After Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald lowered his right shoulder into 49ers cornerback K’Wuan Williams on his way to the goal line on a two-point conversion late in the Cardinals’ win over San Francisco on Sunday, Fitzgerald did something he’s never done before: he spiked the football.
At first glance, it seemed like a move from a veteran leader meant to fire up his team – Arizona had won just one game coming into the day, had played terribly against the Broncos the week before, fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy days earlier, and had to convince All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson that the team is committed to winning after Peterson reportedly requested a trade.
Even Fitzgerald’s brother noticed: Marcus Fitzgerald tweeted, “It’s about time you show that real emotion!”
Turns out, that wasn’t it at all.
Thanks but no thanks, dad
Fitzgerald told reporters after the Cardinals’ 18-15 win that the spike was strictly out of personal frustration: his 10-year-old son, Devin, opted to go to the state fair with friends rather than watch two 1-6 teams play.
Dad or not, funnel cakes and ferris wheels are far more appealing.
“I was carrying that around all day,” Fitzgerald said. “So when I get in there [the end zone], I kind of let it out. So all the kids that were watching, I’m sorry. I set a bad example today.”
In fairness to Devin, Sunday was the last day for the fair this year…
Rough season for Cardinals and Fitzgerald
Arizona has had one of the worst offenses in the NFL this season: through the first seven weeks, it was 31st in passing yards, 32nd in rushing yards and also dead last in points scored.
Part of that is having a rookie quarterback in Josh Rosen, and part of that, at least head coach Steve Wilks clearly believes, was McCoy.
On Sunday, Fitzgerald had by far his best game of the season: eight catches for 102 yards, a touchdown and the two-point conversion. Over the first seven games, he had just 255 yards total, never getting more than 76 in a game.
In the days leading up to the game, Fitzgerald was asked about being only 135 yards away from passing Terrell Owens for second place all-time in receiving yards. Fitzgerald’s responded by saying that at the rate the Cardinals’ offense was going, it would take him until Week 16 to hit the milestone.
After Sunday, he’s certainly much closer. Even if his son wasn’t there to see it.
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