Driver's DWTS partner 'very lucky to have him'

BY foxsports • June 4, 2012

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. — Apparently there is quite a substantial difference between dancing with Donald Driver and dancing with Ron Artest.

For Peta Murgatroyd, Driver's partner in their victorious run on this season's "Dancing with the Stars," those have been her only two experiences on the show.

While dancing with the Los Angeles Lakers' fiery forward now known as Metta World Peace, Murgatroyd was the first elimination. One season later, she is the show's champion due in part to Driver's commitment to perfecting his newest craft.

"It's a testament to, if you get somebody good and willing to do it, then that's the goal at the end of the day," Murgatroyd said Sunday at Driver's charity softball game. "You just want somebody that wants to be there and wants to be a part of it. I'm very lucky to have (Driver)."

Driver and Murgatroyd, who showed off their mirror ball trophy to the sell-out crowd in attendance, spent upwards of 10 hours each day during the show's run working to earn that award.

"As the weeks got longer and we each had to learn more dances, it got longer and longer," Driver said.

Even at age 37, Driver's reputation as an NFL player that never needed much assistance with conditioning carried over to the dance floor. Entering the contest at four-percent body fat, Driver is now down to two-percent body fat.

But Murgatroyd saw other factors that contributed to Driver's success on the show.

"I would say his determination to win that mirror ball, I think he had that from the get-go," Murgatroyd said. "As soon as we met each other we put in a game plan that we were in it to win it, and that's it. We weren't going to settle for anything less."

With nearly the entire Packers roster in attendance to participate in the softball game, there were plenty of players that outshined Driver on that field. However, Murgatroyd didn't need to see the rest of the team dance in order to confidently decide that Driver would easily defeat them in her area of expertise.

"They couldn't touch you," Murgatroyd told Driver with a smile as they sat side-by-side.

Now that Driver is well-versed in the dance world, he's trying to get his partner to understand a bit about his day job in the NFL.

"I grew up with Aussie rules, which is a completely different game to this," Murgatroyd said. "What they wear, how they throw, what they run to, the lines on the field, it's all completely different. I've learned a few things now. I've learned what Donald does. I'm so glad to be a part of Packer Nation. It's great."

Murgatroyd threw out the first pitch at the game and inadvertently distracted one young Packers player in the process.

"I missed that ball in the outfield because I was too busy looking at @PetaMurgatroyd. #Love," second-year tight end D.J. Williams posted on Twitter.

If all goes as planned, Driver will be hosting Murgatroyd at Lambeau Field for a Packers regular-season game later this year.

"It will be my first (NFL game), but what better way to make it my first," she said.

But before that game in three months, Murgatroyd is hoping to figure out a touchdown dance for Driver that won't get him fined by the NFL.

"I think we're definitely going to have to put something together," Murgatroyd said. "The cha-cha would be good."

Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.


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