Sunday night in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers opened Levi Stadium in a match up against the Chicago Bears. Why does this matter to us, we’re reading a soccer gear blog? I hear you ask. Well it allows us to present another addition of NFL players wearing soccer boots! This week it was 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin who celebrated the opening of the $1.3 billion dollar stadium by donning a pair of Stealth Pack spec Nike Merucrial Superfly IV’s. It’s not very often we see what the NFL calls position players (apparently kickers and punters don’t count) pulling out a pair of soccer shoes to wear in a game. In fact the last time I saw it was when Ethan wrote about Brandon Marshall donning a pair of Hypervenom Phatals last season to raise awareness for mental illness week. Being the NFL, Marshall was of course fined $10,000 for not matching his cleat colours to his jersey colours.
But back to Boldin and his apparent attraction to Nike’s showpiece soccer boot. Whereas speedy players in our game have for the most part adopted the philosophy that “light is right”, the same does not necessarily apply to our friends in the American Football world, their boots are often high topped and somewhat weighty for stability. The dynamic fit collar of the Superfly offers that high topped fit that an NFL player is used to, but the boot weighing 7oz means that Boldin is sporting a boot which is nearly half the weight of most boots worn in the NFL, which would give the 33 year old a slight bit more pep in his step off the line of scrimmage. Not that the added pep really helped Boldin on the weekend, as he only caught two passes for 34 yards in a 28-20 loss.
It wasn’t just during the game that Boldin “went soccer”, post game Boldin and noted occasional soccer boot wearer Brandon Marshall met at midfield and did the first jersey exchange I’ve ever seen in the NFL. While it’s common place in our game, the suits of armour worn in American Football make it a little more difficult. But with the recent difficulties in ‘the shield’ it was nice to see two players who have a lot of respect for one another do a classy jersey swap post game.
Shout-out to Matt for the spot!