If anyone thought Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre is simply workshopping folksy Terry Bradshaw-style aw-shucks shtick when telling a story about the time Favre asked teammate Ty Detmer what “nickel” defense means, think again.
Detmer has confirmed that the question happened, and that Favre wasn’t playing dumb.
He didn’t know,” Detmer told Tully Corcoran of TheBigLead.com. “He was sincere in asking.”
The question came in 1993, Detmer’s second year in the league and Favre’s second with the Packers. And Detmer is convinced Favre wasn’t yanking Detmer’s tie.
“[I]t was during a serious part of the meeting,” Detmer said. “This wasn’t jacking around in the locker room, and throwing it out there. I did kinda question it, you know, ‘Are you serious?’ You could tell he was, I just figured I’d better double-check it.”
Detmer’s broader experiences with Favre confirmed for Detmer that the quarterback wasn’t keen on details and nuance.
“It was the first time I’d been around anybody that just kind of winged it,” Detmer said. “You could tell the first year he got to play, first year in Green Bay, Don Majkowski was the starter and [Favre] goes in, and he wasn’t great at remembering the formations. Back then we didn’t have the coach-and-quarterback helmet. We had to memorize all the formations, and we would signal in the play. You had to know the formation for that play that week, and they changed it every week. You knew he didn’t really have a great grasp on the formations and didn’t really study them as hard as they needed to be studied to be able to call them every week. He was a genuine guy that loved playing the game, but didn’t really put a ton of time into it.”
Which reiterates a question previously raised when sharing Favre’s latest telling of a now-old (but still good) story: Would Favre thrive in today’s NFL, where the franchise quarterbacks make preparation a full-year obsession?
If only there had been a recent example of a guy who loved partying more than preparing, and who preferred to just wing it.