I have to justify my travels sometimes. When I heard that now-retired Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver was going to have a street named for him in Green Bay and a statue repainted and dedicated to him at Titletown Brewery, I knew I had to get there for the event. (Some of you readers may know what lengths I go to in order to watch Packers games while traveling all over the world.) So to make this trip business, I set up some Door County kayaking for the Paddling Wisconsin book I am working on, plus a signing of Wisconsin’s Best Beer Guide at Titletown after the Driver event. Check and check!
Photos of Donald Driver Street Dedication
Driver was a bit late (not his fault he was quick to point out. And when he tried to leave for an event at Green Bay’s Children’s Museum you could understand how difficult it is for him to be on time for things. The crowd mobbed him for autographs, handshakes and just to pat him on the back.
What an outpouring of love this city showed last Saturday. There was some sniffling in the crowd and Driver himself became choked up as he thanked everyone for their support and explained his reasons for feeling fortunate and compelled to give back to the community. The girl to the right received a scholarship for college from Driver. The mayor spoke. Seated to the left is Brent Weycker, owner of Titletown (and a college friend and co-worker of mine) who also spoke explaining why they chose to repaint the old statue of a generic wide receiver out front and dedicate it to Donald Driver, Number 80. If you ever doubted how serious Green Bay was about football, you had to see this. If you ever doubted how much a sports figure could make a difference beyond a “silly game” on a Sunday, you had to see this.
The unveiling of the Donald Driver statue at Titletown. This statue was originally over at the Packers Hall of Fame. Titletown gave it an appropriate new home downtown in front of the train station-turned-brewpub.
Some seriously crazy fans were on hand.
With their Cheesehead Hat Camera Tripods.
And really, what better way to celebrate one wedding day?
What was Pearl Street became Donald Driver Way. At the other end of this street is The New Community Shelter, a non-profit organization serving the hungry and the homeless, which received a large donation from Driver.
Green Bay Metro even named a bus stop after Donald Driver.
Packers players (l-r) Jonathan Franklin, Jonathan Amosa, and Angelo Pease were in attendance to honor Driver. And of course Tip never fails to find an opportunity to promote my beer book. 🙂
About Donald Driver: A Texas resident and college player at Alcorn State, Driver was drafted in the seventh round in the 1999 NFL Draft. He retired after the 2012 NFL season. He had a career 743 passes for 10,137 yards; both numbers put him at the top of the lists for Packers records. He is 3rd for touchdown passes with 61. Driver was part of the team that beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV (much to the chagrin of my brother) and has gone to the Pro Bowl three times.