Most of us, NFL fervent fans and casual followers alike, figure we know plenty about Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
It’s well known how he rose from the prep fields of Bakersfield to star at Fresno State before quickly taking over as the Raiders’ No. 1 QB and starting 47 games in his first three pro seasons. A year ago, of course, he earned his second Pro Bowl selection while completing 357 of 560 passes (63.8 percent) for 3,937 yards with 28 touchdowns and six interceptions for a passer rating of 96.7.
Count yourself even better at Carr Trivial Pursuit if you know he had seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in 2016 (bonus points if you can drop the fact he has 12 overall since 2014).
He was rewarded with a five-year extension worth … right, $125 million that he signed on June 23.
So let’s try these Carr facts and see if any surprise:
No. 1, Carr dials long distance – His first love when it came to sports? That gives it away that it wasn’t football. Baseball? Nope.
Golf? Good guess because he certainly missed that while on the mend from last year’s season-ending broken leg.
It was, in fact, basketball. Carr’s dad, Rodger, said he could really shoot, even make the occasional 3-pointer from the college line. At an early age, Dad sent Derek off with a friend to a basketball camp at the University of Texas. He returned with a different outlook.
“He came back and I asked him how did camp go?” Rodger Carr recalled. “And he said, ‘I’m going to stick to football.’ I said why? He said ‘Dad, there were eighth-graders sticking their arms down the rim.’ I said ‘Hey, you can still shoot the 3 and make a living.’ But he was like ‘nah.’ ”
But never count out Carr the competitor. For old-times sake, the now 6-foot-3 Carr drilled an NBA 3-pointer at a Golden State Warriors game in December 2016.
Carr did play baseball as well, though that rated farther down his list of favorites.
No. 2, Up in the sky, it’s … – Growing up, Carr was a movie fan and enjoyed plenty of them.
But his all-time favorite? Not the Man of Steel.
It was the Caped Crusader. It didn’t matter whether it was a cartoon version or the big screen. Either way, not a bad choice by Carr, who as noted above has come to the Raiders’ rescue plenty of times.
Want to feel old?
The campy movie spun off the TV series? That came out in 1966, 25 years before Carr was born. Michael Keaton and Tim Burton’s first go-round? That was 1989, still two years ahead of baby Derek’s arrival.
He was 6, at least, by the time George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman and Alicia Silverstone took on their roles for “Batman & Robin” in 1997.
No. 3, Enjoy your java, quietly – Next time you’re in your friendly Fresno neighborhood Starbucks, McDonald’s, Dutch Bros. Coffee house or any restaurant, you may want to look around for Carr before you jump into that cup of joe.
Even perennial Nice Guy Derek has a pet peeve: “People who slurp their coffee in the morning.”
Don’t try to figure out why this sets him off. Just heed the warning, folks, if you see Carr or just about anybody else nearby.
Nobody wants to hear you slurp.
No. 4, Healthy habits – How about a favorite food? Carr makes no secret of the fact that he usually isn’t into the junk.
Remember when he was fielding questions at his news conference after signing his big contract and a reporter asked what was one of the first things Carr was going to do with all that money?
He admitted it could be some training-breaking Chick-fil-A.
But spying his trainer, he quickly got back on point.
His actual healthy favorite? Some lean chicken? A nice salad?
Actually, he told The Bee, it’s protein shakes.
No. 5, What’s in a name? – Ever wondered how he drew the name Derek Dallas? And why all the other D names for his brothers?
“My parents named David and Darren with all D names, David Duke and Darren Douglas. When my mom was expecting me she wanted to do the same thing so I wouldn’t feel left out. They liked the name Derek and a friend of theirs had a son named Derek and my mom loved the simple spelling. For my middle name, my dad had a coach he loved and his name was Dallas. Plus, my mom was from Texas and she was born right outside of Dallas in Waxahachie, Texas. So Derek Dallas it was.”
And to think what might have been had Mom and Dad pulled the trigger differently on the order of his first and middle names. Nobody would have blamed the Cowboys if they had gone for a different Mountain West star with the 34th overall pick of the 2014 Draft, two spots before the Raiders wound up taking Carr.
“After I was born, my mom struggled in the delivery room for about a day trying to decide if they wanted to use Dallas or Derek for my first name. Apparently they happily decided on using Derek. Then all the boys had DDC for their initials. She just labeled all our clothes DDC1, DDC2 and DDC3.”
Word association with Derek Carr
We reached out to the Oakland Raiders quarterback to play a little word association. Here were his responses.
- (Wife) Heather: loyal, caring
- (Sons) Dallas, Deker: Adorable, a gift
- Football: Hard, my job, fun
- Red Wave: Intense, loud
- Fresno State: Home
- Raiders: New home, family
- Raider Nation: Loyal, rowdy, faithful
- Fresno: Hot
- Bakersfield: Hotter
- Sundays: The Lord’s day
- Jack Del Rio: Leader
- Todd Downing: Friend, family
- Khalil Mack: One of my best friends
- Amari Cooper: Quiet, super fast
- Michael Crabtree: Hands, Texas
- Marshawn Lynch: Funny, Beast Mode
- Marquette King: Funny, locker buddy
- Training camp: Fun, exciting, anticipation
- Sept. 10: What’s that? Ha-ha (that’s the date the Raiders open the 2017 season at Tennessee)