MINNESOTA MULLET TRIMMER
The recently married Vikings defensive end dished about tasteful swimwear, the things he does for love and the eternal indecisiveness of Brett Favre.
Dan Patrick:Where'd you go on your honeymoon?
Jared Allen: Amalfi Coast, over in Italy.
DP:Did you wear a Speedo?
JA: I dominated a Speedo over there. I figure, when in Rome, right? It kind of applies. When in Europe, when in Rome.
DP:It's O.K. to wear a Speedo in Europe for some reason, but it's not O.K. when Europeans come to the United States and wear a Speedo.
JA: It's really funny. Me and my wife were laughing about it. Everybody over there was so friendly. We met some people that we'll stay great friends with forever now. They took us in and cooked us dinner. It was phenomenal. But I was laughing because if someone came over to the United States that didn't really speak our language, we're never going to invite them over to our house for dinner.
DP: What was your wedding song?
JA: It's a country-western song by the Zac Brown Band, called, Whatever It Is.
DP:Did you cry at your wedding?
JA: I did my best. I did not cry. I almost welled up. I got really close. My old man almost made me break down, but I held it together.
DP:What was more emotional? The song or being told that you had to cut your mullet for the wedding?
JA: [Laughing.] The wedding for sure, the song. Hair can always grow back.
DP:Was cutting your hair an ultimatum for marrying your wife?
JA: No, it was never an ultimatum. You do it out of respect and kindness. My mother and [my wife] wanted a day with beautiful pictures. I don't see it, because I don't think I'm very good-looking. [It] kind of felt good for someone to tell me I was handsome for once.
DP:Did you invite Brett Favre?
JA: I did. He respectfully declined. And that's what matters. Declining is not O.K., but respectfully declining is O.K.
DP:But if he does decline, do you still have to keep him as part of the head count since he always changes his mind?
JA: [Laughing.] No, no. I saved one steak for him.
DP:He's coming back, right?
JA: I don't know. You guys probably know more than me. Honestly, I'm probably one of the few players that detaches himself from football when I go into the off-season. Heck, I found out he had ankle surgery on ESPN. My theory is, hopefully he would've told us already if the answer was no. I'll be honest, I don't care when he comes back. Just show up for that opener in New Orleans, and we'll beat the tar out of those guys.
DP:Do you need him to go deep into the playoffs?
JA: We have such a great team. There's not one guy that makes or breaks our season. Brett's obviously a phenomenal player. He did [great] things for us last year. He won us a few games. We'd love to have him back. But eventually he's going to retire, and a lot of us are still going to be playing. So we're going to have to win games without him, whether it's this year, next year, the year after. Who knows? I guess this has just been my motto forever, and Coach [Brad Childress] does a good job of instilling this. You work with who's there. We have to go out and play games, and we have to win.
• Home Fires
Saints coach Sean Payton recently took his team to see areas affected by the BP oil spill. I asked him, as coach of the NFL champs, how close he felt to the region: "It started in 2006 for us following Hurricane Katrina, specifically [at] that Monday night [game] when the Dome reopened.... It kind of snowballed. It's a community that's very small—[it's] where the players live, where coaches and people in our organization live. We are literally right amongst the people of the city of New Orleans."
• Rule Monger
Mike Pereira, the NFL's former head of officiating, has joined Fox Sports as a rules analyst. I asked him what he thought of FIFA's silence about the blown call that disallowed a U.S. goal against Slovenia at the World Cup. Pereira first noted that Sepp Blatter, FIFA's head, claimed officiating controversy was good for the sport, then joked, "If our commissioner thought that way, my job would have been a heck of a lot easier."
• Line of the week
Charles Barkley on whether LeBron James's dinner with hip-hop superstar and Nets minority owner Jay-Z might be considered tampering.
"It's [a] fine line. Anytime you get to go out to dinner with Jay-Z, you have to do it. He's such a cool dude."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Tony Stewart talks about chasing his third Cup.
2. Venus Williams dishes on Wimbledon, and her sister's win.
THE FINE PRINT: Former lightning-rod beauty queen Carrie Prejean wed Raiders QB Kyle Boller. The bride wore white, the groom a red noncontact jersey.
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
DAVID BERGMAN (PAYTON)
ANDREW H. WALKER/WIREIMAGE FOR THE GREENBRIER/GETTY IMAGES (BARKLEY)
PETER READ MILLER (ALLEN)