You might not have noticed this before, but Larry Fitzgerald doesn't spike the ball.
The Cardinals wide receiver decided to make an exception though Sunday when he scored a crucial two-point conversion against the 49ers to give Arizona an 18-15 advantage with 34 seconds remaining.
After the game, the 11-time Pro Bowler apologized for his actions.
"To all the kids that are watching, I'm sorry," Fitzgerald said. "I set a bad example [Sunday]."
The spike came at an emotional point in the game. Add in the team was 1-6 entering the day, and it felt appropriate in real time for Fitzgerald to celebrate the points with such an emphatic slam of the ball. However, for those who know Fitzgerald, like his younger brother Marcus, the spike stood out.
It turns out, family was the reason behind the spike.
"I never spiked a ball before in my life," Fitzgerald told reporters. "I was a little frustrated and had a heavy heart [Sunday]. My son Devin, my oldest son, didn't want to come to the game today. So my feelings were a little hurt, so I was carrying that around all day. So when I got in there, I kind of let it out."
Fitzgerald had his best game of the season Sunday, snagging eight catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. So it seems like playing with that edge because of the empty seat in the stands might have paid off to some extent on the field. Now he just needs to deal with the situation at home.
"He didn't want to come support us," Fitzgerald said. "So I'm trying to pick up the pieces. I got to be a better father."
Now, the Cardinals haven't been the most entertaining team to watch this season. And with Fitzgerald having a pretty quiet season, it's even easier to understand how someone might not be too concerned about getting to a game against the now-1-7 49ers. But what could have been so important to miss your dad's football game.
"He chose to go to the state fair," Fitzgerald said. "I'm still a little disturbed by it, but I'll get over it."