BC correspondent DJ Slone jumped on the phone this morning with Larry Fitzgerald to talk nutrition, football and who he’s taking in an NFL fantasy draft. How did we end up on the phone with Larry? Secret. It’s a complete miracle he chatted with us.
You’re partnered with EAS Sports Nutrition, and March is National Nutrition Month. Can you tell us about your fitness and nutrition regimen, maybe give us some tips for staying in shape?
My health is obviously extremely important to me. That’s what allows me to perform at a high level, to the best of my ability, not only on Sundays when I’m on display but in every single practice and in my preparations in the off-season to get ready for the season. So I fill my body with the right nutrition. I have to prepare like a champion every single day. In the morning after my first workout I always have a EAS Myoplex recovery protein shake and then after practice I always drink EAS Muscle Armor, because it rehydrates me and refuels me because what’s important in our business is to be able to do what you do in terms of athletic performance every single day and so you have to recover.
Are you really strict with your diet, or do you occasionally eat stuff like wings and beer?
No wings and beer for me. Well, I’m much more strict once I start hitting it hard, so April until after the season is over in January or whenever, but after that I might take a few months where I might enjoy a little bit. I will have a slice of pizza. But when I’m playing, I don’t mess with stuff, I’m strict.”
One of the biggest issues in the NFL today is player safety, especially concussions. Do you think the NFL is doing enough to protect players, or are they going too far in the opposite direction and taking hard hitting out of the game?
I think to grow our game, there’s going to have to be some changes made in the way the game is played. I think you see the NFL being proactive in their approach in that regard. They’re doing everything they can with the dollars that they have to protect the players, and protect the players from themselves a lot of times. When guys get injured that’s an injury that you have to diagnose yourself a lot of times. There’s nobody that knows what’s going on in your head. So I think guys are being a little more cognizant of what’s happening and the ramifications, long-term, of head trauma, as we see the research that’s coming out. It is a relatively new prognosis and diagnosis for guys. The research is not that old, so we don’t really know everything that can come about. But the NFL does a good job of being proactive with their approach.
Another issue is making the PAT more exciting and challenging, maybe moving it back to be a 42 yard kick. What do you think about that?
No, I like the way it is right now. It’s not guaranteed. I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t see why there’s an issue with it, why they need to make the extra point that much more difficult.
You’ve had an amazing career, holding numerous NFL and Cardinals franchise records. What else would you like to accomplish?
There are two things, really. I would like to win a Super Bowl and be a Hall of Famer. Those are obviously the big goals for anybody that plays the game.
You’re not only an Arizona Cardinal, you’re also a Phoenix, in that you’re completing your degree online at the University of Phoenix and majoring in Communication. Are you planning to work in communication after you retire, maybe a career in the booth?
I’m not certain of what I’m going to do just yet. I’m still trying to finish my degree and when I do that I will have a clearer idea of what my next goals are. Right now I’m a singular-focused guy, trying to help my team the best way I can. When that time comes to find my next move, I will direct all my focus and energy on that.
You were once on the cover of EA Sports NCAA Football. There’s been a lot of discussion lately about whether college football players should be paid. What do you think about paying college football players?
I think it’s a slippery slope, personally. There are only really two sports in college athletics that generate revenue, and that’s college basketball and college football, and if you’re going to pay the college athletes, you know it isn’t just, say, football players or basketball players. There’s tennis, there’s golf, there’s lacrosse, there’s hockey. There are a lot of other sports that typically don’t generate any revenue, and I don’t believe it’s fair that only the athletes who generate revenue should be paid as opposed to the other kids who put in the same time and commitment to their sports and who can’t work either. So I think it needs to be done fairly and in the right way. And there’s a lot of room for misappropriation of funds, if that were to happen, as well. I definitely believe the kids should be compensated but it would have to be a formula that works.
You do a lot of charitable work with your First Down Fund. One of the things you do is host a charity softball event and in the past you had Snoop on your team. I think we know what he’s like off the field, what’s Snoop like on the field?
Snoop is a competitor. He really wants to win. He’s a great teammate. He’s always encouraging the guys to do better, be better. You know, Snoop is like an uncle. He’s always been somebody I followed and looked up to, you know, growing up in the late 80s and early 90s. Obviously he’s a legend, and the relationship I have with him is special to me.
What’s up with him changing his name to Snoop Lion, thinking he’s the new Bob Marley?!
Haha. You know, I never asked him about that! That’s his business. I’m just going to call him whatever he asks me to call him.
A lot of our readers play fantasy football and they’re always looking for a competitive edge. If you owned a fantasy football team, who would be your first 2 draft picks?
I would probably start off with Adrian Peterson because he’s so consistent and scores so many touchdowns from deep. And short yardage goal lines, he’s so good with that. Then, my second pick would probably be the Seattle Seahawks defense. They’ve been so consistent over the past two years. They do a heck-of-a-job, fantasy wise. There are different strategies I look at to be competitive.
NCAA March Madness – who ya got?
I just want to see Pitt get into the tournament. So somewhere along the way we’re going to have to do well in the ACC tournament to make sure we solidify ourselves as a team that will be in the bracket. I like Michigan State always in the tournament. They just play so well, in terms of basketball. I think Duke is coming on strong. I like Arizona out West. They’re really athletic, they have a really nice big man in the back court and they have great guards. I’m really looking forward to the tournament. I always get excited. It’s one of the most fun times of the year for me.