The NFL kicked off its 2017-18 season tonight with the defending Super Bowl champs, the New England Patriots, hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. As an Eagles fan (Ed. Note: Birds are going 19-0, in my honest opinion), I really didn’t have much of a rooting interest in the game. I really only watched it for two reasons: (1.) To watch Roger Goodell get booed; and (2.) To hear “Chris Hogan played lacrosse” references on-air and then watch Twitter get all mad each time it happens. (Ed. Note: Roger Goodell getting booed will never get old. NEVER!)
Roger Goodell getting a warm greeting from Foxboroughpic.twitter.com/brTP0urY6m— TotalProSports (@TotalProSports) September 8, 2017
“Chris Hogan played lacrosse” references during NFL games are great. First off, it highlights the increasing prevalence of lacrosse crossover athletes exceeding on the gridiron. Indeed, in today’s Prospectus we highlighted four notable recent instances of lacrosse to football crossovers, including a back-up QB at Wisconsin, a highly touted Nebraska freshman wide receiver, an OSU men’s lacrosse recruit in Illinois starring for his HS team, and a standout female lacrosse player who just so happens to be her HS football team’s starting kicker. Kids with a lacrosse background are pretty hot right now in football. It’s like the zone read offense 4 or 5 years ago.
The crossover even goes the other way, as former San Diego State/Rutgers quarterback Chris Lavino decided to hang-up his football cleats to pursue opportunities in college lacrosse back in August. His former SD State coach was not too happy about Chris’ decision.
“He came to me and said he wanted his release so he could transfer someplace to play lacrosse,” Long said. “I guess he was a good lacrosse player in high school. His lacrosse coach told him he can get him a full ride Division II scholarship tomorrow from five or six places close to home. He might even be able to get him a Division I scholarship.
However, aside from #GrowTheGame reasons, “Chris Hogan played lacrosse” references during NFL games are great because they drive a considerable number of football fans crazy, and their outage is like manna from heaven to me.
I live for "Chris Hogan Penn State Lacrosse"— Marisa Ingemi (@Marisa_Ingemi) September 8, 2017
Now this isn’t the most scientific thing in the world, but I did a Twitter search during the game for the words Hogan & Lacrosse and as of 11:00 PM there were around 500 Tweets that mentioned the words Hogan & Lacrosse over the course of a couple hours. Now as someone who searches for lacrosse stories often, including on Twitter, that’s a pretty major spike.
The internet, as it is wont to do, delivered a healthy portion of negative Tweets. Indeed, it appears that a noticeable percentage of users who commented on the subject, demonstrated their displeasure at having to hear the word lacrosse during their football game in a very forthright and direct manner. But as one who LOVES faux Twitter outrage, seeing Twitter users aghast at the idea that another sport was briefly mentioned during the telecast, always bring a big smile on my face.
Now, let me clear, Tweets mocking broadcasters for acting like they invented fire for first time whenever they drop the initial “Well, you know, Charles, Chris used to play lacrosse back in college” during the broadcast are hilarious. I’m not talking about those Tweets, those are funny and can definitely stay. I’m talking about the people genuinely angry that lacrosse was mentioned during a football game. Indeed, “‘Chris Hogan played lacrosse’ is the new ‘Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard’” tweets started popping off last season, and I for one think the world is better off.
"Chris Hogan played lacrosse at Penn State" is on its way to the new "Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard" by announcers.— Ryan McDonnell (@RyanMcD29) January 15, 2017
so LAX MAJOR I guess
Anyway, I think the lacrosse references during NFL games are going to go a whole new level this year now that Chris has won the Super Bowl. I of course welcome that development. Additionally, I also welcome the backlash. As I always say, let ‘em hate.