Janesville34.1°

Donald Driver's smile

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Frank Schultz
January 31, 2013

Sometimes, words are not the best way to communicate. They are, after all, abstractions. We have to process them and then create the pictures in our minds.

Pictures are much stronger, especially when we want to communicate feelings. A fragrance, a touch, a kiss, a hugóthose are also strong ways to communicate. They send a message through a quicker, juicer route than that of words.

This is not psycho-babble. Consider Mona Lisaís smile. Consider your motherís smile. And consider Donald Driverís smile. Even those who are only vaguely aware of the Green Bay Packers know Driverís ear-to-ear grin of joy, that enormous twinkle in his eye.

The smile I most often remember is the one he flashed as he trotted to the sidelines after pulling off an amazing catch, often after getting hit with a ferocity that would make most of us black out. His joy in the triumph of outwitting and outrunning his opponents made him glow. He had the best smile in pro football.

Hereís the proof of my premise: When you read that last paragraph, did the words link to the image of Driverís smiling face? Did that make you warm all over? Thatís the power of an image. It lodges somewhere in the brain and flows out on cue, sometimes in a powerful flood of emotion. (OK, if youíre not a Packers fan, you donít have to read this, and you donít have to let us know about it.)

Driver announced today (Jan. 31, 2013) that he is retiring. Good for him. Heís taken enough nasty blows to the body and brain; I hope not too many.

Heís likely not leaving us. I donít think heíll ignore the continued proposals to be a spokesman or pitchman for some product or cause. That smile is worth money. Again, good for him.

So this is a thank-you to Donald Driver, for giving us years of goose bumps and smiles. And if youíre on a tour to promote something, Donald, this corner of the Badger State might not be a bad place to include on your tour. Your fan base is strong here.



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