The street was previously named Pearl, so it was aptly changed today to the name of the player who for 14 years flashed his pearly white smile and shared so much with fans of the Green Bay Packers – Donald Driver.
Both the fans and Driver were thanking one another again today as Pearl Street was renamed Donald Driver Way and the statue previously known as “The Receiver” – refurbished in Driver’s likeness – was also on full display.
Driver, who was 45 minutes late to the festivities, arrived to wild cheers – clearly, those who attended didn’t care. This was a day of love and appreciation. For 14 years, Driver was on time on many a pass routes, so today’s tardiness made no difference whatsoever.
The Green Bay Press Gazette quoted Driver: “It’s not my street sign, it’s your street sign. 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.”
Driver talked about the people who were important to him and his career, including former General Manager Ron Wolf who selected Driver in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. Driver acknowledged him on this day once more and even asked that Wolf introduce him if and when he is selected to the Packers Hall of Fame.
Jim Schmitt, the mayor of Green Bay, the man who pushed for the street name-change, was the emcee of the event. Here’s what he had to say: “Donald, you’re more than football to this community. You deserve your own area, with something very special, and here we are.”
So, Driver’s accomplishments are honored once again. The community loves him and he loves the community. That will never change.
And now the city and all the team’s fans across the globe can point to this street as a permanent testament to the past 14 years.
“I have to get down before I start crying again,” Driver said. “Thank you all, and I love you all truly.”