement in them has always run in Larry’s family, the death of his mother led Larry to found the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund in honour of her. One year later he then established the Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund to support children and their families; giving them money for computer equipment, vision care, and other activities to support the youth.
Despite being a rookie in the 2004 season, Fitzgerald made a large impact on the NFL from day one. With injuries to starters Anquan Boldin and Bryant Johnson coming throughout the season, Fitzgerald quickly stepped up into the number one receiver slot. Finishing the season with 58 receptions, 780 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns, as well as becoming the youngest player to ever record a multi-touchdown game; Larry led the Cardinals in all three categories by the end of the season. Since his rookie season, he has led the Cardinals in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns every single season but the ’06 campaign in which he was limited to 13 games due to an injury; yet still ended up with the most touchdowns on the team.
During the 2008 NFL Playoffs, Fitzgerald broke Jerry Rice’s nearly 20-year old postseason record as he finished with 30 receptions, 546 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. He went on to play in the 2009 Pro Bowl in which he won the MVP honours. Although he played through the entire playoffs and nearly won the franchise their first Super Bowl, reports came out after the Pro Bowl that Fitzgerald had been playing with a broken left thumb and torn cartilage in his left hand since November of that season. Putting up the numbers that he did that season and that year in the playoffs are remarkable, but to do it with a broken thumb and torn cartilage in one of your hands; it is meritorious.
In 2010 Larry Fitzgerald teamed up with the American Cancer Society as a spokesperson to help with a cause that’s affected his life. This past season he sent two cancer survivors on an all-expenses paid trip to the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii.
“My mother always instilled in me the importance of serving my community,” Fitzgerald told USA Today. “I thought this would be a good way to give back to my fans, as well as to someone who has faced a cancer battle and won.”
He also helps out with Pros for Africa and the Starkey Hearing Foundation and is always looking for new causes to be a part of.
He is a five-time Pro Bowler, has been featured on both the covers of the NCAAF and NFL video games, has been named the Pro Bowl MVP, has taken home multiple College awards and has already played in a Super Bowl. Thus far in his young career, Fitzgerald has recorded 613 receptions, 8,204 receiving yards and has scored 65 touchdowns through seven seasons. He founded two charities before he even had his first professional season under his belt and he continues to lend a helping hand wherever he goes to help the children and families that are in need. He is a good role model for the entire world as he shows everyone that all the glory doesn’t come from inside the end zone.
To learn more about Larry Fitzgerald and his foundations, visit http://www.larryfitzgerald11.com/
To learn more about the Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit http://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org/
To learn more about the American Cancer Society, visit http://www.cancer.org/
To learn more about Pros for Africa, visit http://prosforafrica.com/