Did you know that Chris Hogan plays lacrosse? Yes, you heard that right. The two-time Super Bowl champion wide receiver, who took the sports world by storm with his “Penn State lacrosse” intro on Sunday Night Football in 2017, announced on Saturday that he intends to play pro lacrosse in the Premier Lacrosse League this summer.
NFL insider Adam Schefter first broke the news on Twitter in typical Schefter fashion. The news quickly garnered the attention of the entire sports world, earning 2,000+ retweets and 13,000+ likes in less than three hours. The exposure from a major sports league insider alone was something for pro lacrosse fans to be excited about.
Not long after the news broke, Chris Hogan himself confirmed the news on Twitter.
His tweet was quickly followed by an Instagram video of his offseason training and our first look at him in action with a lacrosse stick since playing in the NFL.
Hogan played college lacrosse at Penn State from 2006 to 2009 before playing a year of college football at Monmouth University. He then entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, signing with the San Francisco 49ers. He eventually worked his way into a starting role with the Buffalo Bills before joining the New England Patriots for three seasons that included trips to the Super Bowl each year and two NFL Championships.
While the move has generally been well-received, there has already been some backlash from both lacrosse fans and mainstream sports fans alike. Many point to Hogan’s limited production during his time with the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets, where he spent his last two years in the NFL, as evidence that his announcement to play pro lacrosse is just an exit strategy from the NFL.
I don’t know if Hogan would have had a productive NFL season next year or not. I don’t know how much success Hogan will have in the PLL either. Yet, I do know that Hogan is still in NFL-caliber shape. I also don’t think a pro athlete who’s had this much professional success already would have ever considered playing pro lacrosse even just three years ago, and that alone should be celebrated.
What the move does do is give further legitimacy to the PLL and pro lacrosse as a whole. We’ve seen lacrosse players like Hogan use their athletic talents to achieve success in other pro sports (just look at former Sienna lacrosse player and 2021 Super Bowl champion Zach Triner). Yet, we’ve never seen someone who’s had as much success as Hogan decide to play professional lacrosse. That by itself is a testament to the credibility the PLL has been able to build in just three short years.
Hogan will certainly have his work cut out for him when competing for a roster spot with not only current PLL players, but the influx of MLL talent joining the league this summer as well. However, let’s also not forget that this is the same Chris Hogan who went from only playing a year of college football at Monmouth University to starting NFL receiver and eventual two-time Super Bowl champion. I for one would be wary to bet against him.
What are your thoughts on the news that Chris Hogan intends to play pro lacrosse this summer? Let us know in the comments or on social media.