Angelina Jolie being married to Billy Bob Thorton. Julie Roberts tying the knot with Lyle Lovett. Christina Hendricks sharing nuptials with the nerdy high-guy from the back of the squad car in SuperTroopers. They’re all examples of “superstars” wasting their prime with someone, based on the “eye test”, that aren’t worthy of them.
You can now add Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals to the list. Well, at least the sorry excuses for quarterbacks they’ve marched out on the field since Kurt Warner has left to throw to Fitz.
It’s hard to deny coming off the back-to-back division titles, trips to the playoffs and the Superbowl Fitzgerald was one of the best and hottest receivers in football. Talking heads from around the country compared him to names like Rice and Carter. They were ready to ‘crown his ass’ — typed in my best Denny Green voice — as an all-time great. Then the Saints beat Warner like Keith Moon beats a drum. Hard, fast and with little regard for anyone’s safety.
The ‘Bearded One’ retired and started the Cardinals quarterback carousel started spinning and has been, to the point of motion sickness, ever since. It started with Anderson, to Skelton, to Hall back to Skelton and to Bartel. Then it went to Kolb, back to Skelton, back to Kolb and back to Bartel. Then back to Skelton, Kolb and enter Lindley and Hoyer for good measure. This season, enter Carson Palmer. The spinning stopped, but the sickness continued.
Through seven games this season Palmer has thrown more interceptions than Cards QBs had through the same time frame last season. Translation: Not good.
But the lack of quality quarterbacking is nothing new for fans of the Big Red. It’s happened for the better part of 25 years. What is knew, is that poor play wasting an all-everything talent.
For the last four seasons he’s battled the top cornerbacks in the league and his own signal caller. Now, he’s got other nemesis, father time.
While bad play from others clouded his talent for the first few years after Warner’s departure, one has to wonder if his own talent has begun to fade and that, along with Palmer, is why he hasn’t looked as impressive this season. Fitzgerald turned 30 at the end of August. In real life it may be the new 20 but in professional sports the big 3-0 can mark the beginning of the end.
So the question becomes, is Fitz still elite or now just an above average receiver? It’s one that can’t and won’t be answered until the franchise pairs him with a quality quarterback.
Too bad it might be too little, too late. Fitz has been married to the Lyle Lovett of the NFL for so long that his prime may have passed him by. And what a shame it is too because once he moves on, he likely just won’t be that hot anymore. Which just doesn’t pass the eye test.