RICHFIELD, Minn. (WCCO) — He’s the best Minnesota-born football player to never wear a Gophers or Vikings uniform in the past 75 years.
But that hasn’t stopped him from having a huge impact on the community. WCCO’s David McCoy caught up with Larry Fitzgerald Monday morning, as he was doing just that.
Another summer, another Larry Fitzgerald summer camp at his old high school, Holy Angels. Though he hasn’t played for a Minnesota-based team since it was on these fields in high school, Fitzgerald makes it a priority to come back, and give back.
Whether it’s at his camp, or hosting a surprise shopping spree for local youth athletes at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
“It’s important just to invest in our youth. These young people here are going to be our future,” Fitzgerald said. “You have to invest the time and the resources into helping them achieve their goals the same way that people did it for me. So it’s always important to pay it forward.”
And they have quite the guy to look up to. Fitzgerald’s been as impactful off the field as he has been on it.
Which is really impactful.
After 14 years in a league where longevity is really difficult, Fitzgerald continues to defy the odds. He turns 35 before the start of the season, but shows no signs of slowing down, coming off three straight 100-catch, 1,000-yard seasons…
“Everybody kind of takes numbers and they just assume this is where it’s supposed to end. But as an athlete, fortunately, you write your own script,” Fitzgerald said. “If you’re still producing and you play at a high level, you kind of determine how long you want to play.”
Still, there’s no denying Fitzgerald is nearer the end of his career than the beginning. And though there continues to be the question of how long he’ll play, he says he hasn’t put a timeline on it.
“I just take it year by year. Honestly. I feel good. I really, really enjoy the competition still, I love being around the guys and being able to do something that’s bigger than me,” Fitzgerald said.
Not unlike today.