The sport of football has come under attack recently, and many would argue the game has merited those attacks. But a strong contingent still staunchly believes in the game’s positive impact, and that includes Bruce Arians.
The Arizona Cardinals head coach spoke with the MMQB’s Peter King at the NFL Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., and had some very strong opinions when asked about his feelings on the sport.
“This is the greatest game in the world,” Arians said. “I think it teaches more values than any other game that you play. Toughness, get up and fight. 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 in track and other things.”
It’s understandable that Arians would defend the game he loves, and there’s something to be said for the physical nature of football that forges special bonds between teammates and coaches. On the flip side, however, is the very serious issue of concussions that pervades the sport, which the New York Times brought to light Thursday in an eye-opening report.
But Arians doesn’t seem too concerned.
“We have this fear of concussion that is real, but not all of those statistics can prove anything,” he added. “We’ve got new helmets coming out. We’ve got safety issues — there are more concussions in girls’ soccer than in football at that age. The No. 2 sport for concussions is women’s soccer, but no one says, ‘We’ve got to stop playing soccer.'”
The two-time Coach of the Year ended his remarks with a bit of parenting advice for those concerned about the game’s health risks.
“You can find all the statistics if you want to crucify something,” he said. “Our game is great. People who say, ‘I won’t let my son play it,’ are fools.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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