Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson battled to a 7-7 tie on Monday in front of a couple dozen Arizona high school students.
The Cardinals receiver and the NFL’s offensive rookie-of-the-year were playing a game of “financial football,” an NFL-themed money-management video game at the Phoenix Convention Center.
The game will be distributed to every high school in the state, according to officials from VISA, which is helping to sponsor the program.
The pair, often getting suggestions for answers from the students, took a stab at about a dozen financial questions and missed only one each.
Fitzgerald told the students that his first job was working as a ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings as a teenager.
“You get that first money and you just want to go spend it,” he said.
But his dad warned him to put his money away, so, “Every time I ever got money, I made sure I saved it.”
Fitzgerald said he still applies this principle to his life today.
That should come in handy if he can work out a new contract with the Cardinals.
Fitzgerald reached incentives this past season that would earn him about $16.5 million in the upcoming season. The club wants to work out a long-term deal that would lower this amount in the short term.
Talks are ongoing, but Fitzgerald says he hasn’t heard anything.
His name has come up in internet trade rumors; Fitzgerald hopes that’s all they are.
“I want to be a Cardinal. I enjoy it here. I love my teammates. I love working for the Bidwills.”
GROWING UP IN FOOTBALL
Working as a ball boy, Fitzgerald got to know the Vikings’ star receivers: Randy Moss and Chris Carter.
“Randy was always good to me.
“He was a great tipper. He used to give me $100, let me wash his BMW and let me drive it around before I had my license.”
Carter used to bring the teenaged Fitzgerald down to Florida to train with him in the summer.
Now, Fitzgerald is rooting for Carter to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“The things you saw him do on Sunday were not as important as the things he did on Monday, preparing his body, the film work he did all week, the community service he did all week,” Fitzgerald said. “The things that don’t get noticed are the greatest things about Chris.”
Voting is set for Saturday, at the media center at the Phoenix Convention Center.
DUE TO BREAK OUT
Fitzgerald says the Patriots’ playoff opponents have done a good job, so far, of taking Moss out of games.
“But you can only hold him down for so long. He’s always going to do his thing in terms of stretching the field.
I definitely think he’ll make some big plays,” Fitzgerald said.