PORTLAND, Maine — Matt Mulligan is a man with a great story.
He didn't play football in high school, and he went to Husson University to play basketball. In a game at Mt. Ida, the opposing school's football team sat in the stands and razzed him.
"You should be playing football!" they shouted. The energy they generated helped Matt play one of his best games, scoring 20 points.
After the game, the Mt. Ida players spoke to him again. They said, "Seriously, Dude. You're missing out."
So he went out for football and, after a season, transferred to the University of Maine at Orono.
Mulligan would catch on in the NFL with the Jets. Over the next eight seasons, he played for nine NFL teams, including the Patriots. He was generally regarded as the strongest tight end in the league, as well as one of its better blockers.
"The last two years I've taken off was to make sure the playing thing was over because you never want to go into anything half-hearted," he told NEWS CENTER Maine.
Mulligan will join his old friend Kevin O'Connell. O'Connell was a backup quarterback with the Jets. Mulligan will work as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Mulligan's wife, Stephanie, also has a good story to tell. She has published a children's book, titled, "How to Catch a Keeper." She worked as a stern woman on the Lucky Catch, which takes visitors out for 90 minute lobstering trips. During these cruises, she would explain to the guests what life as a lobsterman or lobsterwoman was like.
An English major who become a teacher -- Stephanie took the time to write about her experiences. Ten years later, she has put the story in a book, so that Maine kids can learn young what it's like to go lobstering.
The book also has a glossary (called "Lobster Lingo") in the back, so folks can learn all the lobstering terms. Illustrated by Connie Rand, "How to Catch a Keeper" is available at 38 bookstores in Maine and on the McSea Books website.