Detillier: Hokie was genuine Louisiana through and through
Mike Detillier Reporting
Hokie was Louisiana-tough and yet was such a kind man. That's just not my opinion, but from fellow colleagues, friends, players he played with and against and coaches that coached him. Some people in the media business are totally different off the air than on air. With Hokie what you heard or saw on air was the guy you met when filling your truck or at a grocery store. He showed his emotions on the air, good or bad, and he was totally real.
I just marvel at the fact that he played at Baker High School, then LSU, got drafted and played for the New Orleans Saints, then was a scout for the Saints and then became the color analyst for the Saints on WWL-870. How rare is that to really not leave your home-base for your playing career and then in broadcasting?
Hokie was just genuine. Louisiana tough and Louisiana through and through. And people respected his honesty and his ability to relate to anyone. Working with him at WWL-870 and doing a weekly television show on HTV-10 in Houma during the football season I can not think of one person who could say something bad about him. They might disagree with him, but you understood where he came from and he was such a great family man. And he was someone to not talk in a negative tone about anyone. I totally appreciated his friendship throughout the years and it was just not about football, but life in general.
I remember when my daughter Kim got pregnant and he found out we spoke for a while in the parking lot before a Saints game and he told me that I know you loved those two daughters you have, but that little granddaughter will just steal your heart and you will never be the same afterwards and he was 100% correct. Here was this tough football player, fisherman, hunter and outdoorsman talking to me about being a granddad. I will never forget that. The other moment was when Garrett Hartley kicked the game-winning field goal in the Superdome to get the Saints in the Super Bowl and he saw me and just gave me a big bearhug. Hokie, Bobby and I are all around the same age and we all grew up watching some really bad football and then seeing this team make it to the biggest game in pro football.
One of the funniest stories was the draft of 2002. Buddy Diliberto and I met with then-Saints general manager Randy Mueller on the Thursday before the then-Saturday draft day and it was the first time I heard Buddy call Donte Stallworth "Donte Stallpepper."
He said it twice during the lunch with Randy. I knew once it was in his head he would repeat it. I told Hokie, if the Saints pick Stallworth, watch if he doesn't call him "Stallpepper." Sure enough the Saints pick Stallworth and Buddy screams out "the Saints have picked wide receiver Donte Stallpepper." Hokie lost it. He had to pull the headset off and gather himself and then he asked Buddy, "Who did the Saints pick?" and Buddy says "Donte Stallpecker." That was it for almost five minutes Hokie continuously laughed.