Everything we wrote last week about Green Bay Packers fans' adulation for receiver Donald Driver played out Wednesday in the Lambeau Field atrium. A capacity crowd of thousands, many of whom had waited in minus-3 degree temperatures for tickets, greeted Driver and his family as he formally announced his retirement.
I watched most of the hour-long ceremony via the Packers' website. It included some genuinely funny remarks from stoic general manager Ted Thompson, who noted that public speaking is "one of my favorite things." Coach Mike McCarthy got choked up speaking about Driver's family, and both the governor of Wisconsin and the mayor of Green Bay showered Driver with honors.
Gov. Scott Walker, wearing a Packers jersey with Driver's No. 80, declared Wednesday "Donald Driver Day" in Wisconsin. Mayor Jim Schmitt, meanwhile, said that a statue outside the venerable Titletown Brewery will be identified as Driver and a nearby street will be re-named "Donald Driver Way."
Driver, meanwhile, said that "football was just a starting point" for him and appears set to start a career in television. He will co-host an episode of the Katie Couric daytime talk show, has a book due out in September and will participate in an "Extreme Makeover" series as well.
I guess you can say what you want about the excess of this event, but we should all be so lucky to receive such a sendoff.