PHOTO COURTESY OF LACROSSE MONKEY / TWITTER

The All-NFL Lax-Dad Team


It all started with an innocent tweet. Former NFL quarterback Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP for the New York Giants, posted a picture of Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles.

What Manning believed to be a Sunday stroll down memory lane — to all the great matchups between his Giants and the rival Eagles — turned into much more. You see, Manning snapped the picture en route to a lacrosse tournament for one of his children.

Did he say lacrosse tournament?

Within an hour, the lacrosse community had welcomed Manning to the club — the #LaxDad club, to be specific. Manning is not the first, and most likely won’t be the last, notable current or former NFL player to be a lacrosse dad.

US Lacrosse Magazine took part in the fun surrounding Manning’s tweet and discovered (or re-discovered in many cases) that a number of former NFL stars now find themselves on the sidelines of lacrosse tournaments.

That got us thinking: What would the All-Lax Dad team look like? In the spirit of the football season, we figured we’d take a crack at breaking down the All-Lax Dad team. Without further ado, we present the list.

Did we miss anyone? Reach out to us via Twitter and Instagram (@uslacrossemag) or via email (mhamilton@uslacrosse.org) with more submissions.



Matt Hasselbeck

Hasselbeck may be the most obvious member of this club, both for his penchant to give every Boston College story we write a little love (Thanks, Matt!) and for his two daughters, Mallory and Annabelle.

Both of Hasselbeck’s daughters, members of the Mass Elite club team, made the USA Select U17 team and played at last year’s Fall Classic. Mallory was also named Inside Lacrosse’s No.1 recruit in the Class of 2021.

Sounds like we might be hearing from another generation of Hasselbecks very soon.

Larry Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald’s involvement with lacrosse was first discovered in this interview back in 2018.

“The records, they aren’t that meaningful to me,” Fitzgerald said of upcoming NFL receiving milestones. “I don’t ever talk about them, I don’t ever go home, talk to my kids, 'Hey, you know I’ve caught more passes for one team than anyone in history.’ 'That's cool, Dad, can we go play lacrosse now?’”

The lacrosse community took hold of the news and we added another NFL great to the conversation.

Eli Manning

Manning, the reason we’re making the list, is the most recent addition to the All-Lax Dad team. The former Super Bowl MVP is now spending his weekends at lacrosse tournaments for his daughter, Ava.








Troy Aikman

Aikman’s name resurfaced during the #LaxDad thread last week, but he’s been standing on lacrosse sidelines for years. His daughter, Jordan competed at US Lacrosse National Championships in 2016.

Thoughts on a Joe Buck-Troy Aikman announcing duo for a future college lacrosse game?

Drew Brees

Brees is apparently a huge fan of lacrosse. The New Orleans Saints quarterback has found his passion of the game through his three sons, and he’s quickly become one of the sport’s most avid watchers.

He shared his admiration for lacrosse in an interview with UNTUCKit earlier this year.

Dan Orlovsky

Orlovsky, the former NFL quarterback turned ESPN analyst (and a good friend of Paul Carcaterra, host of our “Overtime” podcast), spends his days riding to lacrosse practices and to the studio to continue his budding career.

He expressed his excitement for the 2020 lacrosse season in early June.




PHOTO COURTESY OF LSN


Rick Mirer

Mirer, the 10-year NFL veteran quarterback and former Notre Dame star, was kind enough to respond to our #LaxDad thread last week. He followed up with more on Saturday afternoon.

He owns the claim to the most successful current lacrosse-playing child on this list. His son, Morrison, is in line to be a potential starting middie for Notre Dame in 2021.

Bill Belichick

Oh yes, a list involving lacrosse and football would not be complete without a reference to Bill Belichick. After all, the former Wesleyan player is a father to two lacrosse enthusiasts themselves.

Belichick’s daughter, Amanda, is in her sixth seasons as head coach at Holy Cross, with a previous stop as coach at Wesleyan. She also starred for her father’s alma mater for four years. His son, Stephen, played collegiate lacrosse at Rutgers before joining the Patriots’ staff as the outside linebackers coach.

John Harbaugh

Harbaugh has been vocal in his support for his daughter, Alison, who will play college lacrosse at Notre Dame this spring. Numerous stories have been written about Harbaugh’s excitement for lacrosse, and his ongoing attempt to be a top-notch Lax Dad.

Tedy Bruschi

Bruschi, like his former coach for the New England Patriots, has been a vocal supporter of lacrosse since his sons, Rex and Dante, picked up the game. Now that his boys are high schoolers, he's taken time to introduce them to prominent lacrosse stars at PLL events. The Bruschi family even took part in a trick shot challenge earlier this spring.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tedy Bruschi (@tedybruschi)

Drew Bledsoe

The former first overall pick and four-time Pro Bowler can now be found pacing the lacrosse sidelines in Bend, Ore. A number of the Bledsoe children have played lacrosse, including Stuart (Cal Poly MCLA), Henry (Summit), Healy (Summit). Bledsoe was nice enough to send along a photo with Henry and Healy at Summit (Ore.).

Mike Golic Jr.

The recently retired ESPN personality and radio host was a Lax Dad for a brief period of time, but enough for him to develop an affinity for the sport. His son and current ESPN personality, Mike Golic Jr., started playing lacrosse in fifth grade and continued through high school in Avon, Conn.

Check out his episode of “Overtime with Paul Carcaterra” to learn more about Golic’s lacrosse background.

Jim Brown

Arguably the greatest lacrosse player of all-time will now watch his son, Aris, play college lacrosse at Hampton. Brown, the former Syracuse great, was excited about the choice to play lacrosse at an HBCU.

Aris Brown comes to Hampton from the popular Sierra Canyon.

Jim Zorn

Zorn, the former Seahawks quarterback and head coach in Washington D.C., is the father to two college lacrosse players. His daughter, Dani, played at Mercer Island (Wash.) then at Gordon College. His son, Isaac, played high school at Rockhurst Jesuit in Kansas City and college lacrosse at Messiah. Hat tip for the reminder from Mercer Island coach Ian O'Hearn. 

Jim Mora

Mora, the former Atlanta Falcons and UCLA Bruins head coach, had a successful NFL coaching career. Recently, he spent time traveling to games for his son, Ryder, who played for Maryland before moving to USC men's lacrosse (MCLA).

Ronde Barber

Barber, the legendary cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hung up the cleats after over 1,000 tackles and five Pro Bowls and began his next chapter as a Lax Dad. In this article, Barber talked about his daughter, Justyce, who is committed to William & Mary. 

Matt Stover

Stover, the legendary Baltimore Ravens kickers, is the father to two former college lacrosse player. His son, Jacob, played goalie at Loyola before making the jump to the PLL champion Whipsnakes LC. His daughter, Jenna, played at Messiah College and currently coaches for Jefferson University (Pa.). Jenna sent us this photo of the Stover family at a Messiah game.

Junior Seau

The late Hall of Fame linebacker who spent time with the Chargers and Patriots played the role of lacrosse dad to his son, Jake. The younger Seau made his way to Duke, where he played 53 games in parts of five seasons. Props to Keith Ferrell for the reminder.

Harris Barton

Barton has been an ultimate Lax Dad over the past few years. The former All-Pro and three-time Super Bowl champion offensive lineman, cheers on his daughter, Anna, who plays at North Carolina and son, Paul, who is committed to play in Chapel Hill. Thanks for the email, Harris.

Troy Evans

Evans, the former Super Bowl-champion linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, has a fifth-grade daughter playing lacrosse.

Lou Benfatti

Benfatti joined the NFL in 1994 and played three seasons with the New York Jets. His daughter, Danae, is now a freshman at Messiah.

READER ADDITIONS

Shoutout to Dr. Tact on Twitter for reminding us of a few more Lax Dads.

We love our Lax Moms all day, every day, Tracy!

How could we forget Daryl Johnston?

Jets assistant coach Todd Washington is also a Lax Dad.

Current Tampa Bay Buccaneers nose tackle Steve McClendon threw his name into the mix. He and his family took in a PLL game last year.

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