Cardinals coach Bruce Arians does interviews on Friday before the Super Bowl
Bruce Arians sat down right around 8:45 a.m. Friday morning for his first interview of what would become a more than two-hour stretch on the Super Bowl's Radio Row.
He was 15 minutes early to Arizona Sports 98.7's "Doug and Wolf Show," and broke into a grin when co-host Ron Wolfley noted the Cardinals' coach arrival.
"I'm so excited, I couldn't wait to get here," Arians said.
Sure, the arrival had more to do with lighter-than-expected traffic downtown, but still, this wasn't an assignment Arians dreaded.
He could have. Thursday night, Arians attended a Super Bowl party given by the Cardinals, which featured a mini-concert by
country music star/"The Voice" judge/Cardinals fan Blake Shelton. Arians and Shelton have become friends, and long after the party was over, Arians, his wife and adult kids were hanging out on Shelton's tour bus with Shelton and wife Miranda Lambert. It stretched Arians' night out to around 2:30 a.m., and yet, here he was.
"I actually really enjoy (the interviews," Arians said. "Everybody has a job to do and the media is great at what they do, and our job is to help them do their job. It's really easy for me.
"I've been doing this a long time, and this isn't my first time being out late, so …"
Arians chuckled again. Even on limited sleep, he's a golden guest, ready with a quip. Much of the day's conversation is basic. For the local stations, it's specifics about the Cardinals. Will Larry Fitzgerald stay in Arizona? ("I'm hoping and praying every day it will happen.") Why stay in-house for a new defensive coordinator? ("I did not want our players to walk in and not know what they were doing the first day.")
Nationally, it's about the season just completed and the program the Cardinals have built (and yes, whether Fitzgerald will stay.) There are questions about the Seahawks and the Super Bowl. Arians also
does an appearance on an Atlanta radio station, in part to pump up his offseason charity golf tournament in Georgia that will benefit the Arians Family Foundation.
Sometimes, it was more than that. Arians went on CBS Sports Radio, where one of the co-hosts was former Giants running back Tiki Barber – whom Arians used to babysit, along with twin brother Ronde, when they were infants. Arians was a college roommate of Barber's father.
When it was noted Tiki had known Arians his whole life, Barber piped up. "It's really that he's known me, because he was in existence and I was born into his life."
Along the way, it was handshakes and hugs for many fellow NFL types. A short conversation with Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw. A quick embrace for Texans running back Arian Foster. As Arians was leaving the Sirius NFL radio area, he and 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin shared a hello – before Arians drew a smile from the ex-Cardinal when he told Boldin he should "come on back."
Arians said his plan is to take some more down time after early week announcements next week towards the holes in his defensive coaching staff. This week, it's time to celebrate the Super Bowl and talk about the season completed to the NFL world that has descended on the Valley.
It would have been better to be doing interviews as the coach of the NFC champion this week, but Arians can live with this life.
At one point, Arians is asked about the attitude he carries around, that certain strut that has made him a fan favorite. Again, Arians grins.
"Where I grew up, York, Pennsylvania, you were known for your walk," Arians said. "You knew who was coming down the street by the way they would walk."