Asking Bill Belichick questions is like pulling teeth. The coach refuses to reveal anything related to his game plan and most of his answers stretch only a few words. Even on Super Bowl Opening Night, with the most skilled sports journalists in the world, Belichick has his guard up.
So ThePostGame decided to ask Belichick about one of his only known non-football hobbies: lacrosse. Belichick played lacrosse at Phillips Academy and Wesleyan University. Although he played football, squash and lacrosse in college, it was only in lacrosse that he became a captain. All three of Belichick's children were college lacrosse players: Amanda played at Wesleyan and is now the head coach at Holy Cross College; Stephen played at Rutgers and is now the Patriots' Safties Coach; Brian played at Trinity College and is now a scouting assistant for the Patriots.
This season, Belichick had a notable lacrosse player on his roster. Wide receiver Chris Hogan actually played four years of lacrosse for Penn State, where he made an All-ECAC Team and served as captain for the Nittany Lions. After graduation, Hogan went to Monmouth for grad school, where he exhausted his one year of football eligibility for the Hawks. After playing for four NFL teams in five pro seasons, Hogan found a home this year in New England, where he had 38 receptions for 680 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns in 2017.
Belichick and Hogan go way back…to the lacrosse field. When Hogan was at Penn State, he played Stephen at Rutgers, and Belichick doesn't remember it going well for his son.
"I saw a couple of his games when he played against Rutgers when he played against Stephen," Belichick says. "Stephen actually covered him. One of those was a downpour, one of the worst I've ever seen. The game actually had to be stopped."
Chris, what do you recall?
"I know we were playing in their football stadium. I remember me having a pretty good game I think."
Imagine being a college lacrosse player and knowing the NFL's Darth Vader is on the other sideline rooting against you.
"We didn't make a big thing about it, but we always knew Belichick's son was on the other team, for sure," Hogan laughs.
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) January 15, 2017
A little dive into the Penn State lacrosse archives show the Nittany Lions went into Piscataway in 2009 and, as the Penn State recap said, "hammered Rutgers." Penn State got off to a 3-0 and led 7-1 at halftime. Hogan, a junior midfielder, had three goals and an assist in the 9-4 win near his hometown of Wyckoff, New Jersey. Stephen Belichick was a sophomore at the time.
If it is any consolation, Rutgers beat Penn State in Hogan and Belichick's two other meetings. The "downpour" game was in 2010, when Rutgers won, 7-4.
Belichick is a difficult guy to break. But Hogan has the lacrosse thing to connect with his coach. According to Belichick, they do talk about their passion for lacrosse off the football field.
"There's a lot of carryover from lacrosse to football," Hogan says. "Running with the football, might as well have a lacrosse stick in your hands."
Belichick only cares about one thing on Sunday and that's winning. It doesn't matter how many goals Hogan scored on Stephen in college. He can't trash talk the family right now.
On Sunday night after a Super Bowl win? That's a different story.