Quarterback Philip Rivers surpasses the Football Hall of Fame
A Shut and Open Case for the legacy of Phil
Last fall, Rivers’ “stock” value with Colts fans had plummeted. In an article on Oct. 15, I urged fans to snap up those “shares” with me, because I knew what we had in the old gunslinger. Rivers hit top five and top ten for the rest of the season.
I wish I had that instinct for the real stock market.
With gas in the tank and a rising playoff team in the Colts, who leaves the NFL to coach high school football?!
What became obvious to Indianapolis Colts players, staff, fans, and media is that Philip Rivers simply and sincerely loves football. Rivers didn’t just love winning, he loved to play. Football wasn’t work, it was play. He often said that the joy of competing with his brothers in the backyard never left him, even in the harsh commercial environ of the NFL. He loved his teammates as brothers.
Phil even enjoyed his opponents; he wanted to play with them. This has been noted by countless players, both teammates and rivals. Listen to his teammates, his coaches, his opponents of the last 17 years and you will see a portrait of a unique and admirable man. Rivers is honest, passionate, humble, and admired, and that is why he, as a human being, transcends football.
Q: How can Philip Rivers surpass Super Bowl wins and thus the Hall of Fame?
A: Because sports at its best is story, and he is an unforgettable character.
You can’t say most elite quarterbacks are unforgettable characters. Many come across as high-functioning sociopaths (shout out to Bill Belichick too, LOL). If I had to pick one famous quarterback to go to war with, I would want No.17 to stand beside me. Or rather in front of me.
Whether or not the Hall of Fame passes Rivers by, he has surpassed it. To a devout Christian like Rivers, the Hall of Fame is not a temple for idol worship, but an honored fellowship, an earthly Valhalla.
Philip Rivers is so much more than his stats for each season. He is a man for all seasons, football and otherwise.
Because what is legendary about gosh-darn Philip Rivers is not how much he won and lost, but how he played the game.
Dadgummit, that’s my quarterback.