The Cardinals and the Presidents

Posted by Darren Urban on October 11, 2012 – 3:28 pm

Larry Fitzgerald has had a chance to be around former President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton before — because, you know, that’s how he rolls — but the Cardinals wide receiver and a handful of teammates got a few minutes in with both Wednesday night, an experience they weren’t going to forget.

Kicker Jay Feely (who has played golf with Bush, actually), linebacker Sam Acho, wide receiver Andre Roberts and former Cards quarterback Rich Bartel all joined Fitz at the debate/speeches by the former Presidents at the Deutsche Bank Financial Summit. Before the event, for about 20 minutes, the quartet even got to sit and chat with the Presidents, talking “sports and policy,” Feely said. And also about Acho’s background.

Fitzgerald went to Africa with Clinton in the offseason to help distribute hearing aids together. The subject came up and Fitzgerald pointed out to Clinton that Acho too had done charity work  in Nigeria, adding that both of Acho’s parents do the same after being born and raised there before emigrating to this country. Acho’s father became a doctor, his mother a nurse practitioner. During the “debate” later in front of a couple of thousand people, Acho said, Clinton got a question about immigration in the U.S. and used Acho’s family as a perfect example of why it is important.

“I thought that was unbelievable,” Acho said.

The evening as a whole was fantastic, Feely said, because of the exchange of ideas.

“It was great listening and learning from them,” said Feely, who has talked about his own desire about getting into politics when his football career is over. “Whether you agree with one party or the other, you can learn from people. You have tremendous amount of respect for both men for what they have accomplished. I’ve listened to a lot of debates, there have been none better than that one. It wasn’t party politics. They both said things that wouldn’t necessarily go with their party line. They talked about solutions and answers.”

Hanging out with two Presidents wasn’t a bad deal either.

“To a certain extent, it feels larger than life,” Acho said. “I told Rich, ‘Man, these guys are going to be in stone.’ Look at Mount Rushmore. Yet we were sitting at a table with them and they are normal guys. They are unique. It was so cool to be in that environment. In 20 years I can tell my kids, ‘I was at a table with these guys, and I have pictures to prove it!'”

And the Presidents have jerseys to prove it as well (h/t to Feely on the picture.)

“It was fun,” Fitzgerald said. “I’ve had a chance to be around those guys on several different occasions. It was a great experience. I was happy my teammates could come.”

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