Q&A with Derrick Mayes

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 21, 2011 - 6:43 AM

The former Notre Dame and Packers receiver now speaks to high school athletes in his post-football life.

hide

Derrick Mayes, top, celebrated with Terry Mickens after a Packers touchdown against the Vikings at Lambeau Field.

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Former NFL WR Derrick Mayes was a rookie with the Packers during the 1996 season, which culminated with Green Bay winning the Super Bowl. But Mayes, whose last year in the NFL was 2000, made a smooth transition into post-football life. These days, he speaks to high school athletes as part of the National Collegiate Scouting Association and heads the executive board for ex-Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz's foundation, among other projects. With a lockout looming, he spoke recently with the Star Tribune's Michael Rand about life outside of football and, of course, his time with Brett Favre.

Q I was curious, first off, with how did you arrive at all these projects and endeavors post-career -- because I sense that's something with which a lot of athletes struggle?

A There's a depth of going and transitioning into your "other self" -- it's not another career, it's another self. Coach Holtz always used to say that playing professional sports of any kind is like taking a hiatus from your life. And you had to come back to that life. I understood that at an early age, and that helped prepare me.

Q  Did you sense even when you were playing that you were rare or that other athletes weren't as prepared as you were for the eventual end, whenever it came?

A  I know that I was a percentage of a percentage that got it on the front end. By knowing that it was a hiatus of real life, you understand there is a time limit. No matter what length, there is an end point. ... And when I speak to young student-athletes about college, I tell them -- and this is a direct quote from Coach Holtz -- it's not a four-year decision, it's a 40-year decision. And you have to get it right.

Q  What do you make of the labor situation right now?

A  Everyone saw this coming, and that's the biggest problem I have. ... I remember Gene Upshaw [former director of the NFL Players' Association], God rest his soul, used to talk about the war chest and being prepared. And the reason he talked about it in those terms is he went through it in 1987, and it wasn't fun. It was real. I don't feel like it's the same case right now, this go-round.

Q  What was it like jumping right into the league and winning a Super Bowl?

A  It was great, and it also spoils you a little bit. ... I look at Brett and all the years he played and all the touchdowns -- it was awesome to know I was a part of that.

Q  I have to ask you: Any great or specific Favre memories?

A  (Laughs) Oh, so many. I remember more of the times that kind of went unnoticed, 1-on-1 time. We would sneak out and play golf at one of the country clubs in the afternoon when they had special teams practice during training camp. It was just the two of us out there, me and Brett. He would always say, "Make it dance. Come on, Sugarbear, make it dance." Everybody on the team called me Sugarbear for some reason.

Q  What did "make it dance" mean?

A  It was for approach shots. Brett loved to get the ball to spin. His hands were so strong that he could show you the compression of the ball just by squeezing it.

Q  Speaking of Brett, to take it full circle: Do you think he played so many years because he could or because he wasn't sure what he was going to do after football was over?

A  Both. ... With Brett, he's at square one -- "What do I do?" And time doesn't stop for you. For the sake of the lockout, guys are going to get a glimpse of it. And maybe that will be for the best for some of them.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: C. Frias 2 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 16
San Francisco - WP: S. Romo 4 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 2
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 9
Toronto - LP: J. Happ 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 6
Washington - LP: R. Detwiler 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 3
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 4 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 3
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 2
Cincinnati - LP: D. Corcino 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks 3
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Sale 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 0
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 8
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 0 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 2
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: C. Wilson 5
Texas - WP: R. Ross Jr. 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Doolittle 1
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 5 FINAL
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 2
Tampa Bay 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you support Wednesday's decision to sideline Adrian Peterson again?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close