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Pasch Factor: Fabulous Fitz

Posted Sep 29, 2017

Amazing third-and-18 catch one of the best announcer has ever seen

In my profession, I have been blessed to either cover, or actually work alongside, some of the greatest players and coaches in sports.

At ESPN, my broadcast partners have included Urban Meyer, Bob Griese, Chris Spielman, Bill Walton, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Doug Collins. I've had the opportunity to cover Kurt Warner, Emmitt Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, along with multiple Heisman Trophy winners and college basketball All-Americans. Whether it's watching these players in person, or learning from some of the legends, I've seen and heard a lot in 20-plus years as a broadcaster.

What I witnessed on “Monday Night Football, “ was another indelible performance by one of the game's all-time greats.

Larry Fitzgerald was targeted 15 times, caught 13 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. At age 34, in his 14th NFL season, having missed only six games in his career, there is a lot of mileage on Fitz's body. However, when the stage is the grandest, Larry leaves a mark.

The catch of the night, and of the season in the NFL, was vintage Fitzgerald. It came on third-and-18, with the Cardinals desperate for a big play. Carson Palmer threw a “50-50” ball -- which actually upon further look was an 20-80 ball -- heading for Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick. First, Fitzgerald breaks up the interception. Then he somehow comes down with the ball on the ground. Even though it was right in front of the Dallas sideline, coach Jason Garrett still challenged the ruling on the field of a completion. The play happened before his very eyes, yet he couldn't believe he caught it.

Watching replay upon replay, I was more and more amazed at what I had just witnessed. It was truly one of the greatest plays I had ever seen. The Cardinals will need more of that from Fitzgerald, given their lack of explosive players on offense. The question is, how much more can Larry give? He's already defeated Father Time, catching 216 passes over the last two seasons, and is on pace for 110 in 2017.

Who knows if this will be Fitzgerald's final season in the NFL? Larry may not even know right now. Let's enjoy the future first-ballot Hall of Famer while we can. Go back and watch that catch again from Monday night. Put it in the front of your mind. It was one of the greatest grabs I've ever seen. Only a few people in NFL history could make it. The Cardinals didn't win the game, and very few people will remember the play a year from. I won't forget. Neither should any Cardinal fan. It was quintessential Fitz. The greatest Cardinal of all-time.

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