Are you ready for some futbol?
Josh Brown is.
In spirit of the 2014 FIFA World Cup currently going on in Brazil, the Giants kicker recently headed out to the field house at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center with one of our production teams to test out the differences between kicking a football and a soccer ball.
Brown, who is entering his 12th NFL season, would know. He grew up playing both sports, learning to kick a football on soccer fields across the street from his house.
“The World Cup to me is awesome because it literally includes the world,” Brown said. “It’s every country coming together to compete. It’s like a one-sport Olympics. The world championship literally is the world championship.
“I actually lived across the street from soccer fields where I played -- that’s how much I played. My parents actually moved so that I could be close to field and I could just get up and go across the street and play in tournaments. That’s where I really started kicking footballs, kicking them over goal posts on soccer fields.”
Then it was time for the demonstration.
Below are the differences between kicking the two balls according to Brown, who first explained that both come down to leg speed and contact and not a “swing harder” mentality.
1. “With football, we know that we’re trying to accomplish the ball to fly straight. And with the shape of the ball, that’s all determined by the wind. I can play the wind with [a soccer] ball because it’s just me and it determines where I’m going to play it, how I’m going to play it, am I going to put english on it, how much english am I going to put on it. Where the [football] is, OK, if [holder] Steve [Weatherford] messes up, the ball is not bent in the right direction or leaning in the right direction, you can have an issue.”
2. “Not very often does a soccer player get the opportunity just to stand here and just look at his goal, look at his goal. He has a wall of 10 people in front of him and he’s got to bend the ball over their heads and put it in the corner where the goalie can barely have the opportunity to get to it. Where football is just you’re downfield, you’re squaring up, and my foot and plant foot are all a must -- it has to happen at the same place at the same time, every time.”
3. “I’m hitting [the football] with more of not the instep as far as the inside where my knee is pointed out -- like a soccer player would pass. I’m going to roll that up where my knee is in front, and my knee kind of guides my direction. And then when I hit the ball, I’m following my knee downfield.”