For NFL players whose teams go deep into the post-season (to the Super Bowl, for example), the off-season comes and goes much too quickly. Before they know it, they are back at team facilities, training for the next season. While players continuously trained on their own, this summer’s labor dispute afforded them a little extra time away from the team to focus on things off the field. Many players around the league took the extra time they were afforded and used it to give back to the community. Here’s a brief recap of what some of your favorite Packers did.
Driver was a busy man this off-season. Whether it was appearing at events held by the YMCA of West Bend; showing his support for troops at the Great Lakes Naval Base in the northern Chicago suburbs; speaking at Washington Elementary School as a reward for them winning the Goodwill Industries Pack'er Up Donation Challenge; promoting healthy eating and exercise habits to kids in Madison; or reading to kids with Michelle Obama at the NEA's Read Across America Event in the Library of Congress, Driver was more than happy to help out.
Driver also hosted the 4th Annual Donald Driver Offense vs. Defense Softball Game presented by Kwik Trip. The game was attended by over 25 Packers including game host Donald Driver, Aaron Rodgers and Jermichael Finley. Game proceeds benefitted the Donald Driver Foundation, which supports local charities involved in the game such as Special Olympics Wisconsin and Goodwill Industries.
After partnering with the Blood Center of Wisconsin during the week of the Super Bowl to promote blood donations, Jones held his 3rd Annual NTAF (Never Think About Failure) Youth Football Camp in his hometown of San Jose, California.
James and his 19 assistant coaches ran kids aged 7 to 14 through football drills and provided them with guidance for situations both on and off the field. The camp was provided free of charge to the participants.
Matthews was named the honorary chair for AIDS Walk Wisconsin. The event is Oct. 1. Matthews had this to say about his involvement with the event:
"I'm proud to take a stand and fight back against the AIDS epidemic. There are too many lives at stake for any of us to ignore the damage and the heartache that HIV has brought to millions of people from all walks of life, including myself.
I am excited to do whatever I can to raise AIDS awareness so that the number of new HIV cases are reduced and make sure that people living with HIV get the health care they need.
I especially want to urge the young men and women of my generation to join me in this commitment by registering, raising pledges and turning out in great numbers for AIDS Walk Wisconsin."