NFL Nation: Jim Schmitt

'Donald Driver Day' in Wisconsin

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
2:37
PM ET
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.

[+] EnlargeDonald Driver
Mary Langenfeld/USA TODAY SportsMayor Jim Schmitt announced Wednesday that a street will be re-named Donald Driver Way in honor of the retiring wide receiver.
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.

Have at It: Favre's return

October, 28, 2009
10/28/09
11:16
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

I’ll admit it: I was originally turned off by Green Bay mayor Jim Schmitt’s decision to insert himself into the hype for Favre-Packers II this week. As you might recall, Schmitt began soliciting suggestions to “tastefully” commemorate Brett Favre's return to Lambeau Field in a Minnesota uniform.

Schmitt took to the ESPN airwaves this week, appearing on ESPN2’s "First Take" to continue promoting the idea. In the video below, Schmitt says the common thread among Green Bay citizens is that “they like Brett Favre but they love the Packers.”

Politicians rarely miss an opportunity for attention, but I suppose I’m fine with a mayor trying to steer the behavior of his citizenry when it’s the subject to national interest in the sports world. Among the ideas he’ll likely pursue, Schmitt said, is changing the name of a local “Minnesota Ave.” to “Rodgers Dr.” in order to honor current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Another has been for schoolchildren to write “12 reasons 4 staying in Green Bay” as a civic venture that plays off the jersey numbers for Rodgers and Favre.

Finally, Schmitt said he’s planning some sort of stunt revolving around waffles, a dig on Favre’s inability to make a decision. That’s pretty funny, but I wonder if it’s an appropriate message coming from a mayor’s office.

So I’ll turn it over to you: What’s the best way for Green Bay citizens, Wisconsinites and Packer fans to treat Favre’s return? Think in terms of the values and ideals you want to reflect and project.

I’ve got some strong thoughts on the matter, but I’ll hold them for our usual Friday morning post, where I’ll also compile a representative sample of your responses. Have at It.

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