Whenever the New England Patriots take on the Baltimore Ravens, Patriots coach Bill Belichick fields questions about the state of Maryland, where he grew up. It's a topic that Belichick has been known to be happy to speak on — contrary to his usually subdued attitude during press conferences.
Especially so when it comes to lacrosse. Belichick's daughter, Amanda, coaches at Holy Cross and his two sons, Stephen (Rutgers) and Brian (Trinity) played collegiately, so it's safe to say the sport runs in the family. He sat down with US Lacrosse Magazine in May to talk about his love for lacrosse.
Belichick has been asked about lacrosse on a number of occasions, but what made Wednesday's conference call difference was that he touched on Ravens coach John Harbaugh's relationship with the game. When Belichick was asked whether he influenced Harbaugh, whose daughter Allison now plays lacrosse in Maryland, he had this to say:
"John [Harbaugh] and I saw a game a couple of years ago, a [Johns] Hopkins vs. Maryland game," Belichick said in the conference call. "Yeah, I think John is seeing the light. It's a great sport. Obviously such a great part of Baltimore and Maryland tradition. Crabs and lacrosse, that's part of what that area is, a big part of the culture there and it transcends the new people that move into the new area. They pick up on it pretty quickly and enjoy it and embrace it and see the way the game is spreading throughout this country and internationally really."
With Harbaugh's name being dropped in the conference call, reporters covering the Ravens had to get his take on lacrosse. Harbaugh said he's definitely a fan of the sport, but can't choose between Maryland and Johns Hopkins.
"I'm a lacrosse guy," Harbaugh said in a Wednesday press conference. "I take a lot of heat here because I really like the guys over at Hopkins, Coach Pietramala, but I really like the guys at Maryland, too. They've got a great crew. But that's tough to walk that line in this area. I'm the head coach in Baltimore. I'm a fan of Maryland big time, and I'm also a fan of Hopkins. How is that possible, right? Well, the Maryland folks don't understand it, and neither do the Hopkins people."
Harbaugh also said he's grown to love women's lacrosse from watching his daughter play.
"Girls lacrosse is a great sport," he told reporters. "It's a great skills sport. The sticks are a little bit tougher, and it's more of a skill game, I think, in some ways. I'm going to be on the bandwagon for that right now. So I watch a lot of girls' lacrosse."
Belichick and Harbaugh, whose teams have faced off during the NFL postseason on multiple occasions, watched a Johns Hopkins game together in 2012. And now that the NCAA women's and men's final four is headed to Foxborogh, Massachusetts in 2017, Belichick is excited to watch the game on his home turf.
"We're going to see you guys up here this year for the championships," Belichick told reporters. "We've been coming down to Baltimore and Philadelphia for the last few years. We're going to get you up here in Foxborough. So it'll be a fun weekend, Memorial Day for the next couple of years."
Could there be another Belichick-Harbaugh reunion this Memorial Day?
“I would be all for that,” Harbaugh said. “Maybe we’ll get dinner and a boat ride. It’s in May, right? I want that boat ride.”