Arizona Cardinals’ Fitzgerald wins Sportsmanship Award


Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald wins the inaugural NFL Sportsmanship Award

There is a first time for everything even if this isn’t the first time for Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald.  For the first time the NFL gave out the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award and it went to Fitz but certainly this has been what Fitz has been all about his whole career.

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As the award was being introduced on stage the description of the player being described was Fitz from head to toe.  At that point, the audience did not know it was Fitz being described.  Clearly Fitz is well deserving of the award.  He is well-respected around the organization and amongst his teammates and peers.

Per, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had some nice things to say about Fitz last season, describing how he likes the way Fitz plays the game.  Back in October of 2013, Carroll said he appreciates the physical but clean way Fitz plays.

Fitz is the first one to help up an opponent who has tackled or attempted to tackle him.  You rarely see him argue like you do with many other players in the league.  He never throws another player or team under the bus.  He doesn’t complain much and we all know he’s had plenty he could have complained about in his 11 seasons in Arizona.

For a guy who hasn’t been able to keep the same starting quarterback for more than three years since he was drafted in 2004, he has had plenty of opportunity to show his frustrations with the quarterback situation in Arizona.  He doesn’t do it, at least not publicly.

We also have plenty of good things to say about what he does off the field but this award is for his on the field attitude and demeanor.  There is no greater reward to know you are respected not only by your teammates and organization but by rivals and other opponents as well.  The work he has done has not gone unnoticed.

Fitzgerald now focuses on the rest of his playing career.  There is an important deadline coming up in a month when the Cardinals must decide on what to do with a player who is scheduled to be paid an amount the team can not afford.  There has been talk the Cardinals are going to come to agreement with the Cardinals.   Fans would love nothing more, at least most of them.  Whether he returns or not he will always be a great sport.