The honor Larry Fitzgerald accepted graciously. The attention that came with it, the Cardinals' legendary wide receiver prefers to do without.
So when Fitzgerald arrived at the Chateau Luxe in Phoenix Tuesday night for his induction into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, he understood what it entailed.
Fitz hasn't played for the Cardinals since 2020. He hasn't done any kind of retirement announcement either – and that's by design.
"Life is like a book," Fitzgerald told azcardinals.com. "You have many chapters. In 17 years and the experiences I had playing for the Arizona Cardinals were some of the best of my entire life. But life doesn't end and it's definitely not retirement for me.
"I didn't feel like I should say I was retiring because that's not what I was doing. I'm simply just turning the page to the next chapter of my life."
That includes working in the venture capital and private equity investment world, something he has passionate about since a 2008 internship with JPMorgan Chase. Fitzgerald also watches every Cardinals game – he attended the game in Minnesota this past weekend – and said he pulls for his former team.
He still travels the world as he always has, and spends time with his kids – including his eldest son, now playing football at Brophy Prep.
"I'm probably busier now than I was when I was playing, which is good," he said. "You don't want to get done playing and sit on the couch."
The awards are going to come. The Arizona Sports Hall of Fame – which includes Cardinals Pat Tillman, Bill Bidwill, Adrian Wilson and Jake Plummer – was going to be a natural.
Among those on hand to watch Fitzgerald's honor Wednesday night were Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill, Nicole and Tim Bidwill, GM Steve Keim, former GM Rod Graves and vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris.
Joining Fitzgerald in the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class of 2022 – the 51st class for the Hall – were Phoenix Mercury star Jennifer Gillom, Super Bowl Committee Chairman Mike Kennedy, ESPN and Arizona Republic reporter Pedro Gomez, ASU basketball star and longtime Seton Catholic coach Karen Self, and NAU basketball star Peggy Kennedy.
Canton will come calling for Fitz and likely on the first ballot in 2026. But first, there figures to be an induction into the Cardinals Ring of Honor.
"There are a lot of guys that are deserving to be up there," Fitzgerald said. "I've had a lot of conversations with Michael over the years and I'll leave that up to him and Nicole, Tim and Bill, it's their decision who they put in the Ring of Honor."
Of course, such things come with speeches and acknowledgments – "I wouldn't say I am all that comfortable in this type of setting," he acknowledged – but that comes with the book once you start the next chapter of your life.
"I talked to a former player one time," Fitzgerald said. "He said 'You can't live your life watching the replays.' You've got to strive to do new things."