The 77,653 fans who packed State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Saturday weren't just treated to an all-time performance from Garth Brooks, but a cameo appearance from the man who has created more memories in that stadium than any other individual.
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, a long time friend of Brooks', joined the country music legend on stage and presented him with a personalized Arizona Cardinals jersey during Saturday's concert. (Brooks was already wearing a Fitzgerald Cardinals jersey and chose to wear it for the remainder of the concert.)
Fitzgerald said his appearance on stage wasn't planned ahead of time -- and as it turns out, Brooks presented Fitz with a gift of his own before the concert even began.
"I had no idea that that was going to happen," Fitzgerald said Tuesday during his stop at ABC15 to promote his 9th Annual Double Play Celebrity Softball Game on April 27. "I've known Garth for many years. He's been really supportive of my foundation. We're actually doing a little project here coming to the Valley.
"I had no idea, and then he asked me to come up on stage. The whole night was phenomenal."
View this post on Instagram
Garth!! Congratulations on the largest concert ever at the stadium...one of the greatest to ever do it. It was an honor to join you onstage and present you with this jersey 🙏🏾 Can’t thank you enough for the kind words and for bringing your gift to so many people. I’m very fortunate to call you a friend, and to be able to work with you on partnering Teammates for Kids with the First Down Fund to help young people across the country. Great show my friend!
But Fitzgerald was also able to meet up with Brooks at the stadium before the concert -- and Brooks surprised his friend with an impromptu and, by the sounds of it, pricey gift during that visit.
"I went out to see the setup of the stadium. I'd never seen it set up for a concert before. He was doing mic checks, and kind of making sure the stage and the seating, everything was set up," Fitzgerald said.
"All of the people on his crew were riding on these motorized bicycles. So, I asked one of them, 'Would you mind if I take a ride on it?' It's like one of those bikes that you can ride, and then it also has the electric component where you can kind of go like a scooter.
"So, I'm riding around on it, and he was like, 'You like that, huh?' And I was like, 'Absolutely. I'm a big kid, though.'
"And he was like, 'You know what? You can have that. It's brand new. You go ahead and take it.'"
Fitzgerald said he was blown away. "That's just the kind of man he is though, honestly," Fitzgerald said. "He literally would give you the shirt off his back. That's just who he is."
Fitzgerald said he's been proudly riding the motorized bike around his neighborhood in the days since the concert.
"It's not often that somebody gives you a gift that you can't get yourself," Fitzgerald said. "But that gift was sweet, though."
During a Facebook Live video Monday, Brooks recalled his friendship with Fitzgerald and said he loved being able to connect with him during the concert.
"He was great. What a sweet man," Brooks said. "Take away male, female, black, white -- take away all the labels we put on (people), that man is a fantastic human being right there. He's a good dude."
Brooks also called Glendale one of the top three concerts he's ever done in terms of fan excitement and atmosphere.
"I can tell you this: Glendale -- Phoenix, Arizona. My gosh. Unbelievable. Just thank you," he said.