Fitz too has hometown rooting interests

Posted by Darren Urban on July 16, 2013 – 1:08 pm

Suddenly, it causes a stir when players have some connection to a team that isn’t their own. When Colin Kaepernick wore a Dolphins hat — presumably for the look, since he isn’t from that part of the country — it probably shouldn’t have been that big of a deal. (Although he didn’t handle it very well and the defiant response forced a lingering backlash). Then Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who is from Atlanta, mentions he grew up rooting for the Falcons and still likes to see them do well when he isn’t playing them.

That too seemed to gain headlines. As if there was something, if not wrong with it, too weird about it. All I could think about was Larry Fitzgerald.

Fitz, if you have been paying attention, has said many times how he remained a Minnesota Vikings fan given where he was raised and how he was a ballboy for the franchise. Last year, I went to Minnesota to talk to Fitz specifically about being a Minnesota boy and he made it plain then too.

“I grew up a Vikings fan and I would be lying to you if I didn’t say I was still a Vikings fan,” Fitzgerald said then. “Growing up in Minnesota it’s second nature. I still pull for them when I’m not playing them. A lot of my closest friends in the NFL are Vikings. I’m close with (Everson) Griffen, Jared Allen, Phil (Loadholt), Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph. You pull for your friends.”

I didn’t think anything of it. It made sense to me, as a matter of fact. It doesn’t mean Fitz wants to beat the Vikings any less when the Cardinals play them (or that Newton, battling the Falcons within the same division, doesn’t want to sweep Atlanta). If memory serves, often you want to beat your brother/friends more. You can see the frustration on Fitz’s face when the Cards lose and it has always seemed moreso when the Vikings beat him. He wants to topple the hometown team, to talk a little trash to his Minnesota guys back home.

Now, would Fitz slide a Vikings cap on? No. He’s smart enough to not do that. But NFL players who grew up rooting for teams that aren’t their own? You’re silly if you don’t realize that — and that they won’t necessarily turn it off once they get to the league. It doesn’t mean they are trying any less to beat those teams.

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13 Responses to “Fitz too has hometown rooting interests”

  1. By david frazer on Jul 16, 2013 | Reply

    I think its stupid how they blew up the whole cam newton thing I’m a strong believer of being a hometown team fan its sad that’s every one isn’t I can’t tell you how many people I know that are from Arizona and talk trash about the cardinals when they go for teams from states they have never been too

  2. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jul 17, 2013 | Reply

    All of us have a favorite team, be it a home town team or an out of state team.

    Mine was always the L.A. Rams, my Dad was a St. Louis Cards Fan all the way, because we had no other NFL team in AZ to root for so we had to look else where, until 1988 that is and yes when it does not affect My Cards in any way to the negative, I still root for the RAMs.
    I draw the line though at wearing another teams hat, but that’s just me.

    GO CARDS!!!

  3. By Eric G on Jul 17, 2013 | Reply

    I always wondered about that. I know I could never not secretly root for the Cards, even if I was on the 9ers. You have that connection to when you were a kid rooting for a team all those years. It’s much ado about nothing. Just like Dockett was hanging out with a Seahawks player, who cares. On Sunday, they are enemies, every other day of the year you should hang out with whomever and root for whomever.

  4. By Eazy E on Jul 19, 2013 | Reply

    This is much to do about nothing. I thought Colin said it best, y’all bored and it is a dead time right now. The cap I didn’t trip about because he was trying to match and all. With a division opponent, yeah, but not a team they play every 4 years unless there in the super bowl. Cam’s also was ridiculous, he was just being honest and real and so was Fitz. #Some people need to get a life

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