Fitzgerald during the 2015 season
|No. 11â€ƒArizona Cardinals|
|Date of birth:||August 31, 1983|
|Place of birth:||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||218 lb (99 kg)|
|High school:||Richfield (MN) Academy of Holy Angels|
|NFL Draft:||2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3|
Arizona Cardinals (2004â€“present)
|Career highlights and awards|
10Ã— Pro Bowl (2005, 2007â€“2013, 2015, 2016)
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2016|
My dad used to give me a lot of spankings. Anything I did wrong, he was on me. I was raised by a strict disciplinarian. He kind of laid down the law.
When you think of Peyton Manning, you think 'ambassador.' The game has grown exponentially during his career because of him and what he means to our game, not only as a football player but as a humanitarian.
I was very fortunate to have some great mentors. A father that was always in my life set the example every day at home. Everybody asks me, 'What was your role model?' My role model slept 20 feet from me every night. I could always go talk to him and ask him questions no matter what it was about.
I enjoy playing for the Arizona Cardinals, and I want to continue to play here and try to win.
I love to see new things, and I love to learn. I always learn so much when I travel – that's the best thing.
I have some sweets now and then, but I wouldn't say I have a major sweet tooth.
It's rewarding to be recognized by the fans and other players for my abilities and to be able to represent the Arizona Cardinals fans from around the world.
I go to Australia probably once every two years. It's wide-open spaces there, so I just rent a motorcycle and ride out to the middle of the continent. For hours, you don't see anybody.
My energy levels are off the charts. I can run all day, I breathe well, and I sweat a lot, so the toxins and impurities come out of my body.
Pretty much I love all types of fish; I pretty much stick with that. I love vegetables. I don't eat too much carbs, but I love salads, though. I'll usually have a salad, except for breakfast.
I've traveled all the way around the world; I've been to over 95 countries, so I love ethnic food, different types of cuisine.
For being a young guy, I'm articulate and can hold a decent conversation with somebody. But I've been able to do that since I was young. I don't think that has to do too much with schooling, it has more to do with the people I was raised around, my parents. I have respect for adults.
My diet is always extremely important to me. I've taken a new approach to eating in terms of my blood type. I really don't eat much chicken, sugar, salts, or beef. Just eating clean and feeling so much better.
The more playoff games and Super Bowls and things of that nature that you're in obviously is going to build your portfolio and raise your visibility.
Crossword puzzles, Sudoku… I'm good at all those things. It's not daily, but I'll do stuff on the airplane. I love playing chess. It's my favorite game.
I enjoy working with the American Cancer Society because I fully support its mission of saving lives and creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays for everyone.
Chicken… I am a black man, we love our chicken, but I don't eat it anymore. My genotype means I don't process it as well as other things. But I eat lamb twice a week; that is a super food for me.
When you don't know how to cook, you just say, 'I need something quick,' and then you fry something up. Now that I cook, I think, 'Do I want to have fried fish, baked fish, or grilled fish?'
In terms of me being a Christian, going to Israel was really cool. Going to the West Bank, Bethlehem, floating in the Dead Sea – that was great for me.
Chess is a lot of fun for me. Football is a physical game, and in chess you can just beat someone mentally – you outwit somebody, outmaneuver them, think ahead of them.
I can never let the guy across from me be in better shape. I have to be the best-conditioned guy.
There are certain things that I do – I don't eat chicken or pork. I stay away from red meat a lot; I eat fish most of the time. I think it makes me feel cleaner, not just body wise. I feel good.
I was fortunate to have a grandfather who was an optometrist. Vision therapy was something that we routinely did to strengthen our eyes and give us better focus. I was fortunate that he could teach me techniques that are still paying dividends for me to this day.
If you play football, there's going to be a 100 percent injury rate. Something is going to be bothering you. So I just try to focus on the things that I can do to help my team.
I work legs, upper body, everything. Legs are very important. I do hang cleans and squats – I do primary exercises. Squats work over 60 percent of your muscle mass in your body. The hang cleans work on my explosive movement, which is essential for success.
I joined forces with the American Cancer Society in 2010 as a spokesperson for the N.F.L.'s 'A Crucial Catch' campaign, which benefits the American Cancer Society. This was important to me because I lost my mother to breast cancer, and I have always felt a strong commitment to doing all I can to fight this disease.
Every guy has different strengths in the NFL. Receivers are different, running backs are different, but they all have that one thing that they do that's special: that thing that keeps them on the roster every year.
You have to find something that you want to accomplish, that you want to achieve. You want to drop 15 pounds. You want to be able to run four miles. There has to be some goal that you set for yourself and, after you've reached that goal, you set a new one. You always have to be shooting for something, striving for something.
I've got the Xbox 360, a Wii, and a PlayStation 3. I got everything you could think of.
For me, take Tiger Woods. I always thought he was great, but I never truly understood how good he was until I had the chance to go to Tiger Woods Golf Camp. He taught me how to swing and was hitting the ball, and this dude was unreal.
I've always thought about my legacy – more so, though, my impact off the field and how I'm helping my community and solidifying and strengthening the lives of others around me. And also, I just want to be a dominant football player, too. So it encompasses everything.
My mother was a great inspiration to me to always do my best. My father has always been my mentor and friend. They taught me the basic principle that guides most all that I do: faith, focus, finish.
Jerry Rice had won two Super Bowls already by the time he got to his ninth year in the league. That's what it's all about: winning that ring.
I really enjoy my philanthropic work, traveling around the world and helping people in need. That's a lot of fun for me. It's really rewarding. You're helping people, but it's helping you, too. It puts life in perspective when you come back and you say, 'Man, it's raining again in Minnesota.'
The Hit Stick is a tremendous invention. It really gave you control as a defensive player because most of the time, 'Madden' is such an offensive game. But the Hit Stick really gave you the opportunity to shine on defense for the first time.
Just losing a couple pounds takes so much stress off your joints. Your body feels better.
I went to a military school, so I'm always talking like 'Yes, sir,' or 'No, ma'am.' I was doing that even before military school, so I've always had it, I guess.
You can never let anything distract you from your main objective. My only goal is to be great. That's all I want. That's all I ever aspire to be. Greatness is something nobody can ever take away from you, no matter what happens. So I put all my energy and focus into my craft.
I'm kind of shy, to be honest. If I go to the pool or something, I keep my shirt on unless I'm getting in the water.