Philip Rivers plays the game of football like the coach’s son does in Little League. The San Diego quarterback seems like the kind of guy who would throw tantrums when he doesn’t like the play call, or would complain about not getting enough recognition after a win. The only issue is, at 33 years-old, Rivers is still the same kid.
Between slamming the ball down after an ensuing delay of game penalty, or throwing the ball in frustration back at his offensive line when a false start occurs, Rivers seems to be far from an easy teammate to play alongside. While no one can question his competitiveness, his lack of postseason success leads to concerns about his leadership abilities.
Week 5’s Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was a perfect depiction of NFL fans’ feelings toward Rivers. The Chargers were up 20-17 with just under three minutes left, but any non-Chargers fan was cheering for Pittsburgh to pull out the road win.
This meant cheering for Michael Vick, the same Michael Vick who illegally ran an underground dog-fighting ring, to lead a comeback victory. It’s generally assumed that if people are cheering for Michael Vick over you, then you must really be disliked.
The polarization of Philip Rivers speaks to the world of sports we now live in. Crimes can be forgiven, but childish outbreaks and pompous personalities stick with us forever.
Now in his 12th season in the league, there’s little Rivers can do to change fans’ opinion of him. Maybe a Xanax or anger management lessons would go a long way in making him a more likable player, but the only real way he can gain everyone’s respect is to bring a Lombardi Trophy to San Diego.
With a Super Bowl title over the next few years appearing highly unlikely, Rivers’ legacy will be cemented as a fiery quarterback whose hatred toward losing perfectly mirrors how fans of the other 31 teams feel about him.
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