Getting away from football is not easy to do once the season ends, especially how it ended for Head Coach Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals. Coach and his team let their fan base down with a mediocre performance in 2016, but the off-season yields weightier challenges for the four-year Head Coach.
A community in need awaits him during and after every season regardless of the outcome. The same community that was disappointed at the season is the same one that has many needy intercity youths that suffer from abuse and neglect and need help to have a fighting chance to make it today. The Arians Family Foundation has helped these children now for four years and the movement continues to grow. I ask Coach and his wife Christine has their efforts met or exceeded all their expectations when they set out four years ago,
“We are almost there, but we still have work to do” said Arians in an interview. “There are so many in need that we just try and reach as many as we can, but the sad thing is we know we can’t reach them all” added Christine.
In case you didn’t know, the Arians Family Foundation motto is “A Voice for Children” by supporting and developing programs which strive to prevent and ameliorate the abuse and neglect of children. The foundation puts on an annual charity golf event and it was held this year at Wild Horse Pass Golf in Chandler. The event always receives all the love and support around the league from current and past players, also other celebrities.
A fixture every year is Arizona native pop singer the lovely Miss Jordin Sparks, who sings the national anthem and does it every year with the excitement of a live skydiver coming down with the American flag right as she concludes the song. And every year it is awesome!
The list of support is incredible, teammates Tyrann Mathieu, Chandler Jones, A.Q Shipley, and quarterback Carson Palmer just to name a few, were on hand to play golf and raise money for the event.
Arians had to be excluded from hitting the greens this year because as seen in the pictures he arrived in an arm sling from the injury he suffered at the hands of an excited Larry Fitzgerald after a win over the rival Seattle Seahawks last year. Larry was a bit out of control and managed to cause some damage to the right arm of his Coach.
“I feel so bad that I can’t be out there on the greens” coach said but the jokes about his wide receiver fitting the bill continues to pour in.
Arizona State alum quarterback Brock Osweiler was in attendance and he, of course, came prepared to dodge any question regarding his current signing with the Cleveland Browns. He was quoted as saying “nice try though” as a reporter shot a quick question his way.
The charity event is the focus, Coach Arians allowed myself and the rest of the media to ask a few football-related questions. I asked Coach what is the theme for this year after the disappointing season last year with high expectations. He smiled and said “play smarter”
He also said that the move to replace kicker Chandler Catanzaro was not performance based but rather it was a question of finance. Arians still backed up his former kicker saying “I believe Chandler will still be a good kicker in this league” I added that he excelled when he had competition with Feely his rookie year. But money is the result of Chandler’s demise in Arizona and not from his crucial miss field goals last year.
Speaking of the name Chandler I finished my day with a very interesting conversation with the new long-term signee Chandler Jones. After Calais Campbell’s departure, he left a void not only on the field but in a program off the field. While in his tender with the Cardinals Campbell held the host of a show called the Big Red Rage for several years. The show has yet to put a player in his place for the show. I asked Jones would he be interested in doing that show, he laughed and said
oh no Not me, I have seen that side of things, it’s hard to maintain schedule-wise, and hard to get teammates to come on, I saw Calais asking around trying to get guys to commit every week, oh no not me”
we had a laugh as we walked off the golf course.
The event concludes until next year, and hopefully, the Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians will be answering questions about how he leads his team to play in the Super Bowl. One can only hope, right?