‘I never dreamed home would end up somewhere I don’t belong….’

- Rascal Flatts- I’m Moving On

In the offseason, there was a lot of discussion about whether or not the Packers would…or should…re-sign Donald Driver. As noted previously, Quickie has risen to ‘beloved’ status amongst Packer nation, with all the great things that implies, and all the traps too. Sports fans….well fans of any sort, really, have a tendency to place their favorite players on a pedestal (much to the detriment of those of us who loved Brett Favre) and that has happened over the years with Driver, seemingly deservedly. Donald has epitomized class through not only the Favre debacle and the ascension of Aaron Rodgers, but also during his contract negotiations.

While, sadly, I realize that none of the players are truly who their public persona makes them out to be (with the possible exception of Jay Cutler…nah, not even he can really be that big of a douchewaffle), I do still like Quickie. I like the fact that he handles himself well, he does wonderful things with his charitable foundation and by all accounts is a good husband and father.

I admit, even though I knew that DD’s role wouldn’t be what it once was even though he ended up coming back, I have been surprised by his lack of playing time. There are reasons for this, obviously. Everyone has been healthy. Well, until recently. Randall Cobb has been starting to amaze, and James Jones is finally being the James Jones that James Jones expected. That said, DD has seemed to handle his reduced role well, although one can only assume he is not happy with it.

So I was surpised to hear some discussion on Green and Gold Today that Driver might be one of the sources for Shannon Sharpe’s hachet job on Aaron Rodgers. Given DD’s public support of Rodgers and their long relationship, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Driver to bash his quarterback. After all, he has to be smart enough to know that Jermichael Finley’s approach to getting more balls thrown his way resulted in far fewer balls being anywhere near him.

I’ve been told lately that DD isn’t the person he seems to be, that QB1 isn’t necessarily a fan of his as well as DD has an overblown opinion of his popularity. Slightly alternatively, I have also heard that Driver is a good guy, but he’s in it for the money and not as helpful to younger teammates as he would have us believe. Yeah, he approached Andrew Brandt once during a playoff game to talk about a contract. He’s a pro football player. It’s a business. He has an ego. This is my shocked face.

Those could all be true…I also know that QB1 isn’t always who he seems to be either. Are any of us? No one’s perfect, everyone’s human. Unfortunately. Even Bart Starr probably wasn’t ‘Bart Starr’ all the time.

No matter what, though, Donald Driver has devoted his career to the Green Bay Packers. He has made good choices in his career and his life, at least publicly, and as someone who has been a good employee, he’s probably hoped, as many do, to retire from the place that hired him. He just tied with Paul Hornung at number five on the Packer’s list for most touchdown receptions. He’s a permanent part of Packer history.

And yet, all signs point that it’s time for Driver to move on, and I suspect that he won’t want to retire this year. He’ll be missed, and I think he’ll miss Green Bay. It hurts to know that home doesn’t feel like home any more and I am sure that DD is no different than any of us when it comes to that.

 

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  • http://Packerken.blogspot.com Packerken

    I’ve only met him a few times, but it hasn’t been in typical environments where you’d expect fan interaction. Our kids played in the same little league. He was never anything but gracious. He sought my son out and talked to him when he saw that he knew who DD was but was too shy to talk. He waved at us when he came to the fields and we were there (as in he waved first). He may not be an angel, but he’s always treated my family well.

    • Colleen

      Wally has had similar experiences in his kid’s flag football league. I think DD’s a pretty genuine guy who probably has a tremendous ego.

  • dougbauerns

    Great post as usual Colleen. One bit of feedback though…Yes, Jay Cutler IS that big of a douchewaffle.

    • Colleen

      Haha! He probably is, my friend.