HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Don’t be surprised the next time you catch a Brett Favre commercial, keep an eye peeled for a little Eagle garb of sort or another.
And, no, not of the Golden Eagle variety, but rather the Philadelphia version found roosting in National Football League.
Favre, a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, had made a friendly wager on the outcome of Saturday’s USM-University of Louisiana-Monroe football game with Philadelphia Eagles football coach Doug Pederson.
The two, good friends and former Packers’ teammates, were serving as honorary team captains for their respective alma maters, Favre for USM, Pederson for Louisiana-Monroe.
The Warhawks held off the Golden Eagles, leaving Hattiesburg with a 21-20 victory.
Had the Golden Eagles won, Favre said the wager would have had Pederson wearing a USM hat at his next news conference.
“Now, if (UL-Monroe) wins, and I suppose there’s an outside chance that could happen, I would have wear an Eagles’ hat or an Eagles’ shirt, maybe, in my next Copperfit commercial or something,” Favre said.
Pederson, who guided Philadelphia to victory in Super Bowl LI, was able to spend a weekend in Hattiesburg because his Eagles had opened their season Thursday night with a season-opening victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Not only did Pederson get to visit his friend, but also see his son, Josh, who is a sophomore tight end for the Warhawks.
“It is a special time to be able to reconnect with Brett and his family, and also with my son playing for ULM,” Pederson said. “Having this weekend off, to be able to bring all of this together, it’s special for me and my family.”
Favre and Pederson bonded during their time in Green Bay, with Favre in the process of fashioning his Hall of Fame career and Pederson serving as his backup.
“I learned a lot from Doug, I really did,” Favre said. “I can’t place a value on what he meant to me, and it wasn’t just on the field.
“We hunted together. We golfed together. We studied film together. Our wives are so similar that they got along great, spent a lot of time together. We thought a lot alike, and I leaned on him for various expertises a lot of times.”
One of those times was when Favre decided to take the plunge and work as an assistant on Nevil Barr’s staff at Oak Grove High School.
“In fact, before I started coaching at Oak Grove, or officially started as a coach, I picked his brains about the dos and don’ts,” Favre said. “I was like, ‘Hey, you got anything?’ and he did and it was KISS: Keep it simple, stupid.
“I’m telling you, that could not be more true because one of the hardest things to do is to keep it simple. We’ve talked about this, we’ve joked about it, because you can overcoach, especially when that’s all you do.”
Pederson was asked if he had ever broached the subject of Favre signing on as a coach.
“No, because I know he’s not going to travel much further than Mississippi and I know he would never come to Philadelphia,” Pederson said, smiling.
Last season, Pederson asked Favre to talk to the Eagles a day before his team would play for the franchise’s first NFL championship since 1980.
The week of the (National Football Conference) championship game, we were on the phone talking, and he mentioned that if we made the Super Bowl, he’d like to come speak to the team,” Pederson said. “So, when we made it there, he came the Saturday before the game and talked to the team.”
Favre had a slightly more deadpan take.
“I kind of volunteered myself,” Favre said. “Now, I was kind of joking, but he held me to it.”
These days, Favre said he has re-engaged with football again, alternately suffering and rejoicing while following his friend’s team.
“Right now, I’m getting a kick out of watching him, though it is stressful,” Favre said. “I’m not surprised (at Pederson’s success). The way he relates to players, the simplicity, it’s so overlooked.”