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Donald Driver on radio: ‘I’m calling it a career’

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 31, 2013 – 7:21 am

Donald Driver

Packers WR Donald Driver made his retirement announcement on Thursday morning on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike In The Morning program, which was broadcasting live from New Orleans, site of Super Bowl XLVII. Driver joined hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on their radio set in New Orleans and was immediately asked what his future held.

“I’m going to officially put the cleats on the shelf and walk away from the game,” Driver said. “I’m calling it a career.”

Driver went on to explain that he reached the decision after talking to his wife and kids at the end of the season, his 14th, all with the Packers. Green Bay was eliminated from the NFC playoffs in the divisional round by the San Francisco 49ers, who will play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in the Super Bowl.

“My wife said something truly special to me,” Driver said. “She didn’t want to go anywhere else. That made it easy for me.”

Driver didn’t delve into too many other details of his decision, saying he would save those thoughts for the public event at the Lambeau Field Atrium on Feb. 6.

“I want to do something special, I want to do it in front of the fans, something that no other player has done,” he said. “I’m going to open my retirement up to the fans and give them everything they deserve.”

Driver said he was “at peace” with the decision, but he acknowledged there have been and will be some hard moments. He did emphasize, amidst implied jokes about his former QB, Brett Favre, that he’s not coming back.

“Very difficult. It’s always difficult, especially when you feel you can still play the game,” he said. “You just let it go and say, ‘There’s other things out there, the next chapter of your career, and I’m ready for it.”

It sounds as though that next chapter will be as a family man. He and his wife, Betina, have three school-age children.

“Someone’s always going to be able to tell my kids that their dad was a great football player, but no one is going to be able to tell my kids that their dad was a great dad and great husband,” Driver said. “So I have to be able to show them that, and that’s what next chapter of my career is going to be.”

Asked what he will cherish the most about his career, Driver didn’t single anyone or anything out.

“All 14 years. Every day,” he said. “The biggest thing is walking out of that tunnel at Lambeau. It’s a special place to walk out of and that’s something I’ll never forget.”

Driver didn’t get emotional at all in making his announcement, but he suggested that he probably would next week when he’s back in Green Bay.

“It hasn’t really hit me at this moment,” he said. “I think it’s really going to hit on Feb. 6 when I have my entire family there and three, four thousand fans standing out there.

“Somebody always says next year, but for me, it won’t be.”

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Posted in Packers.com Blog | 83 Comments »

83 Responses to “Donald Driver on radio: ‘I’m calling it a career’”

  1. By Tarlam on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    3-4000 fans? It might be double that!

  2. By northerner on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Next season will be missing a great player. Thanks for the memories Donald.

  3. By Regina on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    To one of the best, simply a step above the rest. We will miss you Mr. Driver.

  4. By ehansmeier on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Words do not begin to capture what Donald Driver means Packers fans. Wish I lived in Green Bay so I could attend the ceremony.

  5. By FanGoGreenGold on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    To see #80 out in the open ready to catch has been such a great rush year after year. And that big smile in the end zone . . . thanks for those moments Donald. Best wishes in your next career.

  6. By mark on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply


  7. By Adam on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Driver made all Packers fans proud!! Thank you Donald!! I’m sure great things will come from your next career!

  8. By jeff bakken on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Donald Driver is the epitome of why we love are packers. How many times have we seen former packer players either live in Greenbay or coach. I don’t remember seeing anybody go across the middle without any fear like Donald. I hope the pack retain you to coach so we can always see on the sidelines forever.

  9. By Chris on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    By far one of the best examples of sportsmanship in a time when there are few. Thank you Donald, for giving an entire generation of fans someone to be proud of on and off the field.

  10. By Michael Dean on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    the Green Bay Packers have, over the years, been blessed with more than their fair share of great players. Many of those great players have gone on to be great men. Donald Driver is one of that group of many. However, Donald also possesses that hard-to-define quality that makes him very, very special.

    Thank you, Mr. Driver, for 14 years of greatness. You will be sorely missed.

  11. By Mary rose on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Yes the Packers fans have been blessed over the years with great players! The greatest like Donald Driver, Bart Starr, Willie Davisand more return the blessings by being as outstanding off the field as on they are on it!
    We wish you continued success and look forward to seeing more orf you in and around the Packers organization.

    Yep 3-4000 in the Atrium? better start inflating it!

    Thanks Mr. Driver and your entire family for modeling all the good and the best that can be brought to life through your actions!

  12. By Paul on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Donald you are a true role model for what an athlete and a Packer player should be. Never once did we hear anything negative about you, both on the field and off. Never did we hear you say anything negative about the team or your team mates during troubled times or when asked to step back for the younger players. We always knew and saw you give 110% whenever you were on the field. As far as I concerned your number should be retired and your name added to the circle of former great Packer players. Thank You Donald!

  13. By Ray on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Donnald Driver….Started as a Packer..Ended as a Packer. The way it should be. You will be missed!

  14. By Donel on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Donald you were a great team leader and great team player. Good luck in whatever you do in the future. I know you’ll be great at whatever you do.

  15. By Denis Drozkowski on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks for the memories Donald! Best I’ve ever watched play the game!

    Just a thought………. Retire #80???? I think yes!

  16. By Michele Schaefer on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    From a Wisconsin city/suberb girl living in Los Angeles! I love my state team and you Donald Driver! One of the best of all time! You will be surely missed as that smile also is electrifying! God Bless you and your family always!

  17. By Linda Viol on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    You have been a true role model for all young people ever since you stepped on the field. Thank you for all the exiting, wonderful years with the Packers. We appreciate your dedication to the team and that great smile! You made us smile too. you always gave us your best. Always a Packer in our hearts!

  18. By Mike from Iowa on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    We agree with all of these great comments….What more can you say about Donald Driver!!! It just wil not be the same without #80 on the field…You are a true Packer player and fan. Hope to see you again on the sidelines soon. My 9 yr. old son has a #80 jersey, which is now too small for him so we are getting it framed. Cant wait to see it on the wall. Thank You for the memories!!!

  19. By John on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Let’s get #80 on the Ring of Honor!

  20. By James Rieland on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    God has truly blessed you,may god be with you in the future

  21. By Dave on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Hmmm, what to say first, Donald Driver as a great man or Donald Driver as a great player. I think I’ll go with the first.

  22. By Norma-Gene Cottrell on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Wow! 14 years and such a great role model of how to live and play the game of football. Gracious, humble and giving! Whatever you do, no one can take your place in Packer history. Thank you sir! Your jersey has been worn for many years and in many places. It will be an honor to retire it.

  23. By Steve on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    If Green Bay needs a standard to use for naming streets, look no further than Donald Driver.

  24. By Mary McPherson on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Donald, thank you for all the enjoyment that you have brought us – especially all of those Lambeau Leaps!! We will sorely miss you.Wishing you the very most best of luck in the rest of your life.

  25. By Mark on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Driver Drive, anybody?

  26. By Mark on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Or Donald Drive maybe?

  27. By Lennie Lichter on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Thank you for giving us all some great Packer memories, Donald!

  28. By Stephanie on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    I agree this man should be in the ring of honor and his jersey should be retired. My 5 year grandson has worn his jersey since birth every game day. We have been to many games and to see Donald come over and talk to the fans was awesome. We LOVE you and wish you the best! It would be nice to keep him within the packer organization.

  29. By Larry on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Donald Driver: a man of faith, integrity, honesty and humililty. Oh how we need more like him. God bless you, Donald!

  30. By shawn on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    A very good man! I can only hope that more players will have a desire to be a good team guy as Donald is. I thank the good lord for people who are not ashamed. HALL OF FAME.

  31. By Dana Kallahan on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t have the words to express how much this guy means to me and so many others. Not just on the field but more so what he did for the community and for individuals such as my family and my friends.

    Donald, enjoy your retirement and your time with your family.

    Thanks buddy…


  32. By phillygbfan on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Donald Driver…one of the finest people and best players to come through the Packers organization…I wish I were still in Wisconsin…I would find the time to be part of the official retirment celebration…wish you and your family God’s blessings in the future. You will be missed-and cherished!

  33. By veteranviewer on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Donald,your’e a special man. All the best to you and your family.

  34. By Mary Creel on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    It’s very rare that someone with family values and a sense or moral values, plays in sports. It happens, but not a lot. Donald Driver’s commitment to everything he does shows those values! GOOD LUCK TO YOU. I hope you can take advantage of the time to spend with your wife and kids!

  35. By Michael Jahncke on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Donald, thank you for all you have done for the Packers. You are the best!

    You make me proud to say that I am a Packer Fan!!

    All the best to you and your family

  36. By packer fan in philly on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    RETIRE #80, Donald deserves that and much more after 14 special seasons.

  37. By Marlys Luedtke on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Donald, you will always be a special person to your fans, your team, your family and to my husband and I. Your personal values are so respected by all of us and your contagious smile will always be remembered. We wish you every happiness in the years ahead. Blessings to you and your family.

  38. By Rusty Draper on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply


  39. By Survivor Africa on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Lead, never Follow, maybe that’s why we crossed paths 11yrs ago. my thank you, the smiles on my four daughters faces every wk end. 80’s in their rooms, your family’s hospitality, and showing this country boy a close up of the NFL. its been an Honor, nothing but the best from my family to yours. Long may you run, my Friend

  40. By Alex G. From Cali on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    We truly are going to miss you D.D. you are Greatness all in one. I hope some of your Greatness rubs off on all the current Packers and all that follow. You are a great example to all your peers. Thank you for all the great memories you have given to all your fans. We all love you no matter what you decide to do.
    Go Pack Go!!!

  41. By Tou Vang on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Donald Driver is the definition of a Packer and he will always be remembered!! I wish him the best in his retirement and I hope he is made a coach on this coaching staff soon!

  42. By Heinowski Family on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    The McFlurry machine was broken in West Allis, WI but we got to see D.D. up close personal. Stop back, the machine is fixed. You are in our hearts. GPG!

  43. By MarkZ on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Congrats Donald you deserve it. You brought us many years of excitement
    Enjoy your retirement

  44. By souldoc1 on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Congrats on a wonderful career. I have been a packer fan since age seven, now 64, your are by far my favorite packer. I lived in California, so I cant attend your farewell on Feb.6, so to honor you I will wear my #80 jersey to work that day. I had the pleasure of meeting you and your brother a few years back and you both were a pleasure to talk to. I wish you greatness in your future. HEY, ALL YOU DD FANS, IF YOU CAN’T BE THERE OF FEB. 6 THEN LET ALL WERE OUR #80 JERSEY TO SHOW OUR SUPPORT.

  45. By Canadian Bill on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    One great receiver. Best of luck. Go Pack Go

  46. By Troy on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Double D, is simply “the BEST!”

  47. By Maddy on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    It has been an honor to wear #80 for every game and I can’t wait to go to Lambeau and see it in the ring of honor. You’re smile lights up any room and it has been wonderful to have you represent the packers organization. FOREVER A PACKER

  48. By Jeff on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Quickie, he caught everything thrown in his direction…he was the greatest – missin you already

  49. By Sharon on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    I would give about anything to be back in Wisconsin to see this. Maybe I’ll get lucky and there will be an online video of it. That would be better than not seeing it at all. Thanks, Donald…we all love you. In your next chapter you could go on Dancing with the Stars again. LOL. You were so great.

  50. By Sharon on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    I, for one, am extremely happy that you are going out as a Packer like you came in…unlike some other player that I won’t mention.

  51. By rubberdust on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Donald Driver one of the all time great Packers in more ways than his on the field play! Many players have worn the Packers uniform over the years creating a legacy envied by the rest of the league Donald Driver did more than his part adding to it. Thanks for being a Packer we will ALWAYS be proud of!

  52. By Ron Gaudes on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Donald, you have exemplfied excellence from the beginning to end end of your illusrious career as a special member of our cherished Green Bay Packer history. Careers end but the memories that you have unselfishly given to all of us will never be forgotten. Best wishes to you and your wonderful family, and please never stop sharing that smile. It makes us all feel great..Ron

  53. By Roger on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Donald will always be a Packer, In Uniform or out, Enjoy your Retirement,

  54. By John Schnese on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    It makes me sad to think I won’t get to see just one more TD from DD. All Packer TD’s are great, but TD’s by #80 are just a little bit more special and fun to watch, because of who he is.

    Great idea from Souldoc1 to wear our #80 jerseys all day on the 6th. I live in the Twin Cities and they’ll all be seeing me wearing mine. I may not take it off for quite a while.

    Someday, if I’m very very lucky, I’ll get to meet Mr. Driver in person and get to shake his hand.

    Best Wishes DD !! Thanks for EVERYTHING ! Go Pack!

  55. By Al Holbrook on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    We could have been in the Super Bowl if they would have put you in to play more sneak play’s or your famous across the middle catchs! You still are more athletic and have alot more love for the game than the rookie devas coming into football now days. I hope the Packer Organization keep you around in some position to help the Packers go to the big game again! THANKS FOR THE MEMORYS MR. DRIVER #1 PACKER! GO #80

  56. By Lance Palmer on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply


    Thanks for all the incredible memories, the great smiles and retiring a Packer! You are an amazing player, person and role model! You will be missed!

  57. By Steve Champion on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Sad to see you go, it’s been a great ride!
    You deserve to be on the ring of fame and the Hall of Fame. Good luck in all that you do.

  58. By Jennifer Alderete on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Dear Donald, you have always been my favorite Packer. That smile to me said exactly what you felt for the game that you loved so much. I hope and pray nothing but the best for you and your family, as you truly are the best of example of what a man can be. Thank you for being you and who you are. The Packers will miss you and it will be hard to replace you. Packers Organization appreciate this man for he truly represents what you have wanted people to know about your organization. All the best to the Driver Family.

  59. By Donna on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Every Packer fan won’t be at the atrium on Wednesday, (some of us are
    REALLY old), but every one of us will be there in spirit.
    Thank you for your dedication, your smile, your leaps, your humor,
    oh I could go on, the list is endless.
    Know that Green Bay loves you for EVERYTHING, on and off the field.
    Thank you, Thank you Thank you

  60. By Al Holbrook on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Donald Driver the name! How much bigger could Double D’S be be! What a chance to be in Sports Illustrated celebrating his last TD in Greenbay thats one lucky girl that should feel like she was in the right place at the right time in her life that will never happen again! Maybe! DD#1

  61. By Tom Bosch on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Donald, you taught us all where to set the bar no matter what our career. Thanks to you and your family for everything you have given. Blessings to you all.

  62. By Judi on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    I always loved watching you from afar–grown up as a Packer fan and have always been—you have truely been a role model for young players and for those rookie Packer’s! Best of luck from Washington

  63. By Natalie on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Congratulations DD on your retirement! You have always been and will continue to be my favorite Packer player. Your dedication and hard work on and off the field have been an inspiration to me. Thanks Donald for the wonderful memories! I will continue to wear your jersey with pride! May God bless you and your family in your future endeavors.

  64. By Bill Boyle on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Street name: “Don Drive”, which could also be interpreted as “Don of the last minute, leaping catch, victory-clinching drive”. Kudosha from Kenosha!

  65. By Maggie Wellens on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Donald, it is hard to say goodbye to such a great player, always has been, always will be my favorite player. An extraordinary humane being, there is only one DD, best of everything to a man who deserves it, God bless you and your family and thank you for the unforgettable memories.

  66. By Danette on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Donald has been my favorite player for many years now. The team will not be the same without him. Speaking as a Packer fan for over 50 years, I have seen them come and go. Donald I will miss you. You are one of the greats!! Wish you all the best!! Oh, I also voted for you on DWTS!! LOL!

  67. By Suzette on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Thank you Donald for all that you have given us die hard Packer fans.
    Thank you for being a wonderful role model on and off the field.
    Thank you Mrs. Driver for sharing your Hubby with us.
    Your number needs to be retired! You deserve the honor you have earned it.
    Good luck with your next part of your life.

  68. By 3 point on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    I seldom make posts on things like this but this football player brought so much more than athleticism to the Green Bay Packers and fans. Naturally his smile has been a TV highlight but close observation on the sidelines will show you a player who gives every moment to team success. There are very few GB autographs I would care to have but his is one for the books. Godspeed and may your goodness continue to shine on GB in the future in some capacity. IF not you will be missed.

  69. By Al on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks Donald for a wonderful 14 years with the Green Bay Packers. I have seen you play, I have collected your cards, and have sat at Lambeau Field in twenty below zero weather with the winds blowing in from the east (LOL) You made a great choice making a career in Green Bay and have made a home for you and your family. You will never be forgotten on, or off the field. Good Luck to you and your family, and hope you will be writing more children’s books. God Bless.

  70. By Scott on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks Donald

  71. By Scott on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    Driver Day Feb.6

  72. By Lori on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    Thank you DD! I will still wear my #80 with pride as you have done for your whole career with the Pack! You truly are my favorite player.

  73. By Jon on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    Please take over for Troy Aikman in the booth I can not stand when he does packer games..

    Good luck Donald you were in inspiration to us all..

  74. By Henk on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    Donald, you put smiles on the faces of so many people. Your smile and integrity will always remain with me. Bless you, your family and the Packer Nation that loves you. I wish I could shake your hand right now and say “Thanks”

  75. By Lawyer of CHRIST on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    What do you know of reptilian God beings? The TRUE Illuminati are mere puppets in an act of the grand wizard REPTILIANS and their dark, sinister, yet clouded agenda. How the GREYS fit into this evil dance is under much speculation. YOUR FATE HAS ALREADY BEEN CAST BY THE ALMIGHTY REPTILIAN GOD BEINGS.

  76. By Brandy on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    It will not be the same – not to see you (Donald) on the great “Lambeau Field or playing on any major NFL, field. You will truly be missed! Your greatness as 1of the best Packer players – will carrier on in history.
    I know your family is very proud of you & now you can show your family how proud you are of them.
    God Bless you & your family at this time – as you go forward on a new expreience

  77. By Brandy on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    It will not be the same – not to see you (Donald) on the great “Lambeau Field or playing on any major NFL, field. You will truly be missed! Your greatness as 1of the best Packer players – will carrier on in history.
    I know your family is very proud of you & now you can show your family how proud you are of them.
    God Bless you & your family at this time – as you go forward on a new experience.
    Go Donald Go!!!! Oh yeah!

  78. By Brandy on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks, Donald – MVP To All….

  79. By Steve on Feb 4, 2013 | Reply

    The way Donald performed as a Packer is just the icing on the cake, to what he is as a man. The Ring of Honor, yes….a street named after him, definitely….his smile etched in our minds, Always. Thank you Donald and God Bless!

  80. By Judi Harper on Feb 4, 2013 | Reply

    You are the best!! Your smile lights up everything. You have always been and always will be my favorite Packer. I definitely will miss #80 in the games. I certainly hope the Packer organization realizes what you have given them. And besides being the best Packer player, you are also the best DWTS winner. Good luck in whatever endeavor you chose. I am sure your family will appreciate having their husband and Dad around more. I will never forget chasing you down one day as you were leaving practice on your bike. I got to shake your hand and tell you you are my favorite. It was a great moment for me. God Bless You and your family.

  81. By Deadcheese on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    We ain’t the Colts! Wrong team, dude. Packers Hall of Fame is more like it!!! Driver definitely needs to be in it :D

  82. By karen hauskins on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Donald, you are one in a million! You are what being a Green Bay Packer is all about! We have loved every minute of watching you play. We will miss you so much. Our love goes out to you and your family. We wish we could have seen you play in person. We have never been to a game at Green Bay, that is my dream. God bless you my friend. We love you. Also loved watching you on DWTS!

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