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What does Philip Rivers have to do to get some damn respect?

Some call him arrogant, conceited, and a cry-baby. Others say he isn’t as good as the other two well-known, highly-publicized quarterbacks that were picked in the same draft as him, and for a moment there, I saw where they were coming from. However, two things happened that made me become a fan of Philip Rivers: him and Jay Cutler talkin’ crazy to each other during a Chargers home game a couple of years ago, and the 2008 divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The San Diego Chargers were playing the Colts, the defending Super Bowl champs, and Rivers was having a field day, picking apart the Colts defense at will. He got injured on a pass to Darren Sproles in the second half, and as he was leaving the field, he got into an exchange with some Colts fans, and right there, I became a fan of the man. I’m not a fan of everyone who talks crazy, but if you can back it up, which is what he was doing, and has done ever since, I have no problem with it, whatsoever. The Chargers went on to win the game, and advance to the AFC Championship. Come to find out, the man was playing with a torn ACL, but still showed up, and did work.

Last year, he tied Drew Brees with 34 touchdown passes, while throwing only 11 picks, but once again, the disrespect was rampant; all of a sudden, not only was he not as good as Ben Aura (which I can understand totally), or Eli (which is absolutely ridiculous), but he wasn’t even the best in his freaking division, since folks were already crowning Cutler. I don’t wanna shit on Cutler to build up Rivers, so I won’t go that route. However, I’ll say the Broncos had a three-game lead in the division last year and only needed one game to clinch, but they couldn’t do so. The Chargers finished the season on a tear, caught the Broncos, smashed them in the deciding game, then went on to win their opening-round game against the Colts (again), before bowing out in the next round to the Steelers (the eventual champs).

There are some people who attribute his numbers to him playing in the AFC West, and for that, I understand where they’re coming from. The AFC West is God-awful, so that point is taken into consideration. There are others who say “well, he has the best running back in all of football.” Well hold on a second; let some people tell it, they say LT isn’t too tough, and just so happens to be hurt or injured during the latter part of the year, and if that’s the case, it would mean Rivers would have to pick up the slack, right? I mean, I’m just sayin; people can’t have it both ways. Eventually, people have to give the man his due.

In my opinion, he’s easily a top-ten quarterback, and if he gets the Chargers over the hump, and to the Super Bowl this season, I’ll vault him into the top-five. He’s a leader, he comes through in the late part of the season, and the man simply has no fear. Everything is in place for them to make it happen; guaranteed division title (about as guaranteed as can be), a team that realizes its days are numbered, and a star quarterback. Just wait and see.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda


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