TEMPE, Ariz. — That’s it. Sam Acho has thrown down the gauntlet.
The Cardinals’ linebacker was talking to reporters Wednesday when he made the ultimate claim of superiority.
“I am a much better player than my brother,” he said. “I saw he had an interview yesterday and he said he’s a better athlete, a better player, and Emmanuel Acho, I’m going to look you in the eyes and say I’m the better player of the Acho brothers.”
Sam’s younger brother, Emmanuel, is a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, and before the teams face each other on Sunday, Sam responded to the confident assertions made by his brother.
Sam even went into detail, breaking down which brother reigns superior at each sport. Sam claimed the top spot in football and soccer, while giving Emmanuel the edge in basketball and tennis. He said the two are tied in baseball due to an equal lack of talent.
Sam backed up his claim by pulling from the their performances in the NFL Draft Combines.
“My 40 time was faster bro, I’m just saying. So we can talk about who is a better athlete, but I’ve got the better 40 time,” he said. Sam participated in the 2011 Combine, while Emmanual took part in the 2012 version.
The older Acho came out on top in the 40-yard-dash, running the distance in 4.67 seconds compared to Emmanuel’s time of 4.73 seconds. But Sam may have wanted to look at the other categories before bringing up the combine, as Emmanuel won out in the three other events in which they both participated: the vertical jump, broad jump and bench press.
But with the two players entering the NFL one year apart, they were not able to personally face off in the combine, continuing a lifelong trend of never battling in official competitions against one another.
“We’ve been on the same team since we’ve been eight years old,” said Sam.
The linebacker added that they competed in pickup basketball games on different teams when they were younger, but would end up passing the ball to each other out of natural instinct.
The two could have met last season when the Cardinals and Eagles played in Week 13, but both missed the game with Sam on injured reserve and Emmanual inactive.
While the brothers may not personally match up on Sunday, with both playing on the defensive side of the ball, Sam said he is still looking for a game with some familial ties.
“It’s fun to have someone you are so close with, and be able to go against them on the field in the NFL,” he said.