Donald Driver handed over the reins of his annual charity softball game to fellow receiver Jordy Nelson. The transition was seamless, #87's first time hosting was a success.... especially on the field --- the Offense beat the Defense and specialists, 26-11.
“That's just the way the offense rolls we score points, hit a lot of homeruns, I think that was the big thing, a lot of big sluggers up there so that helped out,” explained Jordy Nelson.
“They seemed like they had second careers in baseball if they needed to so we're a little out-matched today but we'll train this whole next year and make sure we come back and beat them next year,” said Mason Crosby.
Despite the lop-sided outcome, the fans enjoyed the day. Over 73-hundred flocked to Fox Cities stadium for the festivities. Former Badger Jared Abbrederis explained to his fellow rookies, this is the norm for the Dairy State.
“I was saying, some guys were like wow they got a lot of people here and I'm like hey that's Wisconsin, we got great fans and it’s good to have the support,” said Abbrederis.
The host tells us it’s a big difference without their helmets on... This event gives the players an opportunity to show their personalities.
“When we're on the field even in training camp I mean it's serious business guys are competing for their jobs. Here it's a time to relax, show some personality, have fun see us face to face”.
And some of these professional football players are like fish out of water on the softball diamond.
“To be able to see us, yeah in a different element, see some of us struggle at times too. Come watch us do our best on the football field, out here I think it’s a little more fun when some guys have a hard time hitting the ball or doing different things,” Crosby explained.
“Guys are very good football players but it's interesting to see and we don't even know some of them who aren't really true athletes, they're just football players so it’s good to see guys struggle and how they handle that and it'll be good memories and good jokes for awhile,” said Crosby.
Today's all fun for a great cause, but what about the serious stuff? Nelson is entering the final year of his contract... with Driver passing the event to the Nelson Family, does that indicate the Pack's most tenured receiver plans on signing a long-term contract???
“My wife and I have enjoyed it. We've been here 6 years going on 7 years now, we don't want to go anywhere else, we love it here, we want to be here and hopefully we can get to that point,” said Nelson.
“We have friends, we've got kind of a community that we like, like our neighborhood, like our neighbors so it's definitely a place we want to be,” Emily Nelson weighed in.
Fans certainly hope to see Nelson on the field... and the diamond, for many years to come.
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