Take it from a few legends in the NFL, even when the playing on the field stops, the competitive juices can not stop flowing. Steelers legend and Hall of Fame RB Jerome Bettis and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald took some lighthearted blows at one another as they plan to face off not on the football field, but the golf course.
Out in Lake Tahoe at the American Century Golf Tournament, the two legends exchanged some joking blows with one another about the competition. With both having Pittsburgh connections with Bettis playing for the Steelers and Fitzgerald playing his college ball at Pitt, they were familiar with one another.
Talking to our partners at WPXI, Bettis and Fitzgerald got into the spirit of competition before hitting the green, with an intense Bettis ready to get after it.
“My biggest rival is Larry Fitzgerald,” Bettis said. “He’s always trying to figure out what my number is going to be. We always make a wager before. Last year we tied. It’s always, who’s going to beat who. I don’t know what the record is, I think it’s like 1-1-1 over the last three years. He’s my nemesis.”
Fitzgerald would not go too far to say Bettis was anything of a nemesis. After all, this is in the spirit of friendly competition. The ever mellow Fitzgerald still relishes beating Bettis on the golf course, though. And that is where the spirit of competition comes in for both respected athletes.
“I wouldn’t say we’re rivals. I’m a Pittsburgh guy. He’s a Pittsburgh guy. We both love the city of Pittsburgh, and all the organizations and people from inside,” Fitzgerald said, “I’m not a rival of his. I just like beating him up on the golf course. I wouldn’t call that a rivalry. I enjoy getting in his pockets. It’s pretty easy place to get. Especially now, he can’t hit it as far, the putting has gotten a little shaky, the chipping is not as good. So, he’s easy money. For anybody in Pittsburgh that wants to get in Jerome Bettis’ pocket, there’s no better time than now.”
The competition will start today and Bettis tees off at 7:59 while Fitzgerald tees off at 8:48. Current Steelers cornerback Patrick Peterson also will play at the event, teeing off shortly before Fitzgerald at 8:39.