Bruce Arians: Football is “the greatest game in the world”


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has never been the kind of man to hold his tongue on anything. If he’s passionate about someone, or something, he’s going to let it be known, as he did to Peter King of The MMQB.

King had a chance to sit down with Arians on Wednesday at the NFL Owners Meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., and Arians let loose in his defense of the game of football, which many believe has become violent to the point where something needs to be done about it, with rules changes and such, in order to keep the players as safe as can be.

If parents watched the video of King and Arians talking, he no doubt ruffled some of their feathers, if not all of their feathers, with this comment:

“Our game is great,” Arians said. “People that say, ‘I wouldn’t let my son play it,’ are fools because there are DNA tests now, and I can give your kid and tell you the chances of your child having a concussion, or if they should play a contact sport of any kind. It’s only $400, go get one.”

Arians pointed out to King that there were more reported cases of concussions in girl’s soccer than in football with boys that age. The sport with the second-most concussions, Arians says, is women’s soccer, but he says no one’s asking for the abolishment of that sport.

“Same thing with knee injuries: There are more knee injuries at (ages) 8-12 in soccer than in football,” Arians said. “You can find all the statistics you want if you want to crucify something.”

Arians has been around football all his life. He’s played the game, and he’s coached the game. This season with the Cardinals will be his 41st season of coaching.

The game is ingrained in Arians. He loves it so much, and he doesn’t want to see it watered down to the point where it’s unplayable, unwatchable and uncoachable.

“It’s the greatest game in the world,” Arians told King. “I think it teaches more values than any other game that you play: Toughness (and) get up and fight. When you have things that happen in your life that aren’t going to be good, if you play football, you know how to handle them. It doesn’t necessarily equate and track in other things.”

King asked Arians if the “other things” were individual sports, and Arians said yes.

“And some other team sports that aren’t the same, because they’re not as physical,” Arians said. “You don’t grow as a man, or woman if you play the game like you should in other sports.”