Shutdown Corner

Larry Fitzgerald was once a Vikings ball boy, and here’s the proof

Jay Busbee
Shutdown Corner

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Via @KeithLeventhal

Count Larry Fitzgerald among those NFL stars who didn't emerge from some cocoon ready to play for their current team, devoid of any and all rooting an interests as a kid. Raised in Minnesota, Fitzgerald was — imagine this — a fan of the Vikings, so much so that he was actually a ball boy for the team.

“I grew up a Vikings fan and I would be lying to you if I didn’t say I was still a Vikings fan,” Fitzgerald told the Cardinals' team website last year. “Growing up in Minnesota it’s second nature. I still pull for them when I’m not playing them. A lot of my closest friends in the NFL are Vikings."

Now, an intrepid Minneapolis reporter has found some actual evidence of Fitzgerald's lineage. Keith Leventhal of KARE 11 was reviewing some game footage from 2000 (we do what we can to stay busy in the offseason; don't judge) when he spotted young Fitz on the sidelines, and there you go. (Via The Big Lead.)

Of course, Fitzgerald would go on to bigger and better things; here he is just a few years later in the Metrodome a little more involved in the action:

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Larry Fitzgerald against the Vikings in 2006. (Getty Images)

Against the Vikings in his career, Fitzgerald has 39 receptions for 569 yards and one touchdown; the Cardinals are 1-5 against Minnesota with Fitzgerald in the lineup. Conspiracy!

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