What is it about Philip Rivers that gets on everyone’s nerves? This is something that I need someone to clarify for me. Living in New Jersey, I am right in the thick of the Giants, Jets, and Eagles territory, and going to college in Massachusetts I was in Patriot territory and besides the fact that the Giants drafted Rivers and traded him instantly for Eli Manning, Rivers has no tie to these teams what so ever. So why is it that 90% of my friends and others I talk football with all despise Phillip Rivers?
Let me first say that I for one have absolutely nothing against Philip Rivers. I think he is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL and that he got robbed of a Pro Bowl berth this season. I also despite popular opinion think he might be the best quarterback of the 2004 NFL draft. When looking at the statistics of Rivers first 3 years starting, he has put up much better numbers then Big Ben and Eli Manning did.
So when I ask all these haters of Philip Rivers why they despise Rivers I’ve gotten common responses like, “He is cocky,” “All he does is whine,” “He’s a crybaby,” “Who does he think he is?” and of course the only legitimate gripe is, “Did you see what he did to Cutler?” But the guy is a competitor; can we all just judge him on that one confrontation with division rival Jay Cutler? I am a big Jay Cutler fan, and I have gotten over it. But all these other common labels on Rivers aren’t justified in my opinion. When I think Philip Rivers I think tough under the radar quarterback who will do anything he can to win.
Maybe it’s just that Rivers has nothing pretty or clean about him. There is nothing appealing about his throwing motion despite its effectiveness. He looks clumsy when moving outside the pocket. Maybe its because you very rarely see him smiling on or near the football field. Maybe its because he’s not in every other commercial on TV. He isn’t blown up on Sportscenter constantly so his production is under appreciated. I think these are the things that affect the leisurely fans.
So Philip Rivers, keep on doing what you do. Keep on producing and competing. Keep playing through those injuries and soon you will get the recognition that you deserve. I for one will remember him strapping that knee brace on, and playing with a serious ACL injury in the playoffs, while a certain superstar was on the bench sulking.
When all is said and done with the draft of 2004’s quarterback class, it is very well possible that Philip Rivers will be the best Quarterback of the common trio of Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, and himself. But these comparisons wont come into the headlines till Rivers leads San Diego to a Championship.