Larry Fitzgerald Deserves Better than the Arizona Cardinals

 College Football, Football, Pro-Football  Comments Off on Larry Fitzgerald Deserves Better than the Arizona Cardinals
Jan 082015
Larry Fitzgerald

Cardiac Hill reports that former Pitt and current Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald may part ways with the franchise this off season due to an enormous $23.6 million salary cap hit scheduled for the 2015 season.

In the current structure of the NFL with contracts not guaranteed, it’s really hard to believe that Fitzgerald (or any player with a big-time contract, for that matter) doesn’t think about the possibility of being let go.

The wide receiver is on pace to earn an incredible $23.6 million next year, to count approximately 17% against the entire team’s salary cap. For a player that’s on the decline, that’s a recipe for being cut. Interestingly enough, Pro Football Talk says that while he might be traded or restructure his deal (again – he did so this year), he won’t be released.

Fitzgerald has been with the Cardinals for 11 years. During that time span, the Cardinals have made the playoffs 3 times. They have finished the season with an above-0.500 record only 4 times. Not only that but Fitzgerald has played with the following quarterbacks not named Kurt Warner: John Navarre, Josh McCown, Shaun King, Tim Rattay, Matt Leinart, Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Max Hall, Richard Bartel, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley, Brian Hoyer, Logan Thomas, Carson Palmer, and Drew Stanton. Of those not named Warner, I would say that only Palmer has been a serviceable quarterback.

From Fox Sports:

Beyond that, Fitzgerald, 31, is not happy with his role on the team, the source said. He doesn’t like playing in the slot and he’s become far less of a focal point of the offense. While Fitzgerald led the team this season with 63 receptions and was second to Michael Floyd in yardage at 784, those numbers are the lowest since his rookie year, and his two touchdowns are a career low.

Although Fitzgerald has no doubt slowed down through 11 years of the NFL grind, the idea that he still can’t be a very good wide receiver is, I think, far-fetched. Floyd’s much bally-hooed emergence and his team-leading 784 yards would rank second worst over Fitzgerald’s entire career and as listed above, Larry has played with much worse quarterbacks. I might even surmise that his college QB at Pitt, Rod Rutherford, did him better service than any other than Warner.

Larry Fitzgerald - Pitt vs VT

Take for example, 2012, one of Fitzgerald’s worst non-Warner years. He caught 71 passes for 798 yards and 4 touchdowns. According to Bleacher Report:

Fitzgerald was targeted 153 times [in 2012], with two of those targets negated by accepted penalties. On those targets he caught 73 passes, 71 officially, for a catch rate of 47 percent.

Of Fitzgerald’s 153 targets, almost unfathomably, only 88 were catchable. When you assess Fitzgerald’s receptions in relation to his catchable targets opposed to all of his targets, his ratio almost doubles [to 80 percent].

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Coke and Chrysler not Coke vs Chrysler

 The Bigger Picture  Comments Off on Coke and Chrysler not Coke vs Chrysler
Feb 032014

When I was going to Pitt, I would occasionally walk by a group of older gentlemen who would gather in the bowels of Posvar Hall near the old Forbes Field home plate on weekends. They would chatter away in some foreign language, maybe Italian or Czech. I thought it was a quaint tradition, these old salts gathering to wile away the hours together. Doubtless they knew Englige but were probably more comfortable in their mother tongue.

Last night, during the Superbowl, Coke aired an advertisement of America the Beautiful being sung in different languages. It was a cute, sugary attempt to celebrate America’s diversity – the melting pot that has contributed to this country’s rise. No big deal, right?


Coke Superbowl Ad


Predictably, the Ignoranti of Twitter went ballistic! Here are a couple of my favorites of the ones as compiled by Deadspin:

America the beautiful shouldn’t be sung in any language other than English. #fuckcoke #gtfo #pos

— Josh Scarborough (@Jscarborough96) February 3, 2014

It’s God Bless America not Mexico so sing in English. #FuckCoke

— Allison Cruts (@allison_cruts31) February 3, 2014

Considering out constitution is in English I would appreciate out patriotic songs be the same. #fuckcoke

— Train (@col_train48) February 3, 2014

(Please excuse the expletives not deleted).

We don’t have an official national language. Never have. Maybe never will. This country has never been a bastion of English fluency. Consider places like Germantown, Little Italy and Polish Hill (an enclave in Pgh). European immigrants, for generations, clustered in these groups so as to make the transition from their homelands all the easier. Sounds of people chattering in their native language rang forth in these neighborhoods.


It’s unlikely that any immigrant would deny that learning/mastering English is key to getting ahead in this country. But mastering English is tough! It wasn’t uncommon for the parents’ generation to be much less fluent than their children who grew up in the USA. Watch the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding – some version of that is being repeated within every ethnicity that comes to this country.

Today we have added in places like Chinatown, Koreatown or Little Havana, Little India or Little Bangladesh. And it’s easy to see the same story being repeated.

By the way, the CEO of PepsiCo, the alternative to Coca-Cola whom these nitwits will now turn, is an Indian woman.

Later in the evening, Chrysler aired a commercial featuring Bob Dylan. It was definitively, almost defiantly American – “So let Germany brew your beer, let Switzerland make your watch, let Asia assemble your phone. WE will build your car.”


Bob Dylan – Chrysler Ad


I think it’s likely that the same self-styled ENGLISH patriots who hated the multi-culti Coke ad probably loved the Chrysler ad. Because ‘murrica. Let’s just gloss over the fact that Chrysler is owned by Fiat, an Italian company. And before that it was owned by Daimler, a German company.

I liked both commercials and there is, in my opinion, no contradiction between the two ads. We can celebrate the contributions of immigrants in one breath.because this is a nation of immigrants (except for that part about massacring our aborigines with Guns, Germs, and Steel). And also recognize that some of the things we do here become uniquely ours… ours as Americans, encompassing our immigrants and ‘natives’. It’s a pretty big country. There’s room for a whole lotta people.

Mar 292009

By and large, I consider myself to be a fortunate sports fan. My teams generally do well. Two Superbowl titles, 2 Stanley Cups, 7 Sweet Sixteens, 1 Elite Eight, 1 Champions League, 1 FA Cup, Curtis Martin, Larry Fitzgerald, many others. And someday the Pirates will get to .500 and all of Pittsburgh will go nuts.

I think a reasonable standard of expectation for a fan is for one’s teams to be in the hunt, in any given year. Nothing more, nothing less. All the crazies who expect a title every single season can stay in Lexington or Tuscaloosa or the Bronx.

In any given year, I expect that the Steelers will win 10+ games and have a shot at the Superbowl. I expect the Penguins to make the NHL playoffs and have a shot at the Stanley Cup. I expect that Pitt basketball will make the Field of 65 and have a shot to make a run to the Final Four. I expect Liverpool FC to contend for the Premiership, Champions League, and/or FA Cup titles. Eventually, I would like to expect that Pitt football will win 8-9 games in most years and once every few years when the pieces fall into place, they should contend for a national title.

Pitt vs Villanova

But even with what I believe are reasonable expectations, you inevitably get heart-breaking losses. I don’t have to tell you which loss I’m “mourning” today. I would have to say that Pitt’s loss to Villanova ranks second only to Francisco Cabrera’s single for Atlanta vs the Pirates in the 1992 NLCS. Even the Penguins recovered from David Volek. The Pirates have never recovered from that loss.

Pitt basketball is a strong program and they’ll rebound, rebuild and contend again. I know we had a successful season. I’m proud of how they battled and banged with the big boys. We’ll be back. I expect it.