Larry Darnell Fitzgerald Jr. (born August 31, 1983) is an American football wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Pittsburgh, where he earned unanimous All-America honors. He was drafted by the Cardinals third overall in the 2004 NFL Draft.
Fitzgerald has been selected for the Pro Bowl eleven times, and was named First-team All-Pro in 2008 and Second-team All-Pro twice in 2009 and 2011. As of November 2018, he is second in NFL career receiving yards, third in career receptions, and seventh in receiving touchdowns.
Fitzgerald in 2017
|No. 11 – Arizona Cardinals|
|Born:||August 31, 1983|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||218 lb (99 kg)|
|High school:||Richfield (MN) Academy of Holy Angels|
|NFL Draft:||2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
|Player stats at PFR|
Larry Fitzgerald attended the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, Minnesota during his teenage years. Fitzgerald attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he played for the Pittsburgh Panthers football team under head coach Walt Harris. He was widely considered one of the best wide receivers in college football from 2002 to 2003.
In his freshman season, Fitzgerald was an instant contributor. In the second game of the season against Texas A&M, he had ten receptions for 103 yards. Three weeks later, against Toledo, he had six receptions for 121 yards and his first two collegiate touchdowns. Fitzgerald had another stellar outing against Virginia Tech on November 2. Against the Hokies, he had five receptions for 105 yards and three touchdowns. In the last regular season game of the season on November 30, he had 11 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns against West Virginia. Pitt finished with an 8–4 record and qualified for a bowl game. In the 2002 Insight Bowl, Fitzgerald had five receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. Overall, in the 2002 season, Fitzgerald had a Big-East conference leading 69 receptions for 1,005 yards and twelve touchdowns.
Fitzgerald had a stellar sophomore season in 2003. He began the campaign against Kent State. Against the Golden Flashes, he had six receptions for 123 yards and three touchdowns. In the next game against Ball State, he had seven receptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzgerald once again put out a great effort in the following game against Toledo. Against the Rockets, he had 12 receptions for 201 yards and a touchdown. In the next game against Texas A&M, Fitzgerald had his fourth consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards. Against the Aggies, he had seven receptions for 135 yards and three touchdowns. Two weeks later, against Notre Dame, he was held under 100 yards for the first time. However, he still had five receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzgerald bounced back in the next game against Rutgers. Against the Scarlet Knights, he had eight receptions for a season-high 207 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzgerald's hot streak continued in the next game against Syracuse, where he had eight receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzgerald's performance against the Orange was his fourth consecutive game with at least two touchdowns.
Fitzgerald started the month of November with seven receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown against Boston College. In the following week against Virginia Tech, he had eight receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald added another great performance against West Virginia in the following week. Against the Mountaineers, he had nine receptions for 185 yards and two touchdowns. In the following week against Temple, he had seven receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzgerald's performance against the Owls was his sixth consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards. Fitzgerald's impressive streak ended the following week against Miami. In the game, he had three receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown. Despite having a season-low in yardage, Fitzgerald ended up recording his 12th consecutive game with at least one touchdown reception in the 2003 season, and 18th straight game with a touchdown reception dating back to the previous season. Pitt finished with an 8–4 record in the regular season and qualified for a bowl game. In the 2003 Continental Tire Bowl, Fitzgerald had five receptions for 77 yards in the final game of his collegiate career. He was held without a touchdown for the first time in 18 collegiate games.
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 the award that year by a relatively slim margin.
In just 26 games with the Panthers, Fitzgerald caught 161 passes for 2,677 yards and set a new Pitt record with 34 receiving touchdowns. He was the first player in school history with back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons, and his 14 games with at least 100 yards receiving broke Antonio Bryant's previous all-time Panthers record of 13. Fitzgerald's 18 straight games with at least one touchdown reception is a NCAA record.
On July 1, 2013, Fitzgerald's #1 jersey was retired by the University of Pittsburgh. Fitzgerald was the ninth Pittsburgh player to receive this honor.
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad|
|6 ft 2 7⁄8 in
|All values from Pittsburgh Pro Day|
Although Fitzgerald had played at Pitt for only two years without redshirting, he petitioned the NFL to allow him to enter the 2004 NFL Draft, as he had left his high school, Academy of Holy Angels, during his senior year to attend Valley Forge Military Academy. The NFL granted an exception to allow Fitzgerald to enter The Draft, as Fitzgerald had convinced the NFL that the time he spent at VFMA, combined with his time at Pitt, was the minimum three years removed from high school to make him eligible for the draft. Although former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett was suing the NFL at the time to overturn the rule (a case Clarett initially won, but it was later overturned on appeal), the NFL considered Fitzgerald's case separate from Clarett's.
After his tremendous sophomore year, Fitzgerald 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. He was the first wide receiver to be selected in the 2004 NFL Draft. In addition, he was the first of six Pitt Panthers to be selected that year.
Fitzgerald made his NFL debut against the St. Louis Rams in the 2004 season opener on September 12. In the 17–10 loss, he had four receptions for 70 yards. In the fifth game of the season on October 10, he had his first career touchdown reception, a 24-yard pass from Josh McCown, against the San Francisco 49ers. On December 19, against the St. Louis Rams, Fitzgerald became the youngest player at 21 years and 110 days, to record at least two touchdown receptions in a single game. His record has since been broken by Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots in 2010 and Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014. He followed up his historic performance in the next game against the Seattle Seahawks, in which he had four receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
Fitzgerald started his second professional season with a 13-reception, 155-yard, and one-touchdown performance against the New York Giants in the season opener on September 11. Three weeks later, he had seven receptions for 102 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. He followed that good performance up with a great outing against the Carolina Panthers in the next game, where he had nine receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown. On November 13, in the ninth game of the season, Fitzgerald had eight receptions for 102 yards against the Seattle Seahawks. In the next game against the Detroit Lions, he had nine receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown. He posted his third consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards in the next game against the St. Louis Rams. In the game, he had nine receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald started the month of December with eight receptions for 129 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. Fitzgerald closed out the regular season with a touchdown catch in each of the last three games. Fitzgerald and the Cardinals missed the playoffs with a 6–10 record.
In 2005, Fitzgerald led the NFL with 103 receptions for 1,409 yards (fourth in the NFL) and 10 touchdowns (fifth in the NFL) and was named to his first Pro Bowl. Fitzgerald teamed with Anquan Boldin to create one of the most dangerous wide receiver tandems in the NFL. In 2005, Fitzgerald and Boldin became only the second tandem from the same team, the first tandem being Herman Moore and Brett Perriman of the Detroit Lions, to each catch over 100 passes top the 1,400-yard mark.
Fitzgerald started his third professional season with nine receptions for 133 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. He had his first touchdown of the season in the third game against the St. Louis Rams. He sustained a hamstring injury and missed three games. He returned against the Dallas Cowboys on November 12 in a 27–10 defeat. Two weeks later, he had 11 receptions for 162 yards against the Minnesota Vikings. He closed out the 2006 season with four receiving touchdowns in the last five games.
Overall, on the 2006 season, Fitzgerald recorded 69 receptions for 946 yards and six touchdowns as the Cardinals went 5–11.
Fitzgerald started the 2007 season with a slow performance against the San Francisco 49ers, where he had only three receptions for 20 yards. Three games later, he had ten receptions for 120 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the next game, he had his first touchdown of the season against the St. Louis Rams in a nine-catch, 136-yard performance. On November 11, he had eight receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns against the Detroit Lions. Two weeks later, he had nine receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers. In the regular season finale against the St. Louis Rams, he had 11 receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzgerald and the Cardinals finished with an 8–8 record.
As part of his 2007 Pro Bowl season, Fitzgerald caught 100 receptions for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns. Following the 2007 season, he 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. Fitzgerald's numbers earned him the nickname "Sticky Fingers" and "The Best Hands in the NFL" in local media.
The 2008 season marked a huge year for Fitzgerald in terms of individual accomplishment and team success.
In the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, Fitzgerald caught a touchdown. In the second game of the season, he had six receptions for 153 yards against the Miami Dolphins. He followed that up with seven receptions for 109 yards against the Washington Redskins in the next game. He posted his third consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards in the next game against the New York Jets with 122 receiving yards on eight receptions. In the next game, he was held to only 52 yards, but had two receiving touchdowns in a 41–17 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
On November 16, Fitzgerald had ten receptions for 151 yards against the Seattle Seahawks. On November 27, he had his second multi-touchdown game of the season, this time in a 65-yard performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. Fitzgerald finished the regular season strong with three receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown against the New England Patriots and five receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks.
Fitzgerald finished the regular season with 96 receptions for 1,431 yards and a league-leading 12 touchdowns. For the first time in Fitzgerald's career, the Cardinals finished with a winning record at 9–7 and made the playoffs.
In his playoff debut, Fitzgerald had six receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown in a 30–24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card Round. In the Divisional Round against the Carolina Panthers, he had eight receptions for 166 yards in the 33–13 victory. During the NFC Championship for the 2008 NFL season, Fitzgerald tied a 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. As a result of the 32–25 victory over the Eagles, Fitzgerald and the Cardinals represented the NFC in Super Bowl XLIII. During Super Bowl XLIII, Fitzgerald caught two touchdown passes in the game. Late in the fourth quarter, Fitzgerald had a 64-yard touchdown reception from Kurt Warner to go ahead 23–20, but the score did not hold as the Pittsburgh Steelers scored a touchdown with only 35 seconds remaining to go ahead 27–23, which was the game's final score. Fitzgerald set a single postseason record with 546 receiving yards, 30 receptions, and seven touchdown receptions, surpassing Jerry Rice's records of the 1988–89 NFL playoffs.
Fitzgerald followed up his great 2008 season by catching two more touchdown passes in the 2009 Pro Bowl, earning him MVP honors. 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. 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. He was named as a First-Team All Pro for the 2008 season.
Coming off of a tough loss in the Super Bowl, Fitzgerald started the 2009 season with six receptions for 71 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. In the fourth game of the season, he had five receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns against the Houston Texans. The following week, he had 13 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks. On November 8 against the Chicago Bears, he had nine receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns. On December 6, he had eight receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings. He finished out the 2009 regular season with a receiving touchdown in the last three games. Overall, he had 97 receptions for 1,092 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns as the Cardinals went 10–6 and returned to the playoffs.
In the Wild Card Round, he had two touchdown receptions against the Green Bay Packers in a 51–45 win. However, the Cardinals were eliminated the next week by the eventual Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints by a score of 45–14 in the Divisional Round. He was named to his third consecutive and fourth career Pro Bowl for his efforts in 2009.
Fitzgerald started the 2010 season recording a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams in a 17–13 victory. He did not post any of his usual stellar results until later on in the season. On Halloween, he had six receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the next game, he had his first game of the season breaking over the 100-yard mark with 107 yards on seven receptions against the Minnesota Vikings. On December 19, against the Carolina Panthers, he had nine receptions for 125 yards. In the regular season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, he had his best performance of the season with 11 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald and the Cardinals failed to return to the playoffs with a 5–11 record.
Overall, in the 2010 season, Fitzgerald caught 90 passes (5th in the NFL) for 1,137 yards and six touchdowns. After the season, he was named to his fifth Pro Bowl, and his fourth in a row. He finished ranked as the 14th best player in the league among his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2011.
Fitzgerald's first solid outing came against the Washington Redskins in the second game, where he had seven receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown. Two games later, he had eight receptions for 102 yards against the New York Giants. On November 13, in Week 10, he had seven receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles. His efforts against the Eagles garnered him NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. A few games later, he had seven receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers. On Christmas Eve, he had six receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals. He closed out the regular season with nine receptions for 149 yards against the Seattle Seahawks. The Cardinals finished with an 8–8 record and missed the playoffs.
Overall, Fitzgerald had another stellar season, catching 80 passes for 1,411 yards and eight touchdowns and setting a personal record of 17.6 yards per catch. Fitzgerald's accomplishments were recognized by an All-Pro second team selection as well as his sixth Pro Bowl selection. He finished ranked as the seventh best player in the league among his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2012 list.
Fitzgerald started the 2012 season with four receptions for 63 yards against the Seattle Seahawks. Two weeks later, he had his first touchdown of the season in a 27–6 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. In the game, he had nine receptions for 114 yards to go with the touchdown and earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. On November 4, he scored his last touchdown of the season against the Green Bay Packers in a six-catch, 74-yard performance. In the penultimate game of the regular season against the Chicago Bears, he had eight receptions for 111 yards.
Overall, on the season, Fitzgerald had 71 receptions for 798 yards and four touchdowns as the Cardinals went 5–11 and missed the playoffs. He was named to his sixth consecutive and seventh career Pro Bowl. He finished ranked 22nd by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2013 list.
In the offseason, Fitzgerald turned 30. He started the 2013 season with eight receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns against the St. Louis Rams. In the sixth game of the season, he recorded his first performance of the season topping 100 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. In the game, he had six receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown. On November 24, against the Indianapolis Colts, he had five receptions for 52 yards and two touchdowns. Two weeks later, Fitzgerald caught all 12 of his targets for 96 yards and a touchdown in a 30–10 victory over the Rams. In the regular season finale against the 49ers, he had six receptions for 113 yards.
Overall, on the season, Fitzgerald had 82 receptions for 954 yards and ten touchdowns as the Cardinals improved to a 10–6 record from the previous season of 5–11. However, they still missed out on the playoffs. For his 2013 season, he was named to his seventh consecutive and eighth overall Pro Bowl. He finished ranked 38th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2014 list.
Fitzgerald was a stable part of the Cardinals' offense in 2014. However, the lack of stability at the quarterback position put a hindrance on the team's overall performance as four different quarterbacks saw time for the Cardinals that year. He started his 11th season in the NFL against the San Diego Chargers. In the game, he only had one reception for 22 yards. He did not have his first touchdown of the season until the fifth game of the season against the Washington Redskins, where he had six receptions for 98 yards. On October 26 against the Philadelphia Eagles, he had seven receptions for a season-high 160 yards and a touchdown to earn his third career NFC Offensive Player of the Week award. Two weeks later, he had nine receptions for 112 yards against the St. Louis Rams.
In the Wild Card Round against the Carolina Panthers, Fitzgerald had three receptions for 31 yards in the 27–16 defeat. He was ranked 68th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2015 list.
On February 18, 2015, Fitzgerald was signed to a new multi-year contract worth at least $11 million guaranteed over the next two seasons.
In Week 2 against the Chicago Bears, Fitzgerald had 112 receiving yards and caught three touchdown passes, the first time he accomplished the feat during the regular season in his career. For his performance, he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career. In the next game, he had nine receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers. On November 15, he had ten receptions for 130 yards against the Seattle Seahawks. In Week 13, he became the youngest player to reach 1,000 career receptions; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten joined him the same day as the 11th and 12th players to reach this milestone. He closed out the 2015 regular season with a receiving touchdown in the last two games. The Cardinals finished with a 13–3 record and won the NFC West.
For the 2015 season, Fitzgerald had 109 catches (tied for fifth in the NFL) for 1,215 yards and nine touchdowns. For his accomplishments during the 2015 season, Fitzgerald was selected to the Pro Bowl for the ninth time. He was ranked 27th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.
On January 16, 2016, Fitzgerald helped his quarterback Carson Palmer record his first playoff win with eight catches for a franchise-record 176 yards in the NFC Divisional Round against the Green Bay Packers. Fitzgerald was the Cardinals' entire offense in overtime, with a 75-yard reception to open overtime, and a five-yard touchdown reception from Palmer two plays later, which resulted in a 26–20 win. He was held to four receptions for 30 yards in the NFC Championship against the Carolina Panthers. The Cardinals' season ended with a 49–15 loss.
On August 5, 2016, Fitzgerald signed a one-year, $11 million contract extension with the Cardinals.
On September 11, 2016, Fitzgerald had eight receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns, while becoming the 10th player to reach 100 career touchdowns, in the season opening loss to the New England Patriots on NBC Sunday Night Football. In the fifth game of the season, he had six receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers. On November 13, he had 12 receptions for 132 yards in another strong outing against the 49ers. In the regular season finale against the Los Angeles Rams, he had five receptions for 43 yards and scored his first receiving touchdown since the first meeting with the 49ers. The Cardinals finished with a 7–8–1 record and missed the playoffs.
At the end of the 2016 season, Fitzgerald led the NFL in receptions for the second time with 107, and had 1,023 receiving yards with six receiving touchdowns. He moved from 11th to 3rd on the all-time career reception list, and ended the season ninth all-time in receiving yards. He was named to his tenth career Pro Bowl. He was ranked 45th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.
With the retirements of Steve Smith and Anquan Boldin at the end of 2016, the 34-year-old Fitzgerald entered the 2017 season as the career leader in receptions and receiving yards among active players. In Week 3, on Monday Night Football, Fitzgerald had 149 receiving yards on 13 receptions and a touchdown in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys, his highest output in almost three years. His 13 receptions tied Jarvis Landry in Week 2 for the most receptions in a single game in the 2017 season. The next week, he caught a 19-yard sudden death touchdown from Palmer with 0:31 left in overtime to defeat the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 18–15. In Week 6, Fitzgerald had 10 receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay, and 10 receptions for 113 yards in Week 10's Thursday Night Football loss to Seattle, joining Antonio Brown as the only players with three games of 10+ receptions in 2017, and briefly passing Brown for the league lead in receptions. On November 17, 2017, Fitzgerald signed a one-year contract extension with the Cardinals through the 2018 season. In Week 13, against the Los Angeles Rams, Fitzgerald had 10 receptions (his fourth game in double digits) for 98 yards and his fifth touchdown. In Week 16, against the New York Giants, he had nine receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown. In addition, he completed a 21-yard pass in the 23–0 victory. He tied his career-best with 109 receptions (second to Jarvis Landry), and 8th in the NFL with 1,156 receiving yards. On December 19, 2017, Fitzgerald was named to his 11th Pro Bowl. However, it was later announced that Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks would replace Fitzgerald. The Cardinals finished with an 8–8 record and missed the playoffs.
In Week 1, Fitzgerald recorded seven receptions for 76 yards in a 24–6 loss to the Washington Redskins. Nursing a sore hamstring, he failed to reach 50 yards in any of his next six games, and did not record a touchdown reception until a Week 7 45–10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football. In Week 8, he had eight receptions for 102 yards with a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the 18–15 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. In Week 10, in a 26–14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after recording six receptions for 50 yards, Fitzgerald reached 15,952 career receiving yards, passing Terrell Owens for second on the all-time list behind only Jerry Rice. In Week 11 against the Oakland Raiders, Fitzgerald made two catches for 23 yards which were both touchdowns. The Cardinals lost to the Raiders 23–21. In Week 16, Fitzgerald threw the first touchdown pass of his NFL career. After taking a lateral pass from Josh Rosen, he tossed a 32-yard pass to David Johnson for the first Cardinals score, to temporarily lead the Los Angeles Rams in the eventual 31–9 loss. In addition, Fitzgerald had six receptions for 53 yards. He finished the season as the Cardinals leading receiver with 69 receptions for a career-low 734 yards with six receiving touchdowns.
On January 23, 2019, Fitzgerald announced he would return for the 2019 season, and signed a one-year contract extension with the Cardinals.
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. Fitzgerald's mother, Carol, died of a brain hemorrhage while being treated for breast cancer in 2003. During the 2008 season, Larry Fitzgerald was accused of domestic violence against Angela Nazario, who filed for an order of protection against him.
In 2016, Fitzgerald completed his undergraduate degree with the University of Phoenix, fulfilling a promise that he made to his mother to finish his education. Since graduation he has become a paid spokesperson for the University of Phoenix. Fitzgerald is an avid traveler and has visited nearly 100 countries worldwide. He has two sons.
Fitzgerald established the “Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund” to help kids and their families by funding positive activities for kids during the summer and throughout the year, supporting kids and families in crisis and supporting health-related organizations that work with families. One initiative the “First Down Fund” holds each summer are youth football camps in Arizona and Minnesota. In May 2014, Fitzgerald and Lenovo provided five schools in Minneapolis and four schools in Phoenix Lenovo tablets and equipment to enable the children to gain access to technology. The First Down Fund made a donation to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation to help refurbish a basketball court at Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Park. The court received new hoops, poles, backboards and benches. He also partnered with Riddell to provide new helmets to 1,000 kids in the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation football program.
Fitzgerald established the “Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund” in honor of his mother who died of breast cancer in 2003. The organization offers support to causes that Fitzgerald's mother held dear, including educating urban youth about HIV/AIDS and breast cancer issues. He has served as an NFL spokesman for the league-wide breast cancer awareness initiative “A Crucial Catch” for three years and every October makes donations to breast cancer organizations based on his touchdowns and receptions during the month.
In 2014, Fitzgerald was selected as the 2014 Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Male Recipient, which was created in 1994 by the Rotary Club of Tulsa to recognize an influential male and female premiere athlete for their success in their sport and for being a positive role model who gives back to their communities.
During the 2013 season, Fitzgerald was honored with the NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award. The award was established to honor a leader in the sports industry whose life and family have been touched by cancer, and who encourages cancer research, prevention and treatment through awareness and philanthropy.
Following the 2012 football season, Fitzgerald was named the “Arizona Cardinals/Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year” and was one of three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. In August 2012, he was honored with the 14th annual Pro Football Weekly Arthur S. Arkush Humanitarian Award for his community and charitable contributions.
During the 2011, 2012, and 2014 offseasons, Fitzgerald joined other NFL players partaking in mission trips to Africa, India, Thailand and the Philippines to support economic development projects. He has worked with Starkey Hearing Foundation to provide hearing aids for children and adults in need in eight countries. Fitzgerald has also made five USO tours to visit soldiers overseas and has raised financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. military.
Fitzgerald was featured on the cover of the EA Sports video game NCAA Football 2005. He was also one of two players (along with Troy Polamalu) featured on the cover of Madden NFL 10, making them the first two players to be featured on a Madden NFL cover together.
The 2002 Insight Bowl was the 14th edition to the Insight Bowl, formerly known as the Copper Bowl and the Insight.com Bowl. It featured the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh and the Beavers of Oregon State University.
Pittsburgh scored first after a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rod Rutherford to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, taking a 7–0 lead. Oregon State responded with a 65-yard touchdown pass from Derek Anderson to James Newson, tying it at seven. In the second quarter, Oregon State took a 10–7 lead after Kirk Yliniemi kicked a 50-yard field goal. David Abdul kicked a 45-yarder for Pitt, and the game was tied at ten at the half.
Rod Rutherford scored for Pitt on a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to take a 17–10 lead. Late in the quarter, Panthers kick-returner Shawn Robinson scored on a 66-yard punt return, pushing the Panther lead to 24–10. Kirk Yliniemi responded for Oregon State with a 31-yard field goal, making it 24–13 at the end of three quarters. The Panthers extended their lead in the fourth quarter when Brandon Miree scored on an 8-yard touchdown run and Tyler Palko scrambled in for an 8-yard touchdown run to close out the scoring in the game, which ended in a final score of 38–13 in favor of Pitt.2003 Continental Tire Bowl
The 2003 Continental Tire Bowl featured the Pittsburgh Panthers, and the Virginia Cavaliers. The game was the second edition to this bowl game. The game was played on Saturday, December 27, 2003 at 11:00 AM EST. The win by Virginia made them 2–0 all time in the game.
Virginia scored first on a 52-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Schaub to tight end Heath Miller, to take an early 7–0 lead. In the second quarter, Pittsburgh got on board with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Rod Rutherford to wide receiver Princell Brockenbrough to tie the game at 7.
Virginia answered with a 1-yard rushing touchdown by running back Wali Lundy to take a 14–7 lead. Rod Rutherford threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Miree, but the failed extra point left the score at 14–13. Virginia's Connor Hughes kicked a 44-yard field goal before halftime to go up 17–13.
In the third quarter, Connor Hughes kicked a 30-yard field goal to increase the lead to 20–13. Pittsburgh's J. B. Gibbony kicked a 28-yard field goal to bring the score to 20–16. Connor Hughes closed the scoring with a 39-yard field goal to make the final score 23–16.
The 2003 Continental Tire Bowl was the only game in the 2003 season in which Pittsburgh wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald did not catch a touchdown pass.2003 Pittsburgh Panthers football team
The 2003 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season.2004 Arizona Cardinals season
The 2004 Arizona Cardinals season was the franchise's 106th season, 85th season in the National Football League and the 17th in Arizona. The team managed to improve upon their previous output of 4–12. However, the team failed to make the playoffs for the sixth straight season. Season lows for the Cardinals included losing two games to the San Francisco 49ers, the only two games the 49ers won in 2004.
The season was notable for drafting wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald with the 3rd pick in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Following the season, Emmitt Smith retired after 15 seasons.2005 Arizona Cardinals season
The 2005 Arizona Cardinals season was the franchise's 107th season, 86th season in the National Football League and the 18th in Arizona. The team was unable to improve upon their previous season's six wins in 2004, and failed to make the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.The October 2 game was the first regular season game to be played outside the United States, and was known as NFL Futbol Americano. The game was a Cardinals home game, and the Cardinals defeated their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, 31–14.
The Cardinals, as a team, had a paltry 1,138 rushing yards in 2005, only 71.1 yards per game. Remarkably, the Cardinals only had one 100-yard rushing game, when they ran for 129 yards in the season finale at Indianapolis. Arizona's season total is the fifth-fewest rushing yards by a team in a 16-game season.The Cardinals passing offense, however, led the league, with 4,437 yards. Kurt Warner's 271.3 passing yards per game were third in the NFL, and his 24.2 pass completions per-game led the league. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald tied for the league lead in receptions, with 103, edging out his teammate Anquan Boldin, who had 102 (tied for third in the NFL) Fitzgerald's 1,409 yards, and Boldin’s 1,402 yards receiving were fourth and fifth in the NFL, respectively, in 2005. Boldin’s 100.1 receiving yards per game led the NFL.
The season also saw the Cardinals change their logo and uniforms, which remains in use today. It was also their final season playing at Sun Devil Stadium.2006 Arizona Cardinals season
The 2006 Arizona Cardinals season was the teams 87th Season in the NFL and 19th season in Arizona. The season began with the team trying to improve on their 5–11 record in 2005. They also moved into the Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (one of the western suburbs of Phoenix), the first ever stadium in the United States with a retractable playing surface. The stadium was christened University of Phoenix Stadium on September 26. Despite a somewhat promising start, the team suffered a few setbacks, including key losses to the Dallas Cowboys and the eventual NFC Champion Chicago Bears, and ended the season (again) at a disappointing 5–11 record. Head coach Dennis Green was fired after the season, replaced by Ken Whisenhunt.2007 Arizona Cardinals season
The 2007 Arizona Cardinals season was the 88th season for the team in the National Football League, and their 20th season in Arizona. They improved upon their 5–11 record in 2006 after finishing last place in the NFC West, by finishing 8–8, but the failure of the Cardinals to qualify for the Super Bowl marked the 23rd consecutive year in which the Super Bowl did not include the team in whose region the game was being played. Two heartbreaking losses to the San Francisco 49ers, who won only five games that season, came back to haunt them in the end, as they barely missed the playoffs by just one game. Nonetheless, Pro Football Reference argues that the 2007 Cardinals had the easiest schedule of any non-playoff team since the 1965 Eagles: they never opposed any team with a better record than 10–6 in any of their sixteen games.2008 Arizona Cardinals season
The 2008 Arizona Cardinals season was the 89th season for the team in the National Football League and their 21st season in Arizona. The season marked the Cardinals' first-ever Super Bowl appearance, coming as a result of their victory against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship. The Cardinals slogan for the season was "Shock The World!" Riding the back of quarterback Kurt Warner, who had gone from being a backup for the St. Louis Rams in 1999 to leading the Greatest Show on Turf to a Super Bowl XXXIV victory, and franchise wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals went on a playoff run for the ages after having won just one playoff game in the last sixty years, as Warner once again recreated the magic he had captured with the Rams. (Coincidentally, both teams were based in St Louis at one point or another, only to relocate to different cities.)
The Cardinals began their season by compiling a 7–3 record by Week 11 and finished the regular season with a 9–7 record, which was good enough to win the NFC West, and the Cardinals, for the first time since 1947, hosted a playoff game. In that wild card game, the Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Falcons. The next week, for the Divisional round of the playoffs, the Cardinals traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, where they upset the number 2 seeded Carolina Panthers. Then, because the Philadelphia Eagles also achieved an upset the same week (against the top-seeded New York Giants), the number-four seed Cardinals hosted the NFC Championship game, where they defeated the Eagles and qualified for the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. In Super Bowl XLIII, the Cardinals' winning streak ended. Though they led the Pittsburgh Steelers with less than a minute left to play in the game, they lost, 23–27.
The 2008 Cardinals were the second 9–7 team to reach the Super Bowl, joining the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV, who also lost to the Steelers; however, the Rams had to win only two playoff games, rather than three, to reach the Super Bowl. Three years later in Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants would become the first 9–7 team to win, overshadowing the Cardinals' achievement.2009 Arizona Cardinals season
The 2009 Arizona Cardinals season is the 90th season for the team in the National Football League and the 22nd season in Arizona. The Cardinals finished the season with a 10–6 record, an improvement from their 9–7 previous season record and the first time the team has won 10 games since 1976. The franchise was able to successfully defend the National Football Conference (NFC) West division title and earned a playoff berth in the NFC Playoffs wild card round against the Green Bay Packers, which they won in overtime by the score of 51-45, the highest scoring game for two teams combined in a playoff game. Their season ended the following week on January 17, 2010, in a loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints in the NFC Playoffs divisional round. This game would be the final game of quarterback Kurt Warner's career, and this was the only playoff game in thirteen total appearances in which he failed to throw a touchdown pass.
The 2009 season was the team's first to secure back-to-back postseason appearances since its move to Arizona, and the first time the team did so since 1975.2010 Arizona Cardinals season
The 2010 Arizona Cardinals season is the 91st season for the team in the National Football League, and their 23rd season in Arizona. The Cardinals failed to improve on their 10–6 record from 2009, and were eliminated from postseason contention in Week 15.
Football Outsiders calculated that the Cardinals were, play-for-play, the worst team in the NFL in 2010.2012 Pro Bowl
The 2012 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's all-star game for the 2011 season. It took place at 2:00 pm local time on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The AFC defeated the NFC, 59–41.The 59 points scored by the AFC team were a Pro Bowl record, and the combined 100 total points was second in the series' history to only the 2004 Pro Bowl. Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall was named the game's Most Valuable Player after catching four touchdown passes, breaking the record for touchdown receptions in a Pro Bowl which was set by Jimmy Smith in 2004.The AFC team was coached by Gary Kubiak of the Houston Texans while Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy led the NFC all-stars. The referee for the game was Walt Coleman.Art Rooney Award
The Art Rooney Award is given annually by the National Football League (NFL) in recognition of outstanding sportsmanship on the playing field. Established in 2015, the award is named in honor of Art Rooney, the founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The award is determined by a vote of the NFL players. The award is presented each year to an NFL player who demonstrates on the field the qualities of great sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for opponents, and integrity in competition.
Each NFL team nominates one player during the season. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected from the 32 nominees eight finalists (four in the American Football Conference; four in the National Football Conference). The panel of Legends Coordinators in the inaugural year was composed of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler. Along with the award, the winner receives a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.Carlyle Holiday
Carlyle Javar Holiday (born October 4, 1981) is a former American football wide receiver.
Holiday attended Roosevelt High School in San Antonio, TX. In football, he was named as the top high school scrambling quarterback in the nation. After a heavy bid from Nebraska, he eventually committed to the University of Notre Dame. Holiday was the starting quarterback for three years at the university, leading them to the Gator Bowl in his final full season at Quarterback. During that time, he broke the school's rushing record for 100 yard games in a season by a quarterback as well as most completions without an interception and touchdown passes in a game, the latter two which were broken by Brady Quinn. During his senior year at Notre Dame, Holiday was converted to a Wide Receiver and Punt Returner, due to the emergence of true freshman Quarterback Brady Quinn. Even though Holiday never played college baseball, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 44th round of the MLB amateur draft in 2002.
Carlyle made his first NFL start against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football in his second season with the Arizona Cardinals when Larry Fitzgerald was out with a sprained ankle. He was later signed out of free agency by the Green Bay Packers on December 5, 2006 after being released from the Arizona Cardinals. He caught Brett Favre's record breaking completion against the Detroit Lions, breaking Dan Marino's career completions mark. Carlyle injured his knee playing against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first game of the 2007 season, ending his year while being placed on injured reserve. In February 2008 Holiday was released by the Green Bay Packers.Caryle is currently a recruiter at McKinsey & Company in San Francisco.List of National Football League annual receptions leaders
This is a list of National Football League players who have led the regular season in receptions each year.List of National Football League career receiving yards leaders
In American football, yards gained on a forward pass play are credited to the receiver as receiving yards. In the National Football League (NFL), 48 players have gained at least 10,000 receiving yards in their career: all but four are wide receivers; the rest are tight ends. Wide receiver Jerry Rice is the NFL's all-time leader in receiving yards, with 22,895. He is the only player to surpass 17,000 yards. Larry Fitzgerald is the only active player nearing this milestone.Madden NFL 10
Madden NFL 10 is an American football video game based on the National Football League that was published by EA Sports and developed by EA Tiburon. The 21st installment of the Madden NFL series, it is the first game to feature two players on the cover: Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, who played against each other the previous season in Super Bowl XLIII. It was released in August 2009 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360 and BlackBerry, and for the iOS on September 9 through the App Store.Obafemi Ayanbadejo
Obafemi Devin Ayanbadejo (; born March 5, 1975) is a former American football running back, fullback and special teams player. He was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 1997. In 1998 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings he was allocated to the London Monarchs of the NFL Europe league. A since defunct developmental league. Ayanbadejo also played for the Baltimore Ravens (1999-2002), Miami Dolphins (2002-2003), Arizona Cardinals 2004-2007), Chicago Bears (2007) and California Redwoods (2009) of the UFL. His professional football career began in 1997 and he officially retired from professional football in January, of 2010. He played college football at San Diego State.
Ayanbadejo earned a Super Bowl ring with the 2000 Ravens via Super Bowl XXXV. He is the older brother of NFL linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo. Brendon is an All-Pro and Pro Bowler. He has a Super Bowl ring with the 2012 Baltimore Ravens. The interesting facts continue. Obafemi Ayanbadejo
met Larry Fitzgerald while a young "Fitz" was a ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings. The pair became teammates when the future Hall of Famer was drafted in the 1st round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. During that same 2004 season Emmitt Smith tossed his first and only touchdown pass of his
NFL Hall of Fame career. That touchdown reception belongs to Ayanbadejo.Pittsburgh Panthers football statistical leaders
The Pittsburgh Panthers football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Pittsburgh Panthers football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Panthers represent University of Pittsburgh in the NCAA's Atlantic Coast Conference.
Although Pittsburgh began competing in intercollegiate football in 1890, the school's official record book considers the "modern era" to have begun in the 1950s. Records from before this year are often incomplete and inconsistent, and they are generally not included in these lists.
These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:
Since the 1950s, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.
The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.
Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Panthers have played in 12 bowl games since this decision, giving many recent players an extra game to accumulate statistics.These lists are updated through the end of the 2018 season. Note that Pittsburgh's official media guide does not give a full top 10 in many of these categories.Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award is presented annually by the National Football League (NFL) honoring a player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field. Prior to 1999, it was called simply the NFL Man of the Year Award. Shortly after Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton died (having been the 1977 recipient himself), the award was renamed to honor his legacy as a humanitarian. Each year, a winner is selected from 32 nominees from the 32 different teams. A panel of judges, which includes the Commissioner of the NFL, Connie Payton (widow of Walter Payton), the previous year's winner, and a number of former players select the winner of the award. The Man of the Year winner receives a $50,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice. The other 31 finalists also receive donations in their name of $5,000 each to charities of their choice. The Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs have had more winners of the award than any other team, with 5 winners each.
Each winner who is currently active in the league, beginning in Week 14 of the current season, has a patch on their uniforms. The current active winners are: Drew Brees, Jason Witten, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Long, Eli Manning, and J.J. Watt. The nominees of each team are given a helmet decal to wear for the remainder of the season.
Larry Fitzgerald—awards and honors
Arizona Cardinals current roster