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Yes, Donald Deserved Better

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Yes, Donald Deserved Better

There's an endless amount of parallels you can draw between the Packers' Donald Driver and the Ravens' Ray Lewis. Both have been with their team since the last millennium. Both came from troubled childhoods and persevered to achieve something better for themselves and their families. And, both can carve themselves a niche as one of the best players at their position in NFL history.

And, of course, both can lay claim to special trophies: each has a Super Bowl ring. To his extra credit, Driver has a curious spherical trophy won on a certain reality competition that endeared him to a wide spectrum of fans nationwide...as well as forcing his traditional fan base to get a little "cultured" along the way.

Of course, there are differences. Ray Lewis is a lock as an NFL Hall of Famer, while Driver may end up being one of those names always mentioned but never quite making it amidst what is always a glut of talented players vying at the wide receiver position. There's no denying that Lewis's impact as a middle linebacker is more historically significant than Driver's impact as a wide receiver.

But, we're not talking historical legacies here. No, I'm talking about the love a fan base has for its favorite player, and Donald Driver is as much "Mr. Packer" as Lewis is "Mr. Raven". There's been all the talk of Lewis as the "Original Raven", having been the only holdover on the roster from the infamous move from Cleveland. Yet,  Driver has also been with the Packers dating back to an era that could also be considered a major milestone in franchise history: he is the original post-Holmgren Packer, part of the nucleus that defined the "new phase" of the organization.

While Lewis's career has seen its ups-and-downs with the Ravens, he's been a constant for Baltimore and its fans.  They can all remember him winning that Super Bowl MVP during a season when the Ravens had no business being in the ultimate game. Yet, despite not having an offense, the Ravens won that Super Bowl with little else but their defense.

And that defense was named Ray Lewis.

Perhaps Driver can't claim those heights, but he can certainly claim to have personified "Packer People" at the times it mattered most. In 2003, it was Driver who rallied what had been previously a pedestrian receiving corps to rise to the occasion when Brett Favre lost his father, yet decided to play on Monday Night Football. It was he who said, "Anything you throw, we will catch."

And they did.

When the divorce of Favre ripped Packer Nation apart, it was Driver who took over the mantle as the face of the organization and continued to rise to new receiving heights, regardless of who was throwing him the ball.  And when he finally made it to a Super Bowl in 2010, he fought off a sprained ankle to return to the game after being carted off after only two catches. This is the kind of man who wins a Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which he did in 2002.

While Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews may be the faces of the organization today, no Packer is more beloved than the man with the megawatt smile and a heart three sizes too large. Which is why yesterday, despite all of the glory and celebration surrounding the Packers' playoff win over the Vikings, seeing a healthy Driver on the sideline in street clothes was heartbreaking.

We saw something different when the Ravens took on the Indianapolis Colts in their own wild card game. Lewis, who had been injured for weeks and had already announced his retirement following this season, was activated and allowed his final appearance in front of his own crowd. Delirious fans took videos with their smart phones of Lewis doing one last demonstrative entrance during starting lineups, with tears running down their faces. They saw him make 13 tackles and almost make an interception that would have likely run back for a touchdown.

But, at the final two-minute warning, the big screen showed a moving tribute to Lewis' long career with the Ravens, and if you were wearing purple in the stands and didn't have a tear streaming down your cheek by the end of that video, you didn't have a soul. The idea of such a video tribute reminded me of several of the montages dedicated to Reggie White that stirred the Lambeau crowd to silent reverence.

At the end, Lewis took his place behind the quarterback as the safety for the final kneel-down to raucous applause, and then he did what he wanted to do: he shared a final thank-you with the fans that forgave his early transgressions and loved him unconditionally for 16 seasons. He blew kisses to the crowd and took a victory lap with the fans who had spontaneously chanted "Thank you, Ray!" as the game came to a close.  They cherished every moment of their last time with #52 on their field.

And Donald Driver deserved just as much Saturday night. Oh, I know all of the arguments and rationalizations justifying it, trust me.

"This is a business, and the Packers are in the business of winning football games.

"If you want to suit up, be the player they can't afford to play without."

"The Packers are looking to the future, and can't be stuck in the past."

"If he wants the attention, he should just announce his retirement instead of leaving open the possibility with playing with another team next year."

And I buy it. That is, I bought it until I saw the love affair that Baltimore celebrated one last time with Lewis, and it made those rationalizations seem like little more than excuses. Because, no matter what, the NFL is serving a customer for whom "rationality" isn't exactly one of the top requirements on the resume'.

And you would have to make a pretty rational and convincing argument that would tell me that Driver doesn't not have a similar love affair with the Green Bay faithful, and that giving him the opportunity for one more starting lineup, the possibility of one last Lambeau Leap, and the guarantee of being able to say goodbye, in uniform, to the fans that have blessed him over the years wasn't in everyone's best interest.

Mike McCarthy addressed Driver spending his likely last game at home in street clothes today in a press conference.

"Donald Driver is a class act to say the least,” McCarthy said. “He’s a pro’s pro. He does everything you ever ask of him. We’ve had conversations of late here, … and he’s handled it very well. He’s an excellent teammate. Everyone clearly understands what he means to the organization and what he’s done.

“He’s out there preparing every day, getting ready to play. He may have an opportunity this week. We’ll see how it shakes down. Those are very difficult decisions to make, when you have a healthy 53, to get to 46.”

But even if McCarthy gives him an active roster spot in San Francisco, the final chance for Driver to say farewell has likely passed, unless an unlikely set of scenarios takes place that would allow the NFC Championship to return to Lambeau Field in a few weeks.

Perhaps in a year or two, Donald will be invited back as a "Living Legend", walking out of the tunnel before the real team is announced, and get a shower of adulation. While a wonderful sentiment, it pales in comparison to what the Ravens did with Lewis today.

Simply put, Donald Driver, the Packers' all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, deserved a better send-off than this.

Please don't interpret this article as a condemnation of the Packers, Ted Thompson, or Mike McCarthy. They've done far more good over the years than they've done bad, and I'm certain that this publicly-owned team has done far more for the community than 80% of the NFL teams out there. And, of course, they've done a heck of a lot more winning than most teams out there, too.

This was a missed opportunity for the Packers to do something important that may not have made a difference in the final score, but might have made a huge difference in the hearts of their most productive receiver and their fans. If those unlikely circumstances occur,  leading to one final game for Driver to come out of that tunnel, one more first-down-shimmy, and if all the stars align, one more Lambeau Leap...let's hope that the Packers do the right thing.

-----

C.D. Angeli is a longtime Packer fan (and yes, is a Packer fan more than a Driver fan), a feature writer for CheeseheadTV, co-host of the weekly Packer podcast Cheesehead Radio, and good cop at PackersTalk.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TundraVision.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (56) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Church42's picture

Another caveat being is that Lewis was the better ILB option for the Ravens than DD was for a WR for GB. And that there is far fewer MLBs kept on most rosters (particularly 4-3s which I don't believe the Ravens are but still doesn't diminish the point) than WRs

Eric's picture

Donald Driver also isn't a murderer.

jack in jersey city's picture

yes he is. he murdered defenses for years! :)

June's picture

I'm the biggest Donald Driver fan as anyone..but giving him the kind of treatment Lewis received is wrong - as DD hasn't retired..what are the Packers supposed to do? Treat him as if he is going to retire before he actually decides to do so? That's insulting to him. Seeing him on the sidelines yesterday wasn't the way I hoped to see him leave the Packers..but I see no other alternative.

Chad Lundberg's picture

Well Said. It's Driver's own fault.

cow42's picture

was going to say the same thing.

MarkinMadison's picture

Exactly. DD has stated he still intends to play next year. I WISH that he would have been active and allowed to catch a few passes, but video tributes etc. would not have been appropriate.

Philly the Dane's picture

Agree 100% with June.

PackersRS's picture

Some big differences.

Lewis is a key member of the Ravens' defense. Without him, they struggled against the run. Driver, right now, is simply in the way. There's nothing on his play that justifies him playing ahead of Jennings, Nelson, Jones, Cobb, or even Ross or Boykin.

Lewis announced his retirement. Driver never did.

It was Baltimore's last home game. After the Bengals had lost, there was no possibility that they would play another home game. Not the case with the Packers.

The very real possibility of this not being Driver's last home game as a Packer would make any "adieu" gesture look ridiculous, borderline insultive. The way this franchise has operated under Murphy only added to this scenario.

Oh, and I think you meant """""""""""""""""“cultured”"""""""""""""""""""""...

Chad Toporski's picture

Agree on all points.

Any sort of tribute prior to an announcement by either the head office to cut Driver or by Driver himself to retire would have been a slap in the face. I don't think Driver would have been celebrating like Lewis was, even if the fans would have loved it...

Lewis has made peace with the end of his career. Driver is not yet at that point.

Jeff's picture

As June said, Donald Driver did not announce his retirement, so we can't treat it like his last home game. He'll get his due when his name is added to Lambeau Field next to the likes of Bart Starr and Reggie White.

Vik's picture

Atlanta and SF lose, the NFC championship game is at Lambeau. He may have another home game in him. Also why do you give a tribute to a guy who says he isnt done. Driver retires, there will be plenty of accolades at a Lambeau home game next year. That being said, my heart went out to him seeing him last night. He has done things the right way and deserves tributes when he is done.

Bryce's picture

The Packers gave him more than he deserved when they kept him on the roster. He needs to keep his dignity by announcing his retirement rather than going the way of Tauscher and Clifton.

Jamie's picture

He needs to have a chat with Antonio Freeman about that.

Professor Snuffles's picture

Idiotic and terrible. Early favorite for worst Packer related article for 2013.

Packerken's picture

It should have been last week. If you aren't going to use him in the playoffs then it should have been last week. whether he plays elsewhere or not.

canadianpackersfan's picture

Any talk of a tribute to a player before he's A) Retired or B) announced his retirement, is foolish.

While it's tough to see DD on the sidelines, he has, like McCarthy said, been a pro's pro. He's well aware of the situation of the depth chart, special teams, etc. He's never complained, and would not want to bring any attention to himself that would detract from the team.

He's handling this exceptionally well - there's no question he'll get his accolades and last hurrah in the future. With the class and professionalism he's shown, he'll be a Packer for life.

lebowski's picture

That stupid over-the-top chicken dance Lewis does drives me up the freaking wall. Don't know why everyone fawns over that crap.

Packerken's picture

I would put it on par with the Lambeau Leap.

Evan's picture

That's ridiculous.

If anything, it's on par with Finley's 1st down freak out.

lebowski's picture

Yea, jumping into the stands to let fans pat you on the back is on par with a gyrating dry heave to draw attention to yourself. Got it.

KurtMc's picture

Perhaps DD isn't retiring from football as Ray Lewis is. Just a SWAG, but is the organization considering DD as a WR coach or some coaching capacity?

Love DD and all he stands for.

Go Pack

NoWayJose's picture

It's a nice sentiment (I wanted to look away when NBC did that unfortunate extended close-up of him), but playoff football game are meant to be won. I really don't think it goes much farther than that.

Lewis was starting. Driver would have just burned a roster spot. Plently of time to cheer him later.

Jamie's picture

Did I misread or are you saying they both a SB and a Mirror Ball? Don't remember Lewis participating in or winning DWTS. Or maybe I just missed that season...like all of the other one's without DD.

tundravision's picture

Good catch. Fixed that in the article. Had a Hines Ward/Ray Lewis moment.

Tarynfor12's picture

This article brought tears to my eyes...in fact,every time I read about how Driver is being mistreated,I tear in anger that these articles get written.
Donald Driver made his bed and the mess that it looks like...he still wants to play even if elsewhere..fine,wear street clothes there and we'll have an available roster spot for another.
I would have loved a DD goodbye tour if he said he'd retire after this season whether he dressed to play or not,he didn't/isn't...now,just say goodbye.

Jamie's picture

Too many apples and oranges in this story for my liking.

Evan's picture

Totally agree.

I get that Driver is an all-time great Packer. But it's simply not appropriate to have a farewell homage for a player who intends keep to play.

tundravision's picture

Here's the argument I have a problem with: "If he would have been active, he would have just taken a roster spot from a deserving player."

Wait a minute. He already has a 53-man roster spot. If that is the case, he's already "taking a roster spot from a deserving player".

Look, if you don't plan on using the guy in the least, why have him on the 53-man? Because you're afraid of fan backlash if you just release him midseason? You have no intent on keeping him next year. But you're too cowardly to release him, and you're not going to play him? Then why did you re-sign him?

Maybe there should be some criticism towards TT and MM in this case. I certainly didn't intend it, but I also don't believe Driver re-upped with the Packers with the intent of not playing and being a sandbag all season.

PackerBacker's picture

So now your argument is that they should cut him?

There's no in-between? Doesn't he still offer help to the team in some way? He practices with them and mentors the WR's. He just happens to be on a team with a WR corps that is extremely talented.

PackersRS's picture

Because of injuries. Which happened all year. And competition. Which he lost.

Driver is part of the 53 best players on the roster. Just not of the 46...

Oppy's picture

^^^ RS has it right ^^^

Plus, DD has made two statements about his long term career intent over the years:

1) He Wants to retire a Packer, does not want to play for any other team.

This of course, endears him to fans, as it should.

2) He wants to play until he's 40 years old.

Nice aspiration, but it's also unintentionally strong-arming the Packers- Donald has said within the last year or so that if he wasn't resigned by the Packers and he felt he could still play, he'd go play elsewhere.. It's like saying, "You'll keep me until I'm 40, or else, I'm going to play somewhere else, and the fans are going to be pissed and claim you drove me away from the organization because you're ungrateful and don't care about the Packers' legacy".

This is how many fans will feel.. And it's utter bullshit.

Packers are deep at WR. Donald isn't one of the top 4 WR's anymore, and he might not even be the 5th best on the roster. He probably is a #4 on many other teams, though. Maybe even a #3 on one or two teams. But not in Green Bay.

I'm sure TT, MM, and MMc would all love for Donald to retire a Packer, but they aren't going to pass up keeping a better player for the next three years to fulfill Donald's personal dream of playing until he's 40 in the green and gold.

If Donald chooses to play elsewhere if he's released instead of retiring, that's his prerogative, and no one would hold it against him. However, the fans WILL hold it against the Packers, and that is bogus.

Jamie's picture

I'm sorry but this is not a charitable organization, this is a business. I'd be all for passing blame on TT and McCarthy for sitting DD if I thought he'd add value to the team, but the reality is that he's not the impact player that he used to be.

He got reps earlier in the season but he just wasn't getting open. And when he was targeted, unfortunately he had a problem catching the football. Couple that with the fact that he doesn't play special teams and his replacement does, and quite well at that, and there is no good reason to play him other than sentiment. And being sentimental isn't the way to win football games.

PackerBacker's picture

If we had given a retirement sendoff to every great player who was rumored to be possibly retiring at the end of the year, but hadn't actually announced anything, we would have given Brett Favre like 3 or 4 sendoffs.

Sorry, but no announcement, no sendoff.

Evan's picture

Where was Ahman Green's farewell tour?

(And more to your point: Driver isn't rumored to be doing anything. He's publicly stated his intent to keep playing.)

Debbie's picture

The difference here is that Ray Lewis announced that he was retiring - Donald has not yet made a decision. We have been cheated out of that moment that Ray Lewis had - but not because the Packers don't recognize and appreciate Donald. You can't exactly send someone off who has been saying all along that he expects to be back, when we all know he will not be.

imma fubared's picture

go figure? Being back next year must be on his mind. Maybe someone needs to talk sense into the guy. He is just taking up space now. So sad. He had the op to announce and get a great send off this weekend and chose not to.

Devil Doc's picture

"...unless an unlikely set of scenarios takes place that would allow the NFC Championship to return to Lambeau Field in a few weeks."

Curious why its so unlikely? A Packers victory and a Falcons loss brings the NFC Champ game to Lambeau correct? I think we've all got faith the Packers will win, and the Falcons have probably one of the toughest match ups they've faced all year this weekend. This is the same Falcons team that was blown out in Charlotte against the Panthers, and almost lost to the same team in Atlanta.

As far as DD goes, there is no question IS the fan favorite out of all the players on our roster. But saying he deserved the same treatment as Ray Lewis to me is a bit much. I think even saying his name and number will be next to Reggie and Bart Starr is pretty far fetched as well.

Ruppert's picture

I'm a big DD fan. But his "treatment" doesn't bother me one bit. I echo many of the same sentiments above. Basically, I don't think he can get open any more, and I'm not totally confident he can still catch based on his limited performance this year.

I also find it hard to believe that the Packers would not have released him at his own request before the season if he wanted to find work elsewhere. Frankly, he should have had the sense to realize he is not good enough to dislodge 87, 85, 18, 89, and 88 from the field. Even Ross works his butt off blocking and on special teams, so it's hard for me to give DD a roster spot ahead of him. I'm sorry, but it looks like he tried to back the team into a corner to some degree. He didn't make the final cut based on ability--it was much to do about PR after DWTS. Donald could have exited gracefully on his own terms before the year if he wanted to.

Sure he still has a limited amount of WR talent. Knowing that, why isn't he volunteering to play special teams so he can get on the field and fire up the crowd? He's still a tremendous physical specimen. I think he could probably cover kickoffs, and I think he could be a very good gunner. Jarrett Bush and DD would be a formidable duo in that department. But no--he's nowhere to be found on special teams. If he thinks he is above that, it's his own fault.

Linda Lange's picture

Agree with Devil Doc. While DD ranks in Packer fans' hearts with Bart and Reggie, I'm pretty sure that "Ring of Honor" at Lambeau is reserved for players who are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and I don't think Donald will be there. Packer Hall for sure! Not to put down DD or his legacy, I've always wondered if he might have been released at the beginning of this season if not for his DWTS success. Timing would have been atrocious and it would have seemed like a slap in the face to him and his fans, yet it could have been a wise business decision.

imma fubared's picture

My two cents. Now I'm not a huge baseball fan so when I read an analysis years ago of how Willie Mays made a fool of himself playing way beyond his skill years, I question a lot of athletes, especially boxers, as to why?
Driver had the prime opportunity to assess his situation coming off dancing and having his contract run out and choose to not retire. Is he just there for the money now? Is that it? He can't be expecting to take the field like the old days he just doesn't have it so why is he sticking around?
I can't believe his close friends haven't talked to him about embarrassing himself by bench sitting.
I mean Ray Lewis played yesterday but anyone who watched saw he was a shell of what he used to be. Good call Ray, give it up. You did your job.
Hopefully Driver will get it too and announce something. He has nothing more to give. If he sticks around his legacy just gets more tarnished.

some guy's picture

This isn't happening in a vacuum either. Driver and Lewis are both shells of their former selves, but look at the depth at their positions: behind Lewis you have Dannell Ellerbee and Brendan Ayanbadejo. The latter is a special-teamer who was pressed into starting when Lewis went down -- basically the Raven, linebacking version of Jarrett Bush. Compared to those two goons even a diminished Lewis looks pretty good. Meanwhile the Packers are as stacked at WR as any team has been in recent memory. It isn't even remotely the same situation. Then you throw in the fact that Lewis is not only a surefire first-ballot HoFer, but possibly the greatest middle linebacker of all time. (I don't think that's the case, but I think the argument can reasonably be made.) Driver, by comparison, is, let's be a honest, a guy who was pretty good for about a decade. Never made All-Pro, barely cracked 10k career receiving yards, hasn't been productive since 2009... pick your metric, but the guy just isn't that great. Of course we all love him but let's be objective about this: Donald Driver absolutely, positively does not belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He only went for 445 yards last season, and the guys who were already squeezing him for time in '11 were back and had grown as players. If he really thought he was going to start, or even get any kind of significant spot snaps, then quite frankly he's delusional. At any rate, as has been thoroughly discussed, Driver not only hasn't announced his retirement but has stated he'll be back next year. What I haven't seen anyone get into in this thread is how it would look if the team tried to throw him a big retirement ceremony under those circumstances. So it's disrespectful of the team to... take him at his word? They should ignore his stated desire to continue playing and throw him a surprise retirement ceremony at halftime instead? McCarthy turns to Driver and says, "Actually we decided you are retiring. Here's your party hat" and the entire organizations proceeds to strongarm him into a retirement that he's said he doesn't want? That's the proper way of showing him respect?

Somewhere in here, CD, I think you've gotten a little confused and a little emotional.

Patrick Duprey's picture

CD, I see where you're going with this, and it's well written as always, but I have to disagree. I'm of the mindset that all the Packers owe Driver (or any other player) is a paycheck. (I mean, as long as they're not locking him out of the facility, ala Tennessee & Steve McNair.)

Driver's been a great player for the Packers, no doubt. And you mention that Lewis has had a better career at his position than Driver, but I think you underestimate that. Lewis, at times, was the most dominant player in the league ... Donald never even approached that level. (Did we ever, ever consider him a top 5 WR in the NFL?) The Ravens won the Super Bowl because of the defense that Ray Lewis anchored ... I mean, they had Trent Dilfer at QB, and Quadry Ismail, if I remember correctly, was their top WR.

Lewis changed the way people approached the game, and I'm not sure Donald ever even sniffed that level. Yeah, his work ethic was stellar ... his production off the charts. But Ray Lewis was arguably THE best defensive player in the NFL this side of the 21st century.

Point Packer's picture

Endings are always tough. Donald Driver was a very good WR and an incredibly Packer. He wanted one more shot at a ring, the team is giving it to him right now. And if luck prevails, he'll walk into Lambeau one last time for a chance to make it to the Super Bowl. One can dream.

He deserves to be on Ring of Honor if not solely for his play on the field (which was very good), but for the combination of on field production and community service. The guy is straight up a class act rarely seen in the NFL these days. He deserves to be remembered and honored on the Ring as an example of someone whose character combined with on field achievement was worthy of such an honor.

I really hope the transition is smooth. Donald Driver (see Edgar Bennett) is one of those guys that you really would like to be part of the organization post playing days. I can't help but feel a huge reason why this receiving core is such a tight unit is due to DD's presence. Yes there have been a few distractions, but for a unit of talented WR's who have had to share the catches, egos have been in check. Be great to have Donald Driver in Green Bay for a long, long time. .

Devil Doc's picture

I do agree with you on that DD is an absolute class act, and has done much for the community of Green Bay. But saying he deserves to be on the Ring of Honor for his on field production, would open up the door for too many, "above average" but not "great" players. Ahman Green is the first player that comes to mind. Had an amazing career while wearing the green and gold, and deserves to be in the Packers HOF, but the Ring of Honor is reserved for the "legendary" players. Fans will always remember DD, and will forever be a favorite of mine, but I would question his name and number being added to that group.

Mani's picture

Lol. I think Packers stopped taking retirements seriously after a certain QB ruined it for us. Really stupid article. Same case could be made for Woodson. What if Packers did all that and Driver goes wtf are u forcing me to retire? Do u want me to leave? Maybe pack asked him about it and he decided to no go through with it.

tundravision's picture

What I find interesting in all of the comments is the assumption that I've felt the Packers should do something above and beyond to honor Driver's career.

I haven't.

My biggest mistake in this article was to draw too much of a comparison to the career of Ray Lewis, so much so that the very point of the article was missed:

"But, we’re not talking historical legacies here. No, I’m talking about the love a fan base has for its favorite player, and Donald Driver is as much “Mr. Packer” as Lewis is “Mr. Raven”."

This isn't about honoring a career, whether it has come to a screeching halt or not. No one has asked the Packers to start Driver over Jennings or Nelson, or demanded that Murphy force McCarthy to do so. No one is saying the Packers should have a ceremony, give Driver a bust, bronze a statue outside the Atrium, or retire his jersey during the game.

What happened in Baltimore wasn't anything the Ravens did, other than put a montage on the video screen, nothing different than what the Packers have done for years for any star player at the time.

What it allowed was a spontaneous outpouring from the fans, which is what this article was about. Why anyone would spend time trying to argue whether Driver's career was "good enough" or "important enough" to match Lewis's is ridiculous.

Hey...if the Packers truly can't afford to activate Driver in the 5th or 6th receiver spot...as they've done 13 other times this season...and allow him to get a symbolic starting lineup spot, he shouldn't be on the roster at all. Seriously.

This isn't me suggesting that the Packers need to acknowledge a retirement that hasn't been announced. This is me suggesting that if the Packers have no intention of bringing him back next year, that they could have found the time and space (perhaps in the middle of a shellacking of the Titans) to give the fans one more opportunity to cheer for him and say goodbye.

I've spent a lot of time at this website creating long-winded rationalizations, usually trying to cut through the blind irrational wails that tend to color the Packer fandom. Perhaps, just this once, I wandered into the realm of the emotional, of wanting to see something purely as a fan, not as some pragmatic dissection of X's and 0's, dollar signs and salary caps.

And, if perchance the Packers do host another game at home, I wonder if all of you so strongly voicing your opposition would continue to do so if McCarthy did take the chance to give Driver one last Lambeau Leap...

some guy's picture

If the Packers had one more injury at WR during the season Driver probably would've become needed. He's well past his practice squad eligibility, he knows the system and if he's cut Philbin or someone else would snap him up because of 'veteran presence' and blah blah. It's also reasonable to assume that he's been coaching up the young guys throughout the year, so there are just a few reasons he might still be around.

Look, I wrote in a different post that I think you're letting your emotions get away from you and this post from you reinforces that. You're saying that people are misinterpreting you, CD, but reading you in this thread it seems more like you don't know quite what you're trying to say. To wit:

"No one is saying the Packers should have a ceremony, give Driver a bust, bronze a statue outside the Atrium, or retire his jersey during the game."

vs.

"This is me suggesting that if the Packers have no intention of bringing him back next year, that they could have found the time and space (perhaps in the middle of a shellacking of the Titans) to give the fans one more opportunity to cheer for him and say goodbye."

vs.

"What happened in Baltimore wasn’t anything the Ravens did, other than put a montage on the video screen, nothing different than what the Packers have done for years for any star player at the time.

What it allowed was a spontaneous outpouring from the fans, which is what this article was about. "

This is all very confused and confusing. The outpouring from Baltimore's fans was moving (at least as far as tributes to multiple-murderers go, but I digress) but it wasn't the least bit spontaneous. They had a video reel ready to go and they did a little ceremony and the fans loved it. It was set up for the fans to get emotional about him and they happily complied. That's great, but it wasn't some off the cuff thing that fans did by themselves. You can't have a planned ceremony that is also a spontaneous outburst. You can't do a tribute to Driver during the Titan game without having a ceremony; doing a tribute to Driver *is* a ceremony. So if you feel like people aren't understanding what you're saying, that just might be because it doesn't make sense.

Hobot's picture

I think this sums up the opposition's point of view very nicely. CD you seem disappointed in the treatment of Driver, yet are not quite sure how to articulate your point, nor do you present a true resolution either.

It's sad to see an excellent player's career come to a close, but the Packers have handled this as delicately as possible.

Also, Ray Lewis is an original Raven but was never a part of the Browns' organization. The team moved following the 1995 season. Ray Lewis was drafted in 1996, the year the team moved to Baltimore.

Nancy's picture

I agree with you. And I'm still ticked off that McCarthy didn't put Donald Driver in SOMEWHERE in that Titans game and run a play that he would have been likely to get long yardage and/or a TD. Perfect opportunity...missed opportunity.

Point Packer's picture

Yeah, we have a lot of those guaranteed TD/long yardage plays in our playbook.

packsmack25's picture

How have you guys done so well ignoring the obvious troll in this post but fail so miserably in every other post? I just don't get it. By responding to trolls, you give them EXACTLY what they want. Just ignore it. They'll go away, I promise.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Driver 'deserves' nothing on the playing field. He signed his contract, and the Packers paid him a lot of money for basically insurance (that they did not need). DD 'deserves' our admiration as a long-time fan favorite and contributing member of the team for a lot of years. But to imply that he 'deserved' to see the field in a playoff game when the best on the roster are needed, suggests a soft from-the-heart reaction that is totally out of place in the NFL.

Anita Wood's picture

you deserve to keep your silly thoughts in your silly head, just talk to yourself, no one else is interested in your words

Jer's picture

Of the 46 who were active vs Minn, I believe 3 of them didn't play: Graham Harrell, Jeff Saturday, and Alex Green.

Harrell and Saturday were the only backups at their position, so they needed to be active in case of injury. Having Green out would have left them dangerously thin at RB.

The team cannot waste an important active roster spot in a playoff game for sentimental reasons.

Anita Wood's picture

Donald Driver deservse to be allowed to play if he is willing and able. He is a class act and should be treated as such. treat him with dignity, respect, and loyalty, these are the qualities that he has always lived by. Do right by him.

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