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Larry Fitzgerald is a generous player on and off the field

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Refreshing. After seeing a rookie quarterback throw another team the finger or remembering the fevered rants of a cornerback, it is refreshing to talk with an intelligent, talented wide receiver, of which a community can be proud. Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald took time today to talk with, instead of berate or blame, the media about his upcoming Fitz’s Supper Club, Monday, August 25, 2014, at Dominick’s Restaurant in Scottsdale.

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This is Fitzgerald’s sixth annual fundraiser. “There’s not a hotter restaurant in town. Dominick’s and this community have always been supportive of me, and I want to show my appreciation and support in return,” says Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald, Calais Campbell, Patrick Peterson, Coach Bruce Arians and others, will don chef’s coats to serve the Red Party attendees and raise money for the First Down Fund. Fitzgerald started the charity in 2005. His mother’s death from cancer motivated him to encourage people to protect the lives of their mothers, daughters and sisters by encouraging early detection. The charity also supports after-school and mentoring youth activities.

This eight-time Pro-Bowler expressed appreciation for being respected by and voted in by his peers. He also praised the young players he met at ProCamp this year. He said Steve Keim has done a great job recruiting talent. The advice he received as a rookie that he would give to John Brown and the other drafted players is to understand what is expected and to do your best. He cautions them to realize how fortunate they are to be living their dream of playing in the NFL.

It is this attitude--a combination of maturity, self-awareness, confidence and compassion—that makes Fitzgerald so beloved by the public. Lest the public think he is the last of the good guys, he is quick to point out that 99% of players in the NFL are hardworking and law-biding citizens, good fathers and husbands, good role models for their communities.

Another trait that makes Fitzgerald popular is charisma. When asked to define what the media calls “Fitzgerald Style,” he blushes and suggests classy or elegant. He is a welcomed addition to sports, fashion and fitness magazine covers.

The public can envision Fitzgerald being successful at whatever he does after football. But for now he is focusing on the game he has been playing since he was six, and hoping to be playing in the Super Bowl here in Phoenix in February.