Since news recently came out that Tom Telesco will work out a deal to keep Philip Rivers in a Chargers uniform until he retires, it’s time to reflect on and embrace the hero the Chargers never deserved.
In 2006, Philip Rivers took over as the Chargers quarterback after the prior starter Drew Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints in the off-season. Many questioned the decision as Drew Brees was and has continued to be an elite NFL QB. In his first season as a starter, Philip led a talented Chargers team to a 14-2 season but ultimately fell short to the New England Patriots in the infamous Marlon Mcree game. Such is the tale of Philip’s impressive career, a player who can’t catch a break but continues to fight past the context-based criticism surrounding him at every corner.
Due to the success of his contemporaries, Philip has had to climb an insurmountable hill of expectations. A player who will finish his career with the 5th most passing touchdowns in NFL history happened to take over for a quarterback who will finish 1st in that category. Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, the two quarterbacks who were taken near him in his draft class, will finish 6th and 8th in passing touchdowns, respectively. All three have led their teams to super bowl wins, and all three will be Hall of Famers when they retire. This is the basis of every argument against Philip River’s career, and one he has no control over.
An organization that has experienced head coach and front office turnover, relocation to another city, Mike Mccoy, and a yearly plague of injuries that at times seems never-ending, has had a rock at its core for almost fifteen years.
The last 219 games Chargers fans have witnessed have been started by Philip Rivers even through a torn ACL, damaged vertebrae, and an offensive line starting Johnnie Troutman. The ability to fight through as much adversity as Philip has is Hall of Fame worthy on its own. The Nick Rose/Younghoe Koo/Travis Coons/Nick Novak/Caleb Sturgis kicking experience barely cracks the top ten list of hardest things Philip has had to endure but through all of that he remains the same.
With a ring-less career seeming more and more likely, Philip Rivers will undoubtedly be remembered more for what could have been instead of what he was. That aside, it is finally time to embrace who he is, not who he wasn’t.
The childhood exuberance, the unique side-arm delivery, and the humble and hard-working disposition on display throughout his life tend to go unappreciated due to the context of what surrounds him. He could never be Eli Manning, the third in a family of quarterbacks groomed for success that refused to play for the Chargers. He isn’t Ben Roethlisberger, thankfully. What he has been, is a consistent and great quarterback for a franchise that has lacked either of those qualities for most of its existence. It is time to appreciate Philip Rivers and everything he has done and give up the belief that anything else could have been better.
Play this forever: