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Getting to Know Michael Hoomanawanui

Posted Feb 5, 2014

Get to know Patriots TE Michael Hoomanawanui in this exclusive Patriots Football Weekly feature.

Michael Hoomanawanui (or “Hooman,” as he’s affectionately known) entered the NFL in 2010 as a fifth-round draft choice of the St. Louis Rams. When he was released by the Rams on September 2, 2012, the Patriots scooped him up. He'll be a free agent this offseason.

Q: What’s your earliest football memory? 
MH: Being a water boy for my dad – he was an assistant coach with the local high school – and a ball boy. I was kind of born into it, I guess.

Q: When did you put pads on for the first time?
MH: Probably fifth grade. Fourth or fifth grade. I played everything: running back, line, linebacker… actually never played tight end until high school because I was always bigger as a kid.

Q: What was your first job?
MH: Cleaning a hair salon. Family friends of ours owned one, so, every Sunday we would clean it. My second job was delivering paint to construction sites.

Q: What was your first car?
MH: First car I drove… My dad had a black Ford Ranger truck that was pretty nice. I didn’t get to drive it all the time. It was lifted a little bit, extended cab and then a Monte Carlo, 1998, maybe. Then my mother’s car was my grandparents’ car. It was a 1998 Oldsmobile 88. It was really comfortable; had a bench seat in the front. But that went to hell… trying to fit eight guys in there, the shocks were shot. It was a low-rider, but it was comfortable.

Q: Who was your first crush?
MH: Oh, man! I don’t know, I might get in trouble if my girlfriend sees this. I’ll just say my one and only crush is my current girlfriend.

Q: Oh, come on…
MH: All right… Cindy Crawford, I guess. No, how about this one – my girlfriend is going to hit me if she sees this: Jennifer Aniston.

Q: Do you remember your first date?
MH: I don’t. There wasn’t much to do in our town [Bloomington, Ill.]. Probably movies or dinner or a homecoming dance.

Q: A lot of players are afraid to fly…
MH: Love to fly. Love it. If I wasn’t a football player, I’d either be a fireman or a pilot. A fighter pilot. I love jets. I’m big, so, I don’t know if I’d fit in jets.

Q: Chad Hennings did. The former Cowboys defensive lineman. He was in the Air Force.
MH: Oh, yeah… Well, I love flying. And I lived down the street from a fire department. Every year, my dad would take me to air shows.

Q: Ever thought about getting a pilot’s license?
MH: Maybe down the road.

Q: So, you like to fly. You must like to travel.
MH: Yeah. You know, people always say they love going to Mexico or here or there… I’m very fortunate that I have family in Hawaii. My girlfriend’s family is in Hawaii. That’s really the only place I need to go. I’m living in Arizona [in the offseason]. As long as I can get back to my immediate family in Illinois, I’m good. I’m not a big overseas guy. I’m more of a homebody. As long as I can get to my three places of residence, that’s good enough for me.

Q: Are you a pet person?
MH: I am. I have a… what we thought was a pit bull. We got him off Craig’s List for free in St. Louis. We really lucked out. He’s a great dog. But we wanted to fly him to Hawaii in the next offseason, so, in doing that, a lot of medical tests have to be done, and for future reference, when he’s gone, we want a dog just like him. So, anyway, he looks like a pit bull but is tall and lean, with a pit bull face. He’s a Staffordshire Terrier slash Lab. Going on three years old, and I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

Q: Okay, if I could give you any skill or talent you don’t have, what would you want?
MH: To fly… or teleport? Yeah, I guess that’s like flying, only faster.

Q: Aside from your playbook, what’s the last book you read?
MH: The Simeon Rice book. I know that sounds weird. He’s a fellow Illinois guy [and former NFL football player], and the struggles he went through. I’m not a big reader. More of a movie guy. I feel like it gets to the point quicker.

Q: If we made your life story into a movie, who would play you?
MH: The Rock [Dwayne Johnson]. Bet you haven’t gotten that one before.

Q: Now, if you could play a character in a movie, who would it be?
MH: That’s a good question… I love funny movies, but I definitely would want to be in an action movie. I’m sure I can come up with something better, but, how about Terminator? That’d be cool.

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