Schedule release, Fitz takes a swing and other stuff

Posted by Darren Urban on April 22, 2014 – 4:06 pm

A couple of late afternoon things to touch on:

— The NFL officially announced the 2014 schedule will be released Wednesday at 5 p.m. Arizona time (8 p.m. eastern). Be sure to check then not only for the schedule but for various schedule-related content, including one to download. Yes, it’s kind of funny that the schedule release means so much, especially since we are only talking dates and times here (and TV appearances), but not opponents. We already have long known not only who the opponents are but where the Cardinals will play them. Still, it’s a big deal. People want to make plans. Certainly I am paying attention to what weekends I will be out of town.

— Larry Fitzgerald has been working out here with the Cards, but he’s got a non-football game to play too. Saturday night is his annual charity softball game at Salt River Fields. Fitz again has a pretty nice guest list, including Colin Kaepernick, Richard Sherman, Anquan Boldin and Kurt Warner. Now, Fitz isn’t exactly Mike Trout out there — he didn’t exactly shine when he took batting practice at a Diamondbacks game a few years back — but he hangs in there. It’s all about the Larry Fitzgerald Foundation, right? Click here for tickets.

— April 26th is also Pat’s Run, in which I will be taking part once again and hopefully some of you are too. It’s been an emotional couple of days thinking about Pat Tillman and his legacy on the 10-year anniversary of his death. Pat’s Run is one of those great things that came out of it.

— The 2014 Cardinals cheerleading squad will be announced Thursday night, during an FSN Arizona special televised at 6:30 p.m. (and then immediately posted on

— Finally, don’t forget about Thursday night’s Spring Tailgate, including the live TV show. All the details are here.

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Arians’ cancer fight years in making

Posted by Darren Urban on June 25, 2013 – 11:27 am

As offseason work came to a close, coach Bruce Arians mentioned his charity golf tournament coming up in Georgia, where he owns a home. Arians is an avid golfer, and with his newly formed Arians Family Foundation, he’d have a linchpin event to raise money. The tourney, which is scheduled to have Patrick Peterson and Karlos Dansby (along with Ben Roethlisberger, Reggie Wayne and Jerome Bettis) is underway.

The Arians Family Foundation raises money both for programs to battle cancer as well as programs to help and prevent neglected children.

The cancer aspect hits Arians close, and not just because he was sporting the thick layer of zinc oxide on his nose during minicamp after having some cancerous cells scraped off. Unfortunately, Arians and the disease already had a history.

Back in 2007, Arians – as the Steelers wide receivers coach – was a serious candidate to follow Ken Whisenhunt to the Cardinals and be part of his staff. Instead, new coach Mike Tomlin promoted Arians to offensive coordinator.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Arians told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in 2009. “Had I gone to Arizona with Kenny, I probably wouldn’t have gotten a physical that year. But I stayed and that week, I got my physical.”

Arians was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had it treated. Now he is raising money to make sure others catch such things in time.

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The rookies know karaoke

Posted by Darren Urban on May 30, 2013 – 10:29 am

A total of 25 of the Cardinals rookies went to Phoenix Children’s Hospital yesterday to bring a little joy to the kids who are there. Thanks to the wonders of technology — and the enterprising PR person Stacey Dillier (@PCHPRgal on Twitter) who recorded this great piece of video goodness — you can see some of the rookies “playing backup” to patient Bethany, who decided to channel her inner Taylor Swift. The players are Jamaal Johnson-Webb (62), Padric Scott (62), Earl Watford (with the giant stuffed dog), Dan Giordano (48, sitting) and Jonathan Cooper (61).

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Acho sees the bigger picture

Posted by Darren Urban on November 23, 2012 – 9:50 am

Linebacker Sam Acho is a key part of the Cardinals’ defense and one of the young players the team wants to build around going forward. Not only is he talented, but he is smart, always a benefit on the field.

That’s a benefit off the field as well, and the man gives as much of himself to charity as he does to football. Together with his family — his parents, who came here from Nigeria, are American success stories and have worked hard to give back to their native land — Acho is holding a charity auction Monday night to raise money for his family’s Living Hope Ministries. Acho’s family is going to build a needed hospital in Nigeria, and the money raised at the event at the Ritz-Carlton here in Phoenix will be the base to that fund-raising drive.

Here are some of the auction items/events Acho has collected in order to pick up some needed cash at the first “Hope For Life” event:

— WR Larry Fitzgerald takes your child to school and attends the first class of the day with him or her;

— A 30-minute “shopping experience” with S Adrian Wilson at his store, High Point Shoes, in Scottsdale;

— Baking cupcakes with CB Patrick Peterson;

— A one-on-one basketball game with DE Calais Campbell (all 6-foot-8 of him);

— A movie night with RB Beanie Wells;

— Visiting Acho at practice, and then getting field passes before a game;

— Dancing lessons with LB Quentin Groves;

— Bass guitar lessons/jam session with DL Nick Eason;

— Cooking “experience” with LB Stewart Bradley;

— Golfing with QB Kevin Kolb and P Dave Zastudil;

— A Segway tour of South Mountain with the offensive line;

— Bowling with RB William Powell;

— Your kids playing the video soccer game FIFA with T Ricky Lumpkin and LB Colin Parker;

— Pitching with Diamondbacks reliever J.J. Putz before a game, in addition to four game tickets and the chance to be on the field during batting practice;

— A 30-minute hitting lesson with Minnesota Twins star Justin Morneau at Fischer Sports in Phoenix.

There will be a bunch more silent auction items as well (I think Acho got tired of texting me all the possibilities. It was quite the list.) If you are interested, visit for more information, call  602-710-4281 or e-mail Click here for a brochure about the night.

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Charity, food and the Cardinals

Posted by Darren Urban on August 26, 2012 – 1:55 pm

Over the next week or so, there are three upcoming events that allow fans to give some money to charity while at the same time, enjoying some meals with the Cardinals.

— Tomorrow is Larry Fitzgerald’s annual celebrity Servers Charity Dinner, which benefits Fitz’s foundation, and will be held at Morton’s The Steakhouse (15233 N. Kierland Boulevard) in Scottsdale. Cards players and coaches are among the servers there to deliver the meal to patrons. For more information, call 480-951-4440.

— On Sept. 3, Calais Campbell will host his own charity dinner for his foundation, out at Fleming’s in Chandler. For more information, you can call 303-596-9431 or go to

— Finally, there is the Cardinals’ own kickoff luncheon, which will be held at University of Phoenix Stadium this Wednesday (August 29) at 11 a.m. Not only is there food and a chance to meet the whole roster, but also a silent auction. For information, call 602-379-1691.

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Video games, A-Dub and charity

Posted by Darren Urban on May 16, 2012 – 9:36 am

If you want a chance to face off against a pro athlete in an Xbox Madden video game tournament, you are in luck. Adrian Wilson is holding a charity tourney Friday, at Scottsdale’s W hotel, from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. poolside. Benefiting Wilson’s charitable foundation, a $35 donation gets you into the event (with a couple of drinks), and for just $15 more you can challenge one of the athletes. Tickets are available at or you can call 602-405-0099 for VIP tickets or more info. You can also visit

— Speaking of charity, Calais Campbell is on the United Way NFL Scout Team, repping the Cardinals, and part of his duties is to recruit volunteers to read to, mentor and tutor children. For more info, or to volunteer, click here.

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Fan Fest and Fitz’s swing for charity

Posted by Darren Urban on April 19, 2012 – 5:51 pm

In the past, the Cardinals have held Fan Fest the Saturday of minicamp, which always came one of the first couple of weekends in May. Minicamp no longer can be on the weekend — new CBA rules — and so Fan Fest has moved as well. It will still be held on the middle minicamp day. Now, that’s a Wednesday, June 13, and because of the time of year, it will be part of an evening practice at University of Phoenix Stadium. More details to come.

In the meantime, if you are looking to see some Cardinals stars Saturday, you are in luck. Larry Fitzgerald is holding his annual softball game to raise money for his First Down Fund charity. It’ll be out at Salt River Fields where the Diamondbacks hold spring training (you can get tickets here) with first pitch at 1:30 p.m. And, fitting for Fitz, he’s lined up a pretty good roster of athletic celebrities.

The list Fitz provided includes teammates Adrian Wilson, Darnell Dockett and Patrick Peterson, along with former NBA great Gary Payton, Terrell Owens, Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Jared Allen, Greg Jennings, Steven Jackson, Tommie Harris, Roy Williams, Donovan McNabb, DeSean Jackson, DeAngelo Hall and LeSean McCoy.

I’m not sure Fitz is quite as good of a softball player as he is on the football field, but it’s for charity, right?

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