Larry Fitzgerald is maybe the greatest receiver working in the NFL today, and with two injured quarterbacks, he'll be working double-time for the Cardinals this week. At just 31, Fitzgerald recently became the youngest player to catch 900 passes, and he hopes to add a few more while supporting quarterback Ryan Lindley in his first start on Sunday.
Fitzgerald sat down with Extra Mustard to talk about the NFL's Sportsmanship Award, Christmas gifts, and, of course, his favorite sandwich.
Extra Mustard: Tell me a little bit about this promotion you're doing with Visa.
Larry Fitzgerald: We're giving fans a trip for two to the Super Bowl in Arizona. They can enter by signing up for Visa Checkout or using the Visa Checkout account they already have. So when they're doing their holiday shopping, they can also enter to win Super Bowl tickets.
EM: What gifts are you buying this year?
LF: I'm still putting my list together now in between games. I usually do most of my shopping online, going out to stores around Christmas is too crowded.
EM: What was the best gift you ever got when you were a kid?
LF: Definitely a bike. Any time I got a bike I was elated, you know. Being from Minnesota, that was always what we did as kids, as soon as the snow melted, we would go out and ride bikes. When we finally got to take them out of the garage when the snow started to melt? That was the best.
EM: What kind of food do you always have in your house around Christmas?
LF: Honey-baked ham. That's the food I always start thinking about this time of year.
EM: Any favorite Christmas movies?
LF: A Christmas Story, definitely.
EM: You just became the youngest player to get 900 receptions. How's that feel?
LF: Good, now. I wasn't really thinking about it during the game. I was focusing so much on the game, didn't even realize it until after the game was over and someone told me.
GALLERY: LARRY FITZGERALD'S TRAVEL PHOTOS
Larry Fitzgerald's Travel Photos
Larry Fitzgerald's travel log is as robust as his NFL stats. Since 2005, he's traveled through 80 countries on every continent but Antarctica. In conjunction with an SI.com feature on the Arizona Cardinals receiver, Fitzgerald agreed to share some of the photos he's taken and some of those taken of him. "One of those spur of the moment photos: they were coming towards me and I snapped."
Riding down the street in a car, I saw this guy transporting livestock in a very unconventional way. The livestock was still moving and everything -- I had to take a picture.
On a mission with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, fitting hearing aides with defenseman Tommie Harris, Jr. Seeing a child hear for the first time is priceless.
I used my 400mm lens to shoot these two cheetahs from about 150 feet away in the Serengeti National Park.
I entered the dojo to find the sumos practicing. It looked interesting so I just started snapping away.
These two zebras caught my eye.
I took this during a torrential downpour, as the silverback ate with his family. I yelled, 'Hey buddy, look over here,' and it worked out well. I used a big lens to get this one -- I was a good 120 feet away from him.
The Moai at Rano Raraku, carved from rock.
On a two-and-a-half week mission with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, helping fit over 14,000 hearing aids in five cities and two countries.
Early morning and I'm trying to get a panoramic view of the sun rising.
The Maasai children asked if I played basketball and their elder statesman, who spoke English, translated `No.' They then challenged me to a jumping competition and I accepted. The elder told me that in ancient times the highest jumper would get to pick the most eligible women in the village to marry.
The Wadi Rum desert.
Just having lunch on a perch, looking towards Mount Everest.
Floating in the Dead Sea.
Riding the King of Thailand's elephant at a conservation camp where they protect them from the poachers.
EM: You're also a finalist for the NFL's Sportsmanship Award. Congratulations.
LF: Thanks, being a finalist really means a lot to me, because that's how I try to live my life every day, you know?
EM: If you win, the NFL will donate $25,000 to a charity of your choice. Where would you donate the money?
LF: We'd use the money at my charity, the First Down Fund, that I started in 2005. We're funding breast cancer research and sports activities for kids. It's definitely my passion and it's a huge part of my life, and I'd love to see that money go to a good cause.
EM: And we end every Extra Mustard interview the same way: What's your favorite sandwich?
LF: Oooh… I'd say a turkey club. A turkey club on whole-grain bread with a little spicy mustard.