Matthew Mulligan talks of Hulk Hogan link

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When a legendary wrestling and sports entertainer mentions you by name in a video that has gone viral, it draws attention.

So after Hulk Hogan announced himself as a Patriots fan, addressing tight end Matthew Mulligan by name in the video, the veteran tight end was one of the more popular players in the locker room Thursday.

As it turns out, Mulligan drew notice from Hogan after purchasing a replica of the championship belt worn in professional wrestling from a merchandise store that Hogan owns. In the past, the Patriots used a similar belt to recognize the practice player of the week.

The soon-to-be prized possession was a gift from Mulligan's wife.

"She actually wanted to give me one of his belts for Christmas, because, obviously, I'm a big Hulk Hogan fan," Mulligan said on Thursday. "I mean, anybody that grew up in my era, if you [weren't] watching professional wrestling then you [weren't] watching much."

In a video posted to his Facebook page Thursday morning, Hogan proclaimed his allegiance.

"With the world title belt around your waist or hanging in the locker room with the Patriots, you guys got a piece of Hulk Hogan there, Jack," Hogan said.

"Right in New England, you've got a piece of Hulk Hogan. And what that means, brother, is if you get tired, if [Tom] Brady gets tired, or if anybody's knees wobble, their back cracks or their liver quivers, brother, you can take one of the largest arms in the world, Hulk Hogan's arm, you can strap it to your hips and can score as many touchdowns as you want, brother."

He finishes the video with his trademark line: "What are the Patriots gonna do now that they got Hulk Hogan running with all of you?!"

Mulligan, as a self-proclaimed Hulkamaniac, conceded that meeting the iconic figure would be an honor.

"I believe there's only a few people in life that as a grown man you'd be pretty giddy about meeting, and I think Hulk Hogan is one of them," he said.

The belt hasn't arrived yet (Mulligan suspects the current weather conditions in New England could have something to do with that), but when it does, there's just one question to ask: Will he wear the belt all the time, or is it a situational accessory?

"As soon as we get it we'll have to see," he said after a laugh. "I don't have it just yet, so it should be coming pretty soon, though."