Driver Softball: Fun Overshadows News

One day after a sexual assault allegation against a teammate, Donald Driver hosts 7,100 of his new best friends at his charity softball game. The offense, powered by two homers apiece from Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn and Bryan Bulaga, routed the defense.

GRAND CHUTE — Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn can throw a football. And, it turns out, they can hit a softball.

Rodgers, Flynn and first-round pick Bryan Bulaga hit two home runs apiece to power the offense's 30-18 rout of the defense at Sunday's Donald Driver Charity Softball Game at Fox Cities Stadium.

More than 7,100 fans filled the stadium, with proceeds benefitting the Donald Driver Foundation. Driver received $10,000 from AirTran Airways and made a $20,000 donation to Special Olympics.

"I'm just glad that everybody showed up to raise a good amount of money so we'll be able to help a lot of families, a lot of children," Driver said before the game.

The offense bolted to an 8-2 lead after the first inning, powered by Rodgers' two-run homer. Flynn and Breno Giacomini hit two-run homers in the second inning, Rodgers added a two-run blast in the third, Bulaga belted a two-run homer and Flynn ripped a three-run shot in the fifth, and Bulaga finished the offense's scoring with a blast in the sixth.

Desmond Bishop hit a grand slam, Clay Matthews III a three-run homer and Pat Lee contributed a solo shot for the defense, with Brett Goode adding an inside-the-park homer.

Flynn also successfully defended his title in the home run derby.

"It was an exciting game and it was a lot of fun winning the home run derby," Flynn said.

Flynn, Matthews, Brad Jones and Josh Sitton all played, one day after being questioned in connection with an alleged sexual assault near Wisconsin Dells. All four were cleared in the case, with Brandon Underwood — who was scheduled to participate in Sunday's game — the only player still under investigation by Lake Delton Police.

"I don't know a whole lot," said Matthews, who hosted a charity golf tournament in Wisconsin Dells that included several teammates on Friday. "I know none of us that are here today were involved. That's really all I know. In no way were we involved. We were down there for a golf tournament. Unfortunately, the alleged actions of one individual kind of put us in a bind.

Asked if the incident shows that high-profile players need to "watch their back" in all situations, Flynn said: "It's kind of tough to watch it when you're not in the wrong, not doing anything wrong. I'm a guy with high morals and high values. I didn't do anything this weekend that I'm embarrassed about. It's unfortunate that it happened and unfortunate your name gets thrown out there."

The off-the-field headlines didn't sour the mood on Sunday. The parking lot was filled with the smell of grills long before the first pitch. Inside the stadium, Driver's huge smile, Rodgers' celebrity, an uncountable number of autographs and on-the-field antics including T.J. Lang and Breno Giacomini playing the outfield while wearing sumo suits carried the day.

"It's still work. A lot of people don't understand that this is still work. We've got to practice. I've been at home taking batting practice for the last couple weeks," Driver joked. "No, no, I'm kidding. It's fun. It's a good opportunity to get away from the field and get out here and play something that we never play. It's good to come out here and have a good day."

Driver began hosting the game in 2008. For the previous seven years, Brett Favre was the host. Driver said his foundation has helped 65 homeless families and funded 19 scholarships worth $1,000 to Wisconsin students selecting a two- or four-year college.

"It's a great thing that Brett passed the torch to me," Driver said. "First thing I did, I asked him if I could take over the game. He allowed me to do it. It's a great cause and we're raising a lot of money."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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