The official retirement announcement Wednesday by Green Bay Packer Wide Receiver Donald Driver brings to an end a brilliant career highlighted by gravity defying catches, the establishment of new Packer receiving records and his eventual enshrinement into the Packer Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field, the same venue where Driver played for 14 seasons and where he told his fans and teammates goodbye.
Driver’s career is the perfect example of the proverbial underdog scenario of beating the odds and rising to the top to become one of the elite receivers in the National Football League.
Not only did Driver beat the odds on the football field, parlaying his lowly draft status (drafted in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL draft) and doubts about his abilities coming out of Alcorn State University (too small and too slow), into the stuff of legend, he beat the odds of life.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Driver knows what it means to be poor and homeless surrounded by an atmosphere of drugs, crime and death, an insidious cocktail that has led too many Black man and woman down the dark road of despair and hopelessness.
But “Quickie” (his childhood nickname) prevailed and overcame.
Driver has and continues to use his childhood experiences to motivate himself and others in the community to overcome adversity.
His story became the centerpiece of Goodwill’s marketing campaign in which Driver’s tenacity and hard work to be the best in his field has become synonymous with the drive that pushes those who utilize the services of the Goodwill to improve their lives.
It’s good to know Driver will remain active in the community of Green Bay and Milwaukee. His involvement in charitable causes is as well known as his exploits on the gridiron. Though he has hung up his cleats, Driver is not hanging up his concern, emphathy and determination to help better the lifes of others.
He is the perfect “Exhibit A” to other professional athletes—regardless of the sport–that there is life after football. May “Double-D” continue to find success in the private sector helping others successfully score in the game of life.
Thanks for the memories Donald!