The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver grew up in Minnesota and spent most of his childhood tagging along behind his father, one of the most prominent sports reporters in the entire Twin Cities area.In fact, while he was growing up Fitzgerald worked as a ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings and was frequently spotted in the outfield of Twins games while his dad set up in the press box.He and his brother regularly shagged balls with professional baseball players. covered more than 20 Super Bowls before the Cardinals and he was not about to change that simply because his son was playing.It was an idyllic kind of childhood and one that has Fitzgerald still referring to Minnesota as his home. He was the first-ever father to report on the game while his son was playing. There was a ticket waiting for him to fly home to Minneapolis, Minnesota.Read on to learn more about Fitzgerald’s life before the NFL and how the football star found the ability to overcome tragedy by finding support with his family: Fitzgerald grew up around sports while he was a child, thanks, in large, part to his father’s career as a sportswriter in the Minnesota area. has worked in print and radio for over three decades, serving as the sports editor and columnist for the Fitzgerald’s sportswriting career began at Indiana State University where he majored in radio-TV communications and played offensive tackle from 1975-1977. played in the Super Bowl in 2009 his father, was of course, there. Fitzgerald first made it into the national spotlight during his college years and a prolific career at Pittsburgh, but there is one moment during those years that will always stick with the wideout. Fitzgerald’s father didn’t tell him why he needed to come home, but the then-college standout knew why. “It was probably the toughest practice I had to go to,” Fitzgerald told ESPN.“Football wasn’t important that day.” That night, Fitzgerald flew home and found his mother, Carol, in a cancer-induced coma.
It’s constant reminder to me that life isn’t guaranteed to anybody.Carol was an enormous figure in her young son’s life.She not only started the African-American AIDS Task Force in Minneapolis, sparking Fitzgerald’s own charitable efforts, but she was his biggest fan on the football field and helped him focus on both sports and academics.However, at the time of her death, the two were facing challenges in their relationship after, what Fitzgerald Sr.
called, “a little falling-about” about one of his girlfriends.
Fitzgerald and his family hold an annual event in his mother’s honor each year, Carol’s Night, in Minneapolis with all proceeds going towards urban education related to HIV/AIDS as well as breast cancer research.