Donald Driver's smile
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 hug—those 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 Lisa’s smile. Consider your mother’s smile. And consider Donald Driver’s smile. Even those who are only vaguely aware of the Green Bay Packers know Driver’s 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.
Here’s the proof of my premise: When you read that last paragraph, did the words link to the image of Driver’s smiling face? Did that make you warm all over? That’s 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 you’re not a Packers fan, you don’t have to read this, and you don’t have to let us know about it.)
Driver announced today (Jan. 31, 2013) that he is retiring. Good for him. He’s taken enough nasty blows to the body and brain; I hope not too many.
He’s likely not leaving us. I don’t think he’ll 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 you’re 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.