“Chris Hogan played lacrosse” might be as old as, “Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard,” but the Patriots wide receiver is doing everything he can to stay involved in his former sport.
With last week’s announcement of the new Premier Lacrosse League, headed by former Cannons star Paul Rabil, Hogan’s name made the rounds in lacrosse circles again.
Hogan is listed as an investor for the league, which was founded by and is led by professional lacrosse players that defected from Major League Lacrosse. It’s the first lacrosse league in which players are full-time employees, and the first that has a media rights deal -- all games will be broadcast on NBC platforms, including a pair on the network itself.
“I am excited about the concept of the Premier Lacrosse League,” Hogan said. “The idea is to bring the best lacrosse players from around the world together and showcase their talent to the fans. Lacrosse has a special place in my heart after starting my career as a lacrosse player at Penn State.”
Hogan is not the only professional athlete to jump on the bandwagon.
Several other stars from around the sports world -- including former NFL running back Brian Westbrook and ex-NBA MVP Steve Nash -- have weighed in on the new league.
“We were really hopeful for this type of support,” Rabil said. “We’re really humbled by it. I’m excited about what is to come and what we can continue to do with the opportunity. Not just with our players, but just being a unifying body.”
The league concept began over a year ago after several attempts from Rabil and other players to work out disputes with MLL. New commissioner Sandy Brown, in his first offseason in MLL, made adjustments to the league schedule and salaries, but by then the PLL was deep in the works.
In the end more than 120 players will join the PLL, which will have six teams in its first season. For now, the league will work on a tour-based system, with Rabil citing the success of the NCAA Final Four in multiple markets despite the different teams partaking each season.
The list of investors includes Chernin Group, Creative Artists Agency, Blum Capital, and a handful of other former college lacrosse players.
It’s not the first time Hogan has gone back to his lacrosse roots. During Sunday Night Football games on NBC, he still references “Penn State lacrosse” as his alma mater in his intro video.
For Hogan, the chance to be involved was too good to pass up.
The exposure for the sport, through the support from athletes like Hogan and from the television deal, is something that hasn’t occurred with other leagues in the past.
“Professional lacrosse has never had this magnitude of a television deal,” Rabil said. “All of our games will be broadcasted live and distributed by the largest network in America.”
Hogan’s involvement likely won’t go much further than the initial investment, other than potentially offering public support, like many other athletes have. He has retweeted a few tweets from the PLL and Rabil since the announcement of the league earlier in the month.
For him, it’s just a great way to stay in the game.
“I have great passion and knowledge of the sport, and I am appreciative of the opportunity to get involved to promote a game I love,” Hogan said.