Just because they have the same name doesn’t mean that Larry Fitzgerald and his father Larry Fitzgerald Sr. share the same thoughts.
The elder Fitzgerald is a sportswriter by trade and is no stranger to sharing his opinion with the world. In fact, he’s paid to do it. This week those opinions caused a bit of a stir as the subject matter turned to whether or not the younger Fitzgerald would remain in Arizona.
On an ESPN radio station in Los Angles, Larry Sr. shared with the hosts his thoughts on his son and if he thinks Larry will sign an extension with the Arizona Cardinals. Those comments quickly became the source of Internet fodder and speculation.
With headlines like ‘Larry Fitzgerald Sr. says Larry Jr. “always wanted to be a Viking”‘ popping up and many media members making assumptions about what his quotes really meant, I decided to go straight to the source to find out.
Larry Sr. was kind enough to clarify his comments and expand upon them Friday via email. In an attempt to not take Mr. Fitzgerald or his comments out of context you can find my question and his response unedited below (The final answer is quite interesting).
In your interview with ESPN Los Angeles you told Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley that Larry Jr. “has always wanted to be a Viking because he is a Viking.” A lot of people in Arizona are taking that comment as if he is actively looking to return to Minnesota. What was your original intention with the comment?
Larry Fitzgerald Sr.: I’m not in Arizona I’m not certain what people are saying. Larry Jr loves Minnesota it’s home it’s where the heart is. Larry Jr speaks for himself. I know he has said what he wants you to know. Remember he was born in Minnesota All-American in High School I got him his first job as a ball boy.
You also said that the “Cardinals would have to fall flat on their face” for Larry to wind up in Minnesota. Were you speaking in terms of on field play or in negotiating a new contract?
LF Sr.: The Cardinals are in the drivers seat as I see it and Larry Jr knows exactly what he wants and he has paid the price to get it.
Do you feel that you are being misquoted or mischaracterized by media and fans who are claiming your quotes are a clear sign that Larry is interested in exploring opportunities outside of Arizona?
LF Sr.: It’s talk people talk. I may have been misquoted or people think or say whatever. I never said Larry Jr was going anywhere or is looking to go anywhere. He’s in training camp coming off a losing season and NFL lockout. Larry Jr wants to win badly he is a winner. We my late wife Carol an I raised a champion on and off the field.
Were your comments at all in response to the fact that the Cardinals have publicly said that they want to get a deal done before the end of the preseason and are willing to make him the highest paid player in franchise history thus putting pressure on Larry to sign an extension without exploring his options?
LF Sr.: I have not talked to the Cardinals-Obviously I know them well- I know they have been good to my family. Mr. Bidwill, Michael, Mr. Graves they are like family but this is business. And its Larry Jr business he will do what he wants and believes is best and I’m OK with that.
Q: What do you feel will be the most important factor in his decision?
LF Sr.: Larry Jr loves Arizona and he loves being a Cardinal. His son Devin was born in Arizona- it will come down to Larry Jr doing what is best for how he sees his future.
Q: In the end do you feel he’ll remain in Arizona?
LF Sr.: I do not have a crystal ball and I have never talked to him about [the] contract.