Browsing around the internet, I found a message board topic about the San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. We already knew what was coming.
“PHILIP RIVERS IS A TOOL!!!”
Unlike Philip Rivers' haters out there, I love the Philip Rivers smack talk! Love it!
For a time, everyone was upset with Rivers. You knew it was bad with the Steve Urkel of the NFL Network, Fran Charles, angrily called Rivers “the Opey of the NFL.”
I thought they were going to have to get the man some cheese to calm his nerves.
In Rivers’ first game as an NFL starter against the Oakland Raiders, he completed a beautiful 37-yard pass to Keenan McCardell as he was being ransacked by a seemingly angry Warren Sapp (is there any other kind of Warren Sapp, really?).
Rivers could be seen standing over Sapp, who was shocked by the crowd's reaction to the completion and yelling something at him. The announcers seemed to think it was “cute” that the young player got the best of NFL great Warren Sapp.
Sapp claims he told Rivers to “fix his skirt,” but there is no evidence anything other than a deflated Sapp shuffling back to the huddle.
Perhaps the most famous “toolism” by Rivers was interruption of a Jay Cutler tirade with a classic SCOREBOARD taunt. Cutler was cursing out the Chargers side line and grabbing his “stuff” after being stopped by the Chargers defense once again.
He was promptly pointed to the Denver Broncos sideline and told to get lost. While Rivers didn’t think much of the exchange, it deeply affected Cutler. Cutler took to the national airwaves to bash Philip Rivers for the way “he carries himself.” Oh the irony. Cutler was last seen high tailing it out of the AFC West.
To a point, Cutler was affected by one of the biggest cry babies ever to grace a football field—Champ Bailey.
Champ Bailey enjoyed an unchallenged run of smack talk as he easily bested Chargers quarterback Drew Brees in 2005 and the Broncos had won three of four games against the Chargers along with the AFC West Division. The Broncos were only one win away from winning the AFC Championship. Clearly, the Broncos were on top and that wasn’t going to change anytime soon with Brees out of the picture.
The Broncos led the Chargers by 17 points in Denver in the third quarter of a 2006 night game thanks to a Darrent Williams (RIP) interception. Bailey was feeling superior. Unfortunately for Champ, Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson led the Chargers back from the dead to victory, and the Bolts haven’t looked back.
Suddenly, Bailey found himself repeatedly targeted by Rivers passes with no success (at all) in defending them. After taking a verbal barrage from Rivers on top of a steady stream of seemingly undefendable passes, Champ had no choice but to voice his frustrations to ESPN which led to the Cutler debacle.
“And I don’t really care for the guy, first of all,” Bailey said of Rivers. “He’s not a respectable guy right now because you talk too much trash and do this and that, but you’re really not a great player in this league right now. You’re surrounded by great players, but you’re not a great player. I think he needs to understand where he stands in this league – where he stands on his team first and foremost.”
As the leader.
My favorite was the time Tommy Harris of the Chicago Bears shot a commercial with the Chargers in the 2007 off season.
“He kept telling Tommie how they were going to put at least 30 (points) on the board against the Bears,” remembered Harris’ agent. “I listened to him trash-talking all night. I remember saying to one of the guys there, ‘Man, I wish I had a camera rolling on this.’ I can’t wait for Tommie to get after him.”
Tommie would soon get his chance. The Bears were coming for a visit to San Diego to open the 2007 season. The Chargers defense referred to Rex Grossman as a mental midget, but that wasn’t all. They also called out running back Cedric Benson as being soft. The Bears players shot back with talk of how few yards Tomlinson rushed for the previous time the teams met.
An angry Bears defense showed up in San Diego and dominated the Chargers offense. In the end, however, the Chargers defense was correct about Grossman and Benson. The Bolts easily won the game 14-3.
Rivers smack talk makes being a fan so much more fun!