Fitzgerald meets Tempe boy named after him

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Larry Fitzgerald met Oliver Fitzgerald Schwartz-Smaltz this week at Cards Camp. (Source: Joe and Julie Schwartz-Smaltz) Larry Fitzgerald met Oliver Fitzgerald Schwartz-Smaltz this week at Cards Camp. (Source: Joe and Julie Schwartz-Smaltz)
Joe and Julie Schwartz-Smaltz gave their son the middle name of Fitzgerald. (Source: Joe and Julie Schwartz-Smaltz) Joe and Julie Schwartz-Smaltz gave their son the middle name of Fitzgerald. (Source: Joe and Julie Schwartz-Smaltz)
The entire family including Oliver Fitzgerald took in the sights and sounds of a Cardinals practice. (Source: Joe and Julie Schwartz-Smaltz) The entire family including Oliver Fitzgerald took in the sights and sounds of a Cardinals practice. (Source: Joe and Julie Schwartz-Smaltz)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Joe and Julie Schwartz-Smaltz of Tempe love their Arizona Cardinals.

In fact, the seminal moments of their relationship were built on food and football.

“Joe was a huge Cardinals fan,” said Jamie. “I wasn’t really that into football but when were first dating he’d talk about football and the Cardinals and soon he was drawing up plays at the table at the restaurant.”

Jamie was soon hooked on Joe and football and six years later they were married. The football couple was soon a football family with the latest addition coming in October of 2016.  Little Oliver Fitzgerald Schwartz-Smaltz was born with a smile as big as the man he was named after, Larry Fitzgerald.

“I just said it almost like a joke,” Jamie said. “ What about ‘Fitzgerald’ for a middle name? He was like, ‘Actually, I really like that’ and I was like, 'really?'”

Yes, really.

“You know, it’s just kind of something that’s out of the ordinary for a middle name,” Joe said. “We’re both big fans so it just kind stuck.”

“We’re both big fans of his because he’s an incredible athlete, obviously,” Jamie said. “But also because of everything he does off the field.”

Joe and Jamie don’t make it to many Cardinals games so an invitation to come to training camp and sit in the front row recently was graciously accepted. The entire family including Oliver Fitzgerald took in the sights and sounds of a Cardinals practice.

“It’s surreal,” said Joe. “I mean, how often do you get to come and almost be on the field and watch them play? You can here B.A. yelling and you can hear the other coaches chirping and sounding off.  It’s a dream.”

And afterward, a true Cardinal moment, as No. 11 made his way over to the family. Fitzgerald wanted to meet his name sake.

“I get a lot of picture, emails and fan mail,” a humbled Fitzgerald said. “I get dogs, cats, fish, gerbils and hamsters, things like that but this is an honor.”

Fitzgerald spent about 10 minutes with the Schwartz-Smaltz family and while Oliver’s cranky demeanor lead to some tears, it was all met with the typical Fitzgerald charm.

“He’s giving me inspiration,” a smiling Fitzgerald said. “Maybe he would treat me better if I was a Super Bowl champion. You know, if we come back here in February with the trophy he might show me some love.” 

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