Broncos-Chargers: Rivers Mouth and Play Runs Deep

Ian PhilipAnalyst IIIDecember 28, 2008

I read the comments section of a recent article and came across this:

CUTLER:  Cue Up The Ludicrous Elway Reference

It's a fact: Broncos fans are holding Jay Cutler harmless for being a jerk, while Chargers fans are doing the same thing with Philip Rivers.


Both guys are been jerks, that's why we love them.

The thing you've got to love most about these two guys is their competitive nature.  They can't stand losing, which means that they will not continue to lose.

One Denver fan essentially wrote that he could take his Broncos getting rolled by Peyton Manning—over Philip Rivers—because Manning is much more professional than the arrogant Philip Rivers.  Charger fans should love that.

Charger fan ucsd_guy wrote:

You, and many Broncos fan, will not even entertain that perhaps it was Cutler that started it all last year with his trash talking and grabbing his crotch. Instead you claim that it was PR that was responsible from what you saw on TV.

That is not where it all started, but it was escalated from there.

I give Champ Bailey some of the credit for going to the media and complaining about Philip Rivers' smack talk.  Before a game between the two rivals last December, Bailey complained to Suzy Kolber (a 5'2" 110 pound woman) that he onces liked Philip Rivers, but then changed his mind as the trash freely flowed from Rivers lips.

After the game:

"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."

Rivers has repeatedly targeted Champ Bailey as if he has a bulls-eye on his back.  Philip Rivers has stated he loves Champ Bailey...when Champ is playing bump and run coverage.

Obviously, a competitive guy and leader of the Broncos like Cutler could not, should not, and would not allow Rivers to dominate and laugh about it without firing back. 

Grabbing your crotch, cursing people out on the field, and staring down the Chargers sideline might not have been the best way to go about it, but the Chargers essentially asked for it.

The Chargers were basically partying on the field last December with Jay Cutler as their whipping boy—it was their third straight blowout victory over Jay Cutler.  Anytime you break into a salsa dance (Luis Castillo) on a football field and the head coach joins in, you're just showing off.

Of course if you go back to December of 2005, you'll find second year man Philip Rivers so frustrated by the Denver Broncos' domination, that he became possibly the first QB in football history to draw an unnecessary roughness penalty after tackling a pass intercepting Denver Bronco by the face mask and attempting to break the man's neck on purpose.

Rivers refusal to use curse words led NFL Network host Fran Charles wonder why "the Opie of the NFL" would verbally abuse defenses all across the NFL.  Of course Fran Charles is the Urkel of the NFL Network, so I don't know how much stock you put in that comment.

Rivers has toned down his verbal assualts, but apparently told Ronde Barber he should know the rules, since he's been in the league for 40 years. 

Rivers talks smack on the football field whether there's a real game or not.

During the filming of a Chunky Soup commercial, Tommie Harris of the Chicago Bears accused Rivers of unleashing a avalanche of smack talk, saying the Bears would never stop the Chargers and that the Chargers would score over 30 when the Bears came to visit.

Now why Rivers felt the need to talk trash to Tommie Harris during the filming of a commercial I'll never know, but that was one of the most anticipated season opening games between non-conference opponents I've seen in a long time as players from both teams joined in the smack talk.

Former Oakland Raiders DT Warren Sapp claims that Philip Rivers was the only QB besides Brett Favre to trash talk to him, but that he quickly quieted Rivers by telling him to "go fix your skirt."

What actually happened during the Chargers 27-0 drilling of Sapp's Oakland Raiders was that Sapp came with tremendous pressure and took Rivers down as he was releasing the ball.  While still on the ground and after the crowd reacted, Sapp exclaimed "There is no way he completed that pass!"

Philip Rivers quickly turned back to let Sapp know, oh yea, the pass was completed.  Now if Warren Sapp mouthed "go fix your skirt" under his breath as he sulked back to the huddle, the cameras didn't pick that up.

There is no doubt from that moment to the point he rubbed in the Colts fans face in last year's playoffs two years later, he was getting a bit out of hand.

Rivers is maturing a bit, however.  Anybody remember this soundbite from Shawne Merriman?

Late in a game between Rivers’ North Carolina State team and Merriman’s Maryland team, the linebacker raced in and leveled the quarterback, who was desperately trying to rally his team.

“Oh, he was (mad),” Merriman said. “I tried to get up and he twisted my ankle. I turned around and said, ‘What the hell are you doing twisting my ankle?’ He got in my face and I got in his face.”

Sure enough, a photo from that day shows the rangy quarterback facemask-to-facemask with the nasty linebacker, refusing to back down.

“You like for that spark to be in a quarterback and for him to have that ferociousness,” Merriman said, looking back on that day in college. “I love that. I love anybody that wants to compete with me.”

Rivers was a young punk on the football field.  At home, he's a church going family man and a father of four.  The embarrassment he faced last season after being exposed has caused him to grow up quite a bit and his play on the field has improved greatly as a result.

To me, there is no doubt that the extreme hatred between the Broncos and Chargers was caused by Philip Rivers. 

Really, though, it used to be the Broncos, Raiders, and Chiefs

...and oh yea, the Chargers.

Then it was the Chargers.

...and oh yea, the Broncos, Raiders, and Chiefs.

There was actually some debate as to whether it would be the Chargers that would move to NFC rather than the Seahawks

Why?  Because the other teams in the division didn't hate the Chargers enough.

Now, thanks to Philip Rivers, the Broncos can't stand the Chargers.  Personally, I love that!

On a side note, former Charger and current Kansas City Chief offensive tackle Damion McIntosh (known as SackIntosh while in San Diego) will be rooting hard for the Broncos:

He’ll be rooting for Denver over San Diego. McIntosh said he doesn’t like the Chargers’ style.

“It’s cockiness,” said McIntosh, the Chiefs’ right tackle. “Like they deserve to be there.”

If they beat the Denver Broncos tonight, they do.


    Re-Drafting the 2017 Draft

    Los Angeles Chargers logo
    Los Angeles Chargers

    Re-Drafting the 2017 Draft

    Maurice Moton
    via Bleacher Report

    Dream Draft Fits for Every Team

    Los Angeles Chargers logo
    Los Angeles Chargers

    Dream Draft Fits for Every Team

    Zach Kruse
    via Bleacher Report

    Last-Minute Draft Risers Up Big Boards

    NFL logo

    Last-Minute Draft Risers Up Big Boards

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report

    Jackson Could Be the Draft's Best Bargain

    NFL logo

    Jackson Could Be the Draft's Best Bargain

    Sean Tomlinson
    via Bleacher Report