I don’t like it but I sure do get it
There is plenty of scorn directed at Larry Fitzgerald Sr. but you’ll find very little from me. Mostly it’s empathy.
I sat behind him in the press box Monday night and could feel the burn. Three quarters had gone by and his son — a future Hall-of Fame wide receiver — had yet to be targeted once. Not one single time.
It quickly became a narrative, perhaps the main one both locally and national. Why are they not throwing the ball to Fitz? What’s the real reason?
And he reacted.
I’ve got a 16-year-old baseball-playing son and a 14-year-old volleyball-playing daughter. I’ve felt the burn when my daughter has languished on the bench or wasted a vacation day to watch my son play only to find that he’s not.
It hurts in a way that is difficult to describe and much harder to justify.
And each time you have to fight the temptation to be THAT DAD. Or THAT MOM. It’s like shaking a soda can for two hours; some people just can’t help but to open it in front of everybody.
I’ve seen angry moms chase down coaches (who themselves are just kids) to berate them over why their daughter is on the bench. Dads who employ the squeaky-wheel-gets-the-grease strategy (successfully, I might add) to lobby for more playing time for their son. I’ve seen disappointed kids who are forced to transfer schools because mom and dad weren’t happy about the program.
Fitzgerald Sr.’s vague tweet about politics and business had that all-too-familiar feel to it. It’s astounding to think that Larry Fitzgerald can accomplish as much as he has as a football player yet still turn a dad into a dad when he is only thrown to four times. And to the younger Fitz’s credit, his response was measured and appropriate. When he meets with the media later this week, Fitz will surely handle it with grace, class and humor.
It’s a tough spot to be put in by your dad to be sure. But go easy on him.
Chances are you know exactly what he’s going through.