07/13/2011—Recently, Larry Fitzgerald Jr., the Arizona Cardinals’ standout wide receiver, had the opportunity to take the Lexus LFA out for a test-drive. What we discovered was that even with the National Football League in a lockout, the five-time Pro Bowler still has a very busy schedule. In between taking a spin in the Lexus supercar, organizing a practice for his Cardinal teammates, and attending the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, we were lucky enough to speak with the man who one radio analyst claims “could catch a bee with chopsticks.”
LEXUS: So we hear that you’ll be attending the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Did you ever consider becoming a multi-sport athlete?
Larry Fitzgerald Jr.: I played basketball, football, and ran track in high school. I played one year of baseball, but it wasn’t my best sport. I stuck with football.
With the NFL lockout, what kind of preparation are you doing while you’re waiting for football to resume?
I’m just working out with my teammates and trying to get better. We’re trying to be as cohesive a group as possible during the lockout.
What are you doing with your free time?
I’ve gotten the chance to spend time and have fun hanging out with my son, my nephew, my brother, and my father. I’ve also had the opportunity to take my son to school and swim lessons, and be an everyday father, something that I haven’t been able to do in the past because of my schedule.
Do you do any traveling?
My passions are travel and photography. This summer I was able to travel to 12 countries, including Spain, Turkey, Nigeria, and Kenya. I took some amazing photos on safari.
When football season starts up again, how do you think the Cardinals will do this season?
Unfortunately, with the lockout we haven’t been able to address some of the needs that we have with free agency and such, yet. But I’m really excited for when things get rolling and hopefully we can get back to the playoffs and compete for a championship. That’s the goal.
Are there any opponents that you’re not looking forward to playing?
No, no, I look forward to all challengers. That’s part of being a competitor. You want the best teams and you want to give the best team your best shot. That’s part of my philosophy: To be the best, you have to beat the best.
Do you have any advice for young athletes?
I give them the same advice that I got when I was younger: Just work hard. No matter if you are an athlete or the editor of a magazine, hard work is always going to pay off.
We hear that you just had a chance to test-drive the Lexus LFA supercar. What were you first impressions?
All I can say is amazing.
What was it like to get behind the wheel of the LFA?
I feel like it’s a driver’s car. I’ve ridden in a lot of exotic cars and this one is really comfortable. If I needed to drive to Flagstaff for training camp, three hours away, I would not hesitate to jump in the LFA. It’s easy to operate for such a high-tech vehicle.
Were there any “Wow!” moments?
0 to 60 was that moment for me. It just put me back in my seat. Plus, it stopped on a dime.
If you could compare the LFA to a football position, which one would it be? A wide receiver like you?
No question. It’s a diva car and wide receiver is a diva position. We’re the fastest guys on the field and we’re the playmakers.
Lexus has always been committed to the pursuit of perfection. As a football player, do you feel the same way?
Absolutely. I’m always in the pursuit of perfection. We all know that it’s impossible to truly achieve perfection, but striving for excellence is something you need to do on a daily basis.
We understand you are also involved in the community and local charities. Tell us how that came about and why it's important to you.
The first foundation I started was the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, in honor of my mom who passed away nine years ago from breast cancer. That’s my passion. I’m also involved with the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center here in Arizona and I’m happy to be a part of that. I also have a First Down Fund that supports education back home in Minneapolis and I’m trying to make an impact there.
—DAVE JOHNSTON, SENIOR EDITOR (PHOTOS BY MARK PETERMAN)