With news of Philip Rivers’ retirement breaking early, dedicated Chargers and NFL fans alike have paid their respects and bid farewell to the 39-year-old star. Over the 17 seasons serving as the heart and soul of the San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers, Rivers gained the reputation as an honest, honorable, hard-working player. No matter how bad the season was going (considering we’re talking about the Chargers, it was probably pretty bad), Rivers was always the one to keep his head up and motivate his teammates. He is a natural leader who truly loves the game and has served as a great role model for young football fans.
In honor of his impressive career, here are some of his most legendary attributes:
- His family-friendly trash talk
As a father of 9, Rivers is known for being the king of PG clapbacks. One of the best of his mic’d up moments followed Rivers lobbing an 84-yard bomb of a touchdown in a 2019 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was so excited that after being knocked down and helped up by Jaguars player Yannick Ngakoue, he got up and immediately started screaming, “ninety-yard touchdown! Ninety yard touchdooowwnnn!” Though Ngakoue was clearly not amused, Twitter most certainly was. Between dropping “dadgummits” right and left, along with his other laughable signature slang, other players in the league frequently commented on how much fun Rivers was to compete with during press conferences and interviews. Former Charger Marcus McNeill explained, “that’s the energy that Phil brings and that’s why our huddles were so electric” (Xtra 1360 Fox Sports Radio).
- His cannon of an arm
There’s a reason Philip Rivers is a household name for pretty much any NFL fan in America. Aside from being a fun guy, he’s a pretty awesome football player. Among River’s accomplishments include ACC Player of the Year, eight Pro Bowl invitations, he accumulated over 63,000 passing yards, and on September 27, 2020, Rivers made history with the Colts when became the sixth player to achieve 400th career touchdown passes.
- His unwavering devotion to San Diego fans
After shadowing Drew Brees for the first two years with the Chargers, Rivers started every single game after that, collecting 134 career wins. Even after the Chargers parted ways with San Diego, Rivers made sure to make it known that he still loved the city and was eternally grateful for everything it gave him. “I certainly understand the mixed feelings and emotions many in San Diego have about our move,” Rivers remarked in an interview with Xtra 1360 Fox Sports Radio. “It’s more than understandable. Those that still cheer and pull for us each week, we certainly appreciate it. I again, personally, want to express my gratitude for all the love and support that I’ve always felt in and around town, whenever I’m out and about.” He was and will always be the face of Chargers football, holding the record for every major passing category. Even when he retired he broke the news to the San Diego Union-Tribune first.
All in all, it’s really hard not to love Philip Rivers, no matter how you may feel about the teams he’s played for. Rivers is the perfect example of good character both on and off the field, and though it’s a bummer he never got the Super Bowl ring he deserved, he will leave behind an admirable legacy and will be missed dearly in the NFL.