The Arizona Cardinals wrapped up mini-camp last week and head coach Bruce Arians left the media and his players with a quote that got people talking.
“The physicality of the sport, we’ll have plenty of time for that part, and that separates a lot of guys,” Arians said in Kyle Odegard article on the team’s website. “A lot of guys in the spring look really good, and then the noise level goes up and they disappear. Guys that (look like) just an average guy put the pads on and all of a sudden he flies around and knocks the crap out of people. He’s a football player. That’s why they call it football, not soccer. We’re allowed to hit each other and supposed to hit each other. That part of the game is what makes it. It’s not for everybody.”
Well, FIFA be damned!
Arians has a valid point. Football’s physical nature is one of a kind. Each play features men crashing into each other from close distances with high impacts. That’s why they wear shoulder pads and helmets. Sure, players run into each other get knocked down in soccer but virtually none of those collisions are head-on and from close range. There’s also that issue about soccer players flopping like a trout out of water when they get touched.
Rugby or Australian Rules Football are closer matches to the NFL than soccer is.Take a look at some Aussie Rules hard hits highlights here and notice they don’t have pads on. The hits in that video would easily draw penalty flags and empty out bank accounts if done in the NFL.
It’s a quote that makes for some lively talk radio but it also leaves us wanting something else–the start of training camp.