Fitzgerald exchanges cleats for skates in Coyotes promotion

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Larry Fitzgerald, in the Arizona Coyotes lockerroom, laces up the ice skates Monday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Larry Fitzgerald, in the Arizona Coyotes lockerroom, laces up the ice skates Monday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
He joined Shane Doan and other Coyotes on the ice to promote Saturday's game against Pittsburgh. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) He joined Shane Doan and other Coyotes on the ice to promote Saturday's game against Pittsburgh. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Larry Fitzgerald dons a Coyotes uniform to promote Larry Fitzgerald Night this Saturday. (Source: Larry Fitzgerald dons a Coyotes uniform to promote Larry Fitzgerald Night this Saturday. (Source:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Larry Fitzgerald bobblehead. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Larry Fitzgerald bobblehead. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

It was with some trepidation that Larry Fitzgerald stepped onto the ice at Gila River Arena on Monday.

“This is the first time I’ve ever had skates on my feet,” the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver said.

Fitzgerald appeared with the Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan.

“I’m going to be holding on to his hand probably when I get out there on the ice,” Fitzgerald joked.

He told reporters he always played basketball while growing up and never once strapped on any ice skates.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never tried it. I mean, I’m going to give it a go.”

Other Coyotes were on hand as the pair promoted Saturday’s game with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The event is being billed as “Larry Fitzgerald Night.”  

Bobbleheads of him in uniform will be handed out to the first 10,000 fans who attend the game..  

“It came out good,” Fitzgerald laughed. “I’ve got a good-looking bobblehead. It’s got my hair. It’s got my earrings. Got my big teeth. I think it’s got my sewed up.”

The doll depicts Fitzgerald in a Coyotes sweater and football pants, holding a hockey stick in one hand and a football in the other.

He said the opportunity to share the night with the Coyotes was too good to pass up.

“I wanted to do it,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m a big fan. I love my local teams. The Coyotes are always very active in the community. Their players are always out doing great things and I wanted to come out and lend some help to try to get some people to come out and watch the game.”

He is especially close with Doan, who has played his entire career with the Coyotes franchise.

“He’s stuck around a heck of a lot longer than I have,” Fitzgerald said. “This community should be very thankful for his loyalty.”

What does Fitzgerald find so appealing with hockey?

“I really enjoy the speed of the game,” he said. “You know, just the scale and art of it. It’s like watching poetry in motion.”

It was the first time Fitzgerald faced the media since being named a co-winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award Saturday.

[RELATED: Larry Fitzgerald named co-winner of “Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year"]

It is the only league award that recognizes a player's off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence. 

He shared the honor with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

“I’m still extremely humbled by it,” Fitzgerald said Monday. “I don’t think anybody who’s ever won it sets out to win a humanitarian award.”

On another topic, Fitzgerald said he made the decision to return for another season, his 14th, because the team has unfinished business.

[RELATED: Larry Fitzgerald to return for another season]

“We had a great year the previous year,” he reflected. “We came back and didn’t have the kind of year we wanted to have. Obviously, we know that’s not the standard. We know we can’t play at that kind of level. We have too much talent and ability and everyone knows the windows in sports are very small.”

Saturday’s game is at Gila River Arena at 6 p.m.

 “I know my kids are excited,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m excited to watch the game.”

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