Monday, May 21, 2012

Driver's Last Dance

Most of the Donald Driver news these past few weeks has been about his performances on Dancing With The Stars.  Indeed, he is one of the final three contestants, and one of the three will win the Mirror Ball trophy in this week's shows.  More on that in a minute.

But then, this past week, Donald made the following announcement on his Facebook page and on Twitter: "Hello everyone: I'm a Packer for life. It will never change. Go Pack Go!!!!"

I immediately assumed that this meant he is in the process of signing a new contract, that will ensure he is member of the Packers for the rest of his playing days.  When I read that his agent has been dropping hints of a new contract, I was reinforced in that belief.  But there are other interpretations.  It could mean that Driver is retiring, and therefore will have spent his entire career with the Packers.  It could mean that he is going to be released, and that even if he plays elsewhere in the future, he will always consider himself a Packer for life, i.e., a change of uniform will never change his allegiance to the Packers.  Tom Oates, for example, seems to read this comment as a precursor to Driver's departure, not to a new contract.

For now, nobody knows what Driver's future with the team will be.  I certainly hope he stays.  I understand the argument, basically that with Jennings, Nelson, Jones, and Cobb, not to mention other young receivers, every snap Donald Driver plays in effect keeps one of these guys off the field.  But he is a team leader, and a good guy loved by the fans, and he is still a contributor on offense and even on special teams (remember him recovering several onside kicks last year?).  We will probably hear Driver's fate not long after the conclusion of Dancing With The Stars.

Speaking of which, Packer fans should be out there supporting Donald on Monday night.  Although I was not a regular viewer of this show in past seasons, all season long the judges have been saying that this is the best group of dancers they have ever had on the show.  Which really means that any of them can win the trophy.  The remaining contestants, classical singer Katherine Jenkins, and model/actor/Cuban heart-throb William Levy, are very strong performers, and in fact have scored more points, cumulatively over the entire season, than Donald.  So he needs the support of his fans to pull him over the goal line.

The show is on tonight (Monday, May 21) at 8:00 EDT and PDT, and 7:00 CDT.  You can start to vote as soon as the show starts in your time zone.  You can vote on your landline, on your cell phone, and by creating an account at and voting online, at this page.  The telephone number to vote is 1-800-868-3403.  Let's help Donald Driver win the Mirror Ball!