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Donald Driver wins 'Dancing with the Stars'

5/22/2012

Packers Nation did its job.

With millions of fans' votes cast, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver won Season 14 of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" on Tuesday night.

Driver became the seventh athlete to win the Mirrorball Trophy and he owes a big thanks to the Packers fans.

"Thanks for all the love and support through this journey," Driver wrote in a post on Twitter. "I've had a[n] amazing time. Love you all."

Like "Steelers Nation" helping propel Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward to the title last spring, Driver knew he already had a built-in fan base.

"I went into it just to have fun," said Driver, who has played for the Packers for 12 years, winning a Super Bowl and being named to four Pro Bowls. "Of course, I went into it to win it. But I wanted to have respect for the other dancers and just have a good time."

Driver, paired with professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd, was near the top of the leaderboard -- the fans' vote combined with scores of the three judges -- all 10 weeks of the season and held off opera singer Katherine Jenkins and Latin star William Levy.

He had support from Packers coach Mike McCarthy, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews, and his partner Murgatroyd has been pushing him to excel all season.

"He's the best celebrity dance partner anyone could ask for," said Murgatroyd, who had never won the title before Tuesday. "I was lucky."

He now joins Ward, NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, Olympic champions Apolo Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson, and IndyCar driver Hélio Castroneves as athletes who have won the title.

Driver, Jenkins and Levy and their partners are jumping on a plane now to fly from Los Angeles to New York to appear on Wednesday morning's "Good Morning America."