Long gone are the days in the NFL when there was little or no personal interaction postgame. Win or lose, many players come together to say hello when the clock hits zero, as former college teammates, teammates at one point in the pros, or just friends they’ve made throughout their time in the league.
And some take the time to swap jerseys, giving each player a memento from the other. Larry Fitzgerald has done this many times. In fact, “I was probably one of the first ones to start doing it,” the wide receiver said Thursday.
The first time was in 2005, when Fitzgerald, at that point coming off his rookie season, asked for and got the cleats of then-Broncos wide receiver Jerry Rice after the preseason finale — a game in which it turned out was the last time Rice stepped on the football field as a player. He did the same thing with Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown, Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks and Giants defensive end Michael Strahan. (And pictured below, swaps with Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and then-Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall.)
“Some of the guys I really looked up to,” Fitzgerald said. “I started collecting some things and it grew from there.”
He’s swapped jerseys with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, asking him prior to the game they played, but other times, Fitz said he doesn’t know the player and simply asked afterward, telling them he respected the way they played and it would be an honor to have their jersey. It probably helps that Fitz has some name recognition and a jersey worth getting himself. And Fitz understands not all situations postgame are the right situations in which to ask.
“I am respectful,” Fitzgerald said. “I have some couth and some tact. I know when to ask and who to ask.”
Tags: Larry Fitzgerald
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