One could say the same thing of the old splash anno jobs.
But really, just about any aspect of the game could be boiled down to "might hide a hit, or cause a bounce".
Why do some players wear jerseys 3 sizes to big and always lean forward when playing? Well, ever shot a towel hanging from a clothes line? Same thing.
Sometimes it's a more practical "less likely to break" issue, such as wearing pods on your back instead of in front of you, but it does seem more often to be more deliberate, such as wearing soft forearm pads (you know, for sliding), under a jersey with padded forearms (you know for, um, really really sliding, not for bounces at all, I swear).
Nunquam emere quid potes facere