Cardinals coach Bruce Arians signs a shirt for a fan during a recent event at the Just Sports store at Chandler Fashion Mall.
There is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, titled "If" and written in 1895, that has a multitude of meanings, with one trickling down to the heart of Bruce Arians' life philosophy.
"If you're afraid to roll the dice, you're never going to be in the game," the Cardinals coach said.
That was the genesis of Arians' now-famous "No risk-it, no biscuit" saying, the most recognizable of many quips and quotes the coach likes to use. That he could transform that into a way to raise money for charity, Arians likes it even more.
Last year Arians, through local apparel company State Forty Eight and Just Sports, had a t-shirt created in his likeness, with many of the proceeds going to the Bruce Arians Foundation. The shirt, and a similar Arians driving cap – like the one the coach likes to wear all the time – raised more than $22,000 through Just Sports stores, and another $20,000-plus from State Forty Eight.
This year, the shirt features the "No risk-it, no biscuit" saying, again, in hopes of raising money for the charity that means so much to Arians and his wife, Chris, which is CASA of Arizona. The shirts can be found at Just Sports and at statefortyeight.com.
"It's a great partnership, and I can't thank fans enough," Arians said.
Chris Arians is a former Court-Appointed Special Advocate, around to help out foster kids. Bruce Arians has long raised money for the cause, although it became a lot easier once he reached head-coach status.
That he is raising money based on his likeness – Arians admitted he wasn't all that comfortable with a giant logo of his face on t-shirts, a logo that State Forty Eight designed – and his favorite saying still surprises him.
"The hat and T-shirts thing just kind of took off from nowhere," he said.
A lot of Arians' catchphrases are ones he's heard somewhere in the past, tweaked and with some B.A. personality baked in. The "No risk it" concept Arians heard at a young age, the idea of not playing not to lose but to win, and to take chances.
"I never thought it'd be on a shirt," Chris Arians said. "This man is full of crazy phrases."
What are some others? Most are lines Arians would rather not say in public, and certainly not put on a T-shirt.
"When you see me talking to the players, I always tell them 'It's not criticism, it's coaching. Just don't take it personally,' " Arians said.
Those players are certainly familiar with "No risk-it, no biscuit."
"I know there are a 1,000 players I've coached saying, 'Holy (expletive), he's got it on a T-shirt,' " Arians said.