Sportress of Blogitude

Larry Fitzgerald pens heartfelt tribute to Cardinals, Arizona


When one thinks of the Arizona Cardinals organization, one’s thoughts immediately turn to Larry Fitzgerald, who over his 12 NFL seasons became the team’s face, heart and soul. The veteran wide receiver wanted to express his gratitude both to the city of Phoenix and the Cardinals organization, and did so with a heartfelt tribute essay for The Players’ Tribune.

In the piece entitled, “Ode to Arizona,” Fitzgerald takes readers on the amazing trip that has been his professional football career, from being a wide-eyed rookie, to coming up just short of championship glory in Super Bowl XLIII, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23 in 2009, and how the team again stands on the brink of a Super Bowl berth.

Fitzgerald praises the Cardinals for bringing in Bruce Arians to coach the team and Carson Palmer to lead the offense. He also applauds other free agents the team has brought in as well as how it took care of a “great core of vets and infused it with undeniable young talent.”

He also writes how it “took a few decades” but the perception has changed and now the Cardinals are viewed as a team that “expects to win.”

But more than anything, Fitzgerald simply wanted to express his sincere gratitude for how the organization he plays for and how he feels “indebted to this city for everything it’s given me.”

Fitzgerald closes his essay with the following passage about how he hopes the Cardinals can beat the Carolina Panthers on Sunday and then deliver a championship in Super Bowl 50.

There’s still work to be done — but we’re getting there. In fact, I think there’s only one, large, final box left for us to check off:

Win a Super Bowl.

Nothing less.

We have the ownership to do it. We have the coaching staff to do it. We have the players to do it.

And I know we have the state to do it.

So let’s do it.

The love Fitzgerald expresses in the piece is of course reciprocated by the Cardinals and the fans. The “Hail Larry” play alone from last week assures that.