Detmer's road threads are sure to keep 'em in stitches

  • Article by: KEVIN SEIFERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 9, 2007 - 6:43 AM

The Vikings' new quarterback has quite the thrifty travel routine. And that's just one way he'll keep his teammates laughing.

Sometime in the next day or so, Koy Detmer will stroll into a local Target and continue a 10-year tradition of, well, eccentricity. The Vikings' newly signed quarterback will pick out a pair of slacks, a collared shirt and a package of underwear and consider himself packed for this weekend's road trip to Green Bay.

Yes, Detmer travels lightly. Since 1998, his first season on the Philadelphia Eagles' active roster, Detmer has purchased one outfit at Target -- "sometimes Wal-Mart if I can't find the Target," he said -- and worn it for every road game of the season. It is the extent of his wardrobe for the trip in, the trip out and everything in between.

"I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing he turns his underwear inside out on the way home," said Vikings guard Artis Hicks, his teammate for four seasons in Philadelphia. "But as you'll find out, that's what makes him Koy."

That's right -- when Detmer shows up Saturday to catch the team bus, he won't have a travel bag. He will have his playbook and perhaps his cell phone. He will have a toothbrush shoved in his pocket. And that's it.

It's one of several, uh, nontraditional habits that fueled Detmer's reputation as an off-kilter but endearing personality in Philadelphia.

"I can't really say why I do it," Detmer said. "It just started out that I did it and it just didn't change. I don't have to worry about leaving stuff or wonder where everything is at. That's always a pain, walking off feeling like you left something."

(For the record, Detmer denied sleeping in his road outfit. "Usually the team has a pair of shorts or something I can use," he said.)

Detmer hasn't played quarterback since the 2005 season but he could be the Vikings' No. 2 quarterback Sunday behind Brooks Bollinger. Detmer has a career passer rating of 61.2, but his performance behind center has mostly taken a secondary role behind his legendary character quirks.

Hicks, in fact, couldn't stop laughing Thursday as he told Detmer stories. One was Detmer's annual sabotage of the Eagles' team picture, which a few years ago featured an inspired decision to leave his pants unlaced.

"You can imagine what that looked like," Hicks said. "But every year, we'd always have something to laugh at when we'd get the pictures back."

In 2002, Detmer started for an injured Donovan McNabb in a game at San Francisco. After throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Todd Pinkston, Detmer stunned his teammates by breaking into a modified bull-riding celebration in the end zone.

"He was just whipping his belt around," Hicks said. "He's just going nuts, just back and forth like he's crazy."

Hicks was disappointed, however, when he saw Detmer for the first time Wednesday in the Vikings locker room. Detmer appeared to have shaved at some point during the week, and his hair was at crew-cut length -- a far cry from what Hicks termed his "Grizzly Adams" look.

"Usually his beard is untrimmed, uncut and just gross," Hicks said. "I could clearly tell that he stopped by the store and got some clippers to shave himself down real quick. I understand. He was coming to a new organization. But I think a lot of stuff he does is just to get a laugh from the guys and be a good teammate."

You can have your own laugh at a slightly bizarre video now appearing on YouTube, one that features Detmer and his older brother, Ty, engaging in a competition this fall on a little league soccer field in their hometown of Austin, Texas. (Just search for "Koy Detmer." It's the second video, of two, that comes up.)

At the initiation of CSTV, the Detmers tested their accuracy by throwing at a "receiver" whose hands were tied. Koy hit the receiver in the head a few times. Whoops.

"Luckily, the guy was all dressed up in pillows," Detmer said. "But it was fun, and funny. So we had a good time."

That doesn't sound too difficult if you're around Koy Detmer.

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