Driver formally announces retirement at Lambeau Field Atrium
GREEN BAY (WITI) — Donald Driver, the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver in receptions and yards and a member of the Super Bowl XLV championship team, formally announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, February 6th.
Driver was honored in multiple ways during the celebration. It started with comments from Packers President Mark Murphy, Packers GM Ted Thompson and Coach Mike McCarthy.
Coach McCarthy in particular talked about Driver by describing him in three ways. McCarthy talked about Driver’s determination, his work ethic and the fact that Driver is just, pure and simple, a special guy.
Gov. Scott Walker and Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt were next to step up to the microphone during the Driver tribute. Gov. Walker declared Wednesday, February 6th as Donald Driver Day throughout the state. Mayor Schmitt announced that a street in downtown Green Bay will be renamed as Donald Driver Way.
It was then time for Donald Driver himself to step up to the microphone. He was clearly emotional about this day. He told Packers fans gathered at the Lambeau Atrium, “I love you all so much. You guys stood out int he cold to get tickets to share this moment with me. You all are crazy. But now you know why Packers fans are so special. They show loyalty, respect.”
Driver thanked his teammates past and present. He said, “It’s been an honor to wear the green and gold with you guys.”
Driver got emotional when talking about his family. He thanked his mothers and his father for their support throughout the years. Driver thanked his children, even though they never watched an entire game from beginning to end. He also thanked his wife, who he called “the backbone of the family.”
Driver lightened the mood during the celebration by mentioning what his first task as a retired player will be. His wife wants him to get rid of the squirrels from the attic of their Dallas home.
Driver then said, “I promised you all, I will never wear another uniform. Today, we make that official.” It’s unclear whether he will be back with the Packers in a coaching role. Driver says that’s off the table for right now. But he won’t rule it out in the future.
The Green Bay Packers prepared the Lambeau Field Atrium for the massive celebration. Chairs were set out for reporters and Driver’s VIP guests. Jumbo TVs and speakers were added for the fans, who stood during the ceremony.