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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

Donald Driver: Great Football Player, Greater Man

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Erik Bilstad, John Mercure, Donald Driver, Jeff Falconio


I have been struggling with this blog all day.  I knew I wanted to write something because of the immense respect I have for Donald Driver. I felt like I needed to write something.  I just haven't been sure how.

OK, here goes.

We have Donald Driver on our show, Wisconsin's Afternoon News, every week during the football season. Once a year he actually comes into the studio to do the show.  It's a special treat for us on the show and Donald makes it a special treat for everyone in the building. 

This year Donald did his studio show with us in mid December.  It was a tough time for Driver.  He was no longer contributing on the field.  He wasn’t even being activated for most games. Every week we found ourselves asking Donald questions about his playing status and his future.  It was tough… and not as much fun as talking to him when he was catching touchdown passes.

Through it all he was a man.  He stood tall, never shrinking from any of it.  He never ducked or hid.  He never dodged.

On the cold December day when he came to our studios this year, there was a large group of people who wanted a quick chat, or a picture with the Packers legend.  He was amazingly gracious.  It had to be tough on the proud gridiron legend who just wasn’t a very active part of the weekly game plan. 

You would have never known. He posed for pictures.  He asked about people’s families. He gave out hugs. He was warm and generous with his time.  The amazing thing about Donald is that when he talks to you, he looks you in the eye.  He is right there in the moment.  He listens. He really listens.  On that chilly December day, Driver’s agent repeatedly reminded all of us, that Driver was running late for other obligations.  He even occasionally tugged on Drivers coat sleeve.  Driver wouldn’t have any of it.  He stayed and stayed and stayed.

Donald Driver was a great football player.  Donald Driver is an even greater man.


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