Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Donald Driver does “Dancing with the Stars”

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Folks, in case you haven’t heard yet, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, 37, who holds a number of receiving records for the Packers, has decided to become a contestant on ABC’s hit TV show, “Dancing with the Stars.”  Driver will be teamed with Peta Murgatroyd, and has already said that the idea of getting spray tanned or wearing some of the outlandish outfits both men and women are expected to wear is going to take some getting used to.

Here’s a link to a story from Sports Illustrated about Driver going on DWTS that focuses on the oddity of athletes going on this show at all:

http://nfl.si.com/2012/02/28/donald-driver-joins-long-strange-legacy-of-athletes-on-dancing-with-the-stars/?section=si_latest

And the Los Angeles Times asks the question, “Can Donald Driver stay healthy?”  Here’s a relevant quote:

But injuries tend to run through “DWTS” seasons like linemen picking their way through an agility ladder. . . even experienced hoofers have been plagued with physical woes, including Jennifer Grey, who rose to fame in the film “Dirty Dancing.”

. . .

This should all be sobering stuff for Driver, who has played for the Packers since 1999 and — unlike fellow “DWTS” contestant Martina Navratilova, who retired from tennis years ago — is still very much in the game. At 37, he’s getting on in years for an NFL-er. And he has seen his share of workplace injuries in recent years. He sprained his ankle early during the 2011 Super Bowl and couldn’t return to the game, although the Packers won anyway.

What’s most surprising about the news that Driver will go on DWTS is that there were no hints in Wisconsin about this to the best of my knowledge; absolutely none.  Driver is a guy with a sunny personality and a very strong work ethic who’s done a great deal for charity in the past; if any of his personal charm translates to television, my guess is that he’ll do very well, providing he doesn’t sustain a serious injury.

I hate even writing the last, mind you, though it wasn’t me who brought up the “injury subject.”  But it’s the truth; even well-conditioned athletes like Driver have had troubles on this show because what they’re doing, dance-wise, is very different from what they do on the football field, on the basketball court, etc.  Dancing uses different muscles and that’s why someone who is in excellent shape can still end up injured (with the worst injury coming to Misty May Treanor several years ago, who tore her Achilles tendon; her partner was Maksim Chmerikovskiy).

Here’s to Driver for being willing to do something way out of his comfort zone.  And may he do well, be pain-free, and learn a new skill that he can share with his wife down the line during this season of DWTS.

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 29, 2012 at 11:40 pm

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