It’s been a rough season for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. While the 35-year-old pass catcher has already earned himself a ticket to the NFL Hall of Fame, his team has struggled this year. Heading into Sunday’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, the Cardinals had only won one game. Still, the team put together its best performance of the season to win 18-15 and Fitzgerald played a big role in the victory, catching a late touchdown and then grabbing the two-point conversion with 34 seconds left to give the Cardinals the three-point lead.
After Fitzgerald made the game-winning catch, he couldn’t contain his emotions and spiked the ball in celebration. Many Cardinals fans, including Larry’s brother Marcus, noted how out of character the celebration was; in fact, it was the first time Fitzgerald had spiked the ball during his 15-year NFL career. In a post-game interview, Fitzgerald revealed that the motivation behind the spike had less to do with the two-point conversion and more to do with his son not wanting to come to the game.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) October 29, 2018
“I never spiked a ball before in my life,” Fitzgerald told reporters. “I was a little frustrated and had a heavy heart [Sunday]. My son Devin, my oldest son, didn’t want to come to the game today. So my feelings were a little hurt, so I was carrying that around all day. So when I got in there, I kind of let it out.”
That would be first time I have ever seen Larry spike a ball after scoring in all the years I have seen him play on that extra point!!
It’s about time you show that real emotion @LarryFitzgerald !!! ????????????????
— Marcus R. Fitzgerald (@ProfessorMFitz) October 28, 2018
Fitzgerald explained that his son had chosen to go to the state fair instead, which hurt his father’s feeling. Still, Fitzgerald said that was no excuse for spiking the ball, which he sees as a disrespectful show of arrogance. “He didn’t want to come support us,” Fitzgerald said. “So I’m trying to pick up the pieces. I got to be a better father.”
Hopefully, the two are able to reconcile and Devin will be there to cheer on his dad in future home games. But regardless of what happens, Fitzgerald made sure to voice his disappointment with himself and the example he set for his young fans.
“To all the kids that are watching, I’m sorry,” Fitzgerald said. “I set a bad example.”