On Now
Coming Up
  • Wed., Sep. 02, 2015 9:15 AM - 9:45 AM CDT Live Thompson Press Conf.

    9:15 a.m.                     GM Ted Thompson available in Media Auditorium

  • Wed., Sep. 02, 2015 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM CDT Gilbert Brown Appearance

    Gilbert Brown

    Wednesday, September 2, 2015 4:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.

    Sargento-Meijer's appearance

    Oak Creek, WI
  • Thu., Sep. 03, 2015 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM CDT Gerry Ellis and Tony Fisher appearance

    Gerry Ellis and Tony Fisher appearance

    Thursday, September 3, 2015 3:30 - 5pm

    Green Bay Packers Bishop’s Charities Game

    Meet and Greet Autograph Table

    Oneida Nation Gate, Lambeau Field

  • Thu., Sep. 03, 2015 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM CDT Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (Bishop's Charities Game) Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (Bishop's Charities Game)
  • Wed., Sep. 09, 2015 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CDT Bill Schroeder appearance at NWTC

    Bill Schroeder appearance at NWTC

    Wednesday, September 9, 2015

    11:30 am- 12:30 pm

    NWTC Green Bay Campus- Welcome Center SC240

  • Sun., Sep. 13, 2015 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Packers at Chicago Bears Packers at Chicago Bears

News

Print
RSS

Donald Driver thanks fans for street and statue

Posted Jun 15, 2013

Packers’ all-time leading receiver tells downtown Green Bay crowd, ‘It’s not my street sign, it’s your street sign.’


GREEN BAY—Catching passes for 14 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Donald Driver never stopped thanking the fans.

Getting a street named after him and having a statue unveiled in his honor, Driver didn’t stop on Saturday, either.

“It’s not my street sign, it’s your street sign,” Driver said to the several hundred folks who crowded into the Titletown Brewing Co. parking lot in downtown Green Bay to see their hero once again. They didn’t seem the least bit bothered by the fact that he arrived nearly 45 minutes late.

“To have a statue that has my name on the back of it, it has nothing to do with me, it has everything to do with you. Because you all have put me on a pedestal that I would have never thought to be standing on.”

Donald Driver Way

Pearl Street at the intersection with Dousman Street became Donald Driver Way on Saturday - SEE PHOTOS

Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt presided over the festivities, with Pearl Street at the intersection with Dousman Street becoming Donald Driver Way. The famous receiver statue, which is now in front of Titletown Brewing but was originally dedicated 28 years and one week ago in front of the old Packers Hall of Fame across the street from Lambeau Field, was also refurbished and unveiled in Driver’s likeness, with a No. 80 jersey and Driver’s usual black-and-white receiver gloves securing the ball.

Naming a street after Driver was a thought of Schmitt’s nearly a decade ago, when he began to appear with Driver at what became hundreds of community functions. Upon Driver’s retirement this past winter, Schmitt said he brought it up with Driver again, who said it was “not necessary,” but the mayor continued to pursue the idea.

Schmitt said he considered a street in the stadium district but chose the downtown locale, and not just due to the statue’s presence.

“Donald, you’re more than football to this community,” Schmitt said of the player who caught more passes for more yards than any receiver in team history. “You deserve your own area, with something very special, and here we are.”

It’s fitting that at the end of Donald Driver Way is the New Community Shelter, a local non-profit organization that Driver and his foundation supported during his career.

Terri Refsguard, executive director of the shelter, shared a story about a donation Driver had made at one time. A replica check was blown up and hung on the wall in the shelter’s dining room as the residents dealing with homelessness and hunger ate their evening meal.

“That night they felt extra special, and it’s all because Green Bay Packer number 80 cared about them,” Refsguard said. “He’s a man whose heart is as sincere and warm as his great smile.”

That smile nearly turned to tears as Driver took the podium after the street sign and statue were unveiled, and he could only begin by saying, “Wow. This is truly an honor.”

Composing himself, as he did at his retirement ceremony in February, Driver gave special thanks to former Packers GM Ron Wolf, who drafted him in the seventh round in 1999. This time, Wolf was in attendance and was able to stand and wave to the crowd, at which point Driver announced that when he’s inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame – a certainty as soon as he’s eligible – Wolf would introduce him at the induction ceremony.

“In 1999, I remember Ron pulling me up to his office and he said, ‘Hey, kid, I have everything riding on you,’” Driver said. “And I told Ron, ‘If you give me an opportunity, I will never let you down.’”

The only disappointment for the fans was that Driver couldn’t stay longer, as he was off to another dedication at the local children’s museum. His annual charity softball game was coming up Sunday as well.

Either the community can’t get enough of Driver, or Driver can’t get enough of the community. Probably both.

“I have to get down before I start crying again,” he said. “Thank you all, and I love you all truly.”

Packers.com Driver tribute page


 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Dream Drive surprise

    (1:19) Posted 2 hours ago

    Packers linebacker Clay Matthews made Dream Drive even more special on Tuesday. Matthews donated 10 new bikes to some of his biggest fans.

  • Ty Montgomery talks injury, camp recap

    (1:47) Posted 2 hours ago

    Hear from Green Bay Packers WR Ty Montgomgery as he talks about the injury he sustained during the Packers-Eagles game as well as a recap of what he learned in camp.

  • The Rock Report: Abbrederis Back, Cobb Encouraged

    (3:12) Posted 2 hours ago

    Packers Analyst Larry McCarren provides us with updates on Randall Cobb and Jared Abbrederis, and we go all in on Damarious Randall's big hit Saturday night.