Former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald knows a thing or two about playing the position in the NFL. Well before he was playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl, he was throwing balls around to Hall of Fame wide receivers Cris Carter, and Randy Moss as a Minnesota Vikings ball boy.
Over the weekend, Fitzgerald played some golf at the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe with a host of other superstars including Aaron Rodgers, Marshall Faulk, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Pittsburgh Hall of Famer, Jerome Bettis. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo ended up winning the event in a two-hole playoff.
If you’re local, you know that Bettis works for Pittsburgh’s Channel 11 WPXI who was on hand to cover the event. The Channel 11 team caught up with Fitzgerald who has a Pittsburgh connection because of his phenomenal career at the University of Pittsburgh. With Fitzgerald playing with many NFL Hall of Famers during this event, and with his pending induction into the Hall of Fame in 2026, Fitzgerald was asked about another important wide receiver in Pittsburgh history. That being Hines Ward who continues to wait to be inducted into Canton. Ward has been eligible since 2016 and has made the cut to the semi-finals each year, but has failed to move past that round of votes.
“You can’t tell the story of the Pittsburgh Steelers without Hines Ward and the contributions he’s made to the organization. He embodied the toughness of the Mel Blount’s and the Joe Greene’s and Terry Bradshaw’s and Franco Harris’. You can’t tell the story of the 2000s and not speak of Hines Ward and what he’s done, and I think he deserves to be immortalized forever.”
The topic of whether or not Ward should make the Hall of Fame has always been a hot topic amongst NFL fans, and even Steeler Nation. Its routinely debated amongst this fanbase whether or not Ward should be inducted before once great, Antonio Brown.
Larry Fitzgerald’s Opinion Should Be Heard
The opinion of Fitzgerald ultimately won’t matter because he doesn’t have a vote. But his opinion should be valued by everyone. Fitzgerald is one of the best to ever play the game. Fast-forward to 2026, and if Ward still hasn’t made it and Fitzgerald is heading into the Hall of Fame, he may be able to make a case for Ward at that moment when the spotlight is on him by every national media outlet.
When Lynn Swann was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001, he made a big play to get his counterpart John Stallworth into the Hall of Fame. Every time he spoke to a national or local media source, Swann brought up Stallworth. He even had Stallworth present him. The constant push by Swann that year opened the long-awaited door for Stallworth who would be voted in in 2002.
It’s doubtful that Fitzgerald feels that strongly about the situation though considering the two never played together. Fitzgerald played 16 seasons in the NFL making it to 11 Pro Bowls along the way. He caught 1,432 receptions for 17,492 yards and 121 touchdowns. Those numbers will get Fitzgerald into the Hall of Fame on a first ballet. For comparison, Ward recorded 1,000 career receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns.
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