We will never forget the incomparable Donald Driver and now that his image and his name will be formally imprinted on the Green Bay, Wisconsin, landscape tomorrow, Saturday, June 15, it will be impossible to forget him.
The statue formerly known simply as “The Receiver,” was transformed this past month into the likeness of Driver, the Packers’ all-time leading receiver. Pearl Street, which extends north of Dousman, will now be known into the foreseeable future as Donald Driver Way.
The unofficial announcement that the street would be renamed was made during the Packers party to honor Driver’s retirement held back in February in the Atrium at Lambeau Field. However, it took an official act by the Green Bay City Council in March to make it a certainty.
All that needs to be done now is for the party to begin. That will take place tomorrow at 2 p.m. when Driver will be in town for the honors.
Chris Handler, the man known as the “fence-painter” for his efforts in painting motivational messages on the picket fence across Lombardi Avenue from Lambeau Stadium, completed the renovation of “The Receiver” into Driver’s image.
Driver, who played 14 seasons with the Packers, retired after a season when he saw little time on the field. However, as he has done throughout his career, he remained classy, not complaining. In fact, in an effort to get onto the field during the playoffs at the end of last season, Driver selflessly went to Head Coach Mike McCarthy and offered his services on special teams. Driver dressed for that final playoff game in San Francisco, but had no impact in that particular game. In fact, he had little impact the entire season. He caught eight passes for 77 yards and started only a single game, the first game of the year at home against the 49ers.
But that didn’t stop Packers fans from expressing their continued love for the man who for 14 years provided many of the team’s highlights. When it was all said and done, Driver had accounted for 743 receptions and 10,137 yards.
Fans’ appreciation was evident when they filled the Atrium at Lambeau Field for the Packers party held for him. It’s the only time in the Packers 90-plus years in existence that the team has sponsored any kind of fête for a retiring player.
Tomorrow’s festivities are icing on the cake for Driver … and will allow his image and name to be forever stamped on the landscape of Green Bay and into the minds and hearts of Green Bay Packers fans.