It all came about because of a neighbor, who happened to be a diehard Chargers fan.
Initially, I was never a gal who liked to watch football. I went to a couple of games in high school but that was it. I grew up in this little place in Rhode Island, which is about a 90-minute drive outside of Boston. The closest NFL team was the Patriots. (I know, boo-hiss!) The only thing I could tell you then about the New England Patriots was that their quarterback was Jim Plunkett and they played at Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, MA.
My dad was a baseball guy, a fan of the good ol’ Boston Red Sox. The BoSox were his team, and Luis Tiant was his favorite player; probably more so than either Carl Yazstremski (“Yaz” was my favorite) or Tony Conigliaro.
We never watched football!
No, not even Super Bowls!
Fast forward to moving from the East Coast to the West Coast in 1980. I was still pretty uneducated about football at that time, but not for much longer!
I believe it was that fall when we began going to our neighbor’s home to watch San Diego Chargers football on Sunday afternoons. The Chargers’ Air Coryell offense was flying high with Fouts at QB. He had Charlie Joiner and John Jefferson at wideout, along with Chuck Muncie and John Cappelletti as his running backs. Additionally, No. 14 had Kellen Winslow at the tight-end spot. Remember that defense? Willie Buchanon, Louie Kelcher, Woody Lowe, Don Macek, Jim Laslavic and Ed White. Beasts!
That was a great year to start being a fan. The Chargers ended the season with an 11-5 record, finishing in 1st place in the AFC West. They went on to face the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round and won. Unfortunately, they ran into the Oakland Raiders at the AFC Championship level and lost. Disappointed, but my interest was piqued.
The following year the Chargers won their division again, in no small part due to the guys who returned from the previous year, but also additions like Wes Chandler, James Brooks, Eric Sievers and Pete Holohan.
Then came the “Epic in Miami.” What a game! Once you hear it, all football fans immediately associate it with the image of an exhausted and drained Kellen Winslow being helped off the field by a couple of teammates. Chargers won the hard-fought, see-saw contest, 41-38 in overtime. It was quite a battle.
These are the types of games that get fans fired up! I was no different. By that point, I was becoming a fan, although my understanding of the sport was still miniscule.
After the heat and humidity of Miami a week later, Fouts and Company found themselves in Cincinnati. This game gets a nickname, too: the “Freezer Bowl.” From the heat and humidity of Miami to the sub-zero temperatures in Cincy, where the wind chill at game time was minus-59 degrees! The Chargers would have the fight of their football lives on the line. Sadly, they lost to the Bengals 27-7.
Of course, there were other games and players that helped solidify my enjoyment – and frustration – of Chargers’ football, just like many other people who root for them. As a “transplant” to California in 1980, there were four football teams here: the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders, the LA Rams and the San Diego Chargers.
I chose to represent San Diego then as I do now. My understanding of the game is better because of family and friends, plus a little bit of reading. I still have a long way to go and every year is a learning experience.
Thanks for some awesome memories over the years, San Diego Chargers! Now let’s bring on 2016!
Thank you for reading!
Over the weekend the San Diego Chargers released a brand-new four-and-a-half minute sizzle ad, launching their movement to win the stadium vote in November. The ad, narrated by Chargers’ legend and Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, shows a beautiful 3-D rendering of the stadium, complete with improvements to the cityscape both physically and financially. Edited versions of the ad will be seen on local television soon.
The ad spearheads a full mass media campaign blitz which will also cover print, radio and social media. In addition to the Chargers’ efforts, citizen-led fan groups such as Save Our Bolts, Die Hard Bolt Club, San Diego Chargers Backers, Bolt Pride and others will cover the streets of San Diego by foot, detailing the stadium plan and encouraging citizens to vote YES in November.
To view the full-length stadium ad, click on the image below.
The ad is funded by Citizens for Sports, entertainment and Tourism with major funding from Chargers Football Company LLC. Major bulletpoints in the video stress the fact that there will be no new taxes levied on San Diego citizens. The funds would instead come from tourists, convention-goers and out-of-town business people staying in local hotels.
The 55-year history of the Chargers in San Diego is highlighted going back as far as Fouts’ famed ‘Air Coryell’ era to the current Philip Rivers-led era. The CGI-renderings show a beautiful state-of-the-art facility with a convention center annex. The deck of the annex would feature multiple viewing balconies and a grass-covered rooftop ‘sky garden’ where patrons can enjoy a panoramic view of the San Diego skyline.
The stadium would hold 61,500 fans and when they host the Super Bowl, seating could be expanded to hold 72,000. As Fouts so eloquently asks in the video, “What could be sweeter than Raiders, Broncos and Patriots fans all helping pay for the project, when they pay their hotel bill?”
The video is capped by Chargers’ owner Dean Spanos, speaking on behalf of the entire Chargers organization.
“This new facility will be much more than a stadium, it will be a world-class event center for San Diego that will create new convention space and attract new sports and entertainment events year-round. I hope you’ll take some time to consider our proposal and know that we’re here to listen and respond. San Diego is our home, and I believe the best is still to come for all of us together. So please, join with us.” Spanos said.
The video is remarkable and would be a boon to the San Diego economy for decades to come. In the short-term, tons of new city and government jobs will be added. Stadiums take time to build and this stadium could take 5-7 years to complete. Money from the approved hotel rate hike would go into the general fund after the stadium revenues are fulfilled. That money can go anywhere from repaving roads, improving schools and improving outdated features of the city.
San Diego is the greatest destination city in America, every travelling convention, trade show, major concert act would make San Diego a priority. Special attraction events such as the Olympics, World Cup, Final Fours, Wrestlemania and the yearly return of Comic-Con would ensure there is no off-season when it comes to the amount of money the city stands to make.
Citizens of San Diego, you owe this to yourselves and to your families. All it takes is a Yes vote at the polls in November to provide the brightest future, not just for the Chargers, but for the city of San Diego and its’ people for decades to come.
When all those annoying Broncos, Raiders and Chiefs fans roll into town bragging about how great their team is, we can just smile and thank them for building our new stadium. What do you think Bolt Nation? Will this get a YES vote from you in November? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Greg One
In last week’s Los Angeles relocation conference in Houston the NFL owners awarded the right to move to California to the St. Louis Rams. The San Diego Chargers have first opportunity to flesh out an agreement to share the venue with the Rams if a deal can be worked out between Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Chargers owner Dean Spanos.
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis was left in the cold with his hand out. Davis is the next in line to negotiate with Kroenke if Spanos doesn’t work out a deal by this time next year. Davis gets $100 million to build a stadium in Oakland if he can come to an agreement to do so with the city. Only one problem…
Davis has no right to Oakland now that his lease on O.Co stadium has ended. If the season started today, the Raiders would have no place to play. The sins of the father have truly come full circle and landed solely on his son and his organization.
Davis is keeping a close eye on what happens with Spanos and Kroenke because now his first priority is securing a place to play for his team. Davis has acquired land in San Antonio and he is open to the idea of playing there if San Antonio will have him and the owners approve his moving there.
These are the very same owners that voted 30-2 against him getting to move to Los Angeles.
Davis is also willing to stay in California and move to San Diego if Spanos and Kroenke come to an agreement to share the L.A. venue. Allegedly, the league wants to keep San Diego as a location because it is the best destination location in the NFL.
So that begs the question…Would you root for the San Diego RAIDERS?
Chargers fans are practically born with a hate for the Raiders in their blood. The blood feud between the Chargers and Raiders extends beyond the field and into the fan bases with a Hatfields versus McCoys type of intensity. However, this is a different day and age.
If the Bolts bolt to Los Angeles, many spurned fans are not willing to leave San Diego County to support them. Losing the NFL will be a major blow to the city economically. Money has no loyalty. The city will welcome Mark Davis with open arms if he wants to bring his team there but will the fans?
After 55 years of rooting the loudest against the Raiders, can the switch be so easily flipped if the Raiders become the home team? Many will defect and cheer for football in San Diego no matter what colors the home team wears. Others will toss their allegiance to a different team and the loyalists will cheer on the L.A. Chargers.
What side do you come out on?
I was born and raised a San Diego Chargers fan. They were my first favorite team regardless of sport and it has stayed that way. If the Chargers were to move to Los Angeles I will follow them there. The players have nothing to do with this. We’re mad at the city and the team officials for not getting this obstacle out of the way long ago. We’re mad at the laziness of all involved in waiting until the last second to entertain a vote to build a new stadium ensuring the team stays.
The players are not boycotting playing in San Diego. The players are as in the dark on this matter as we are. I enjoyed the Air Coryell years immensely. The 1994 championship run and the subsequent Ladainian Tomlinson era provided the greatest joys of my life as a sports fan. I’ve endured more losing seasons than I care to but every year I come back for more. Now is no different.
Philip Rivers is my favorite athlete. Just two years ago I stood at the bottom of the stage at the NFL Draft in New York City as Jason Verrett came down the stairs. Amidst his euphoria of just getting drafted, Verrett saw me cheering him in my powder blue Rivers jersey and he came forward and hugged me. Just last summer I met Melvin Gordon at the draft on three different occasions and he always had time to stop and talk for a few minutes. Gordons’ thousand watt smile never left his face and his Chargers lid didn’t leave his head the whole time.
I’ve had the privilege of getting invited to cover charity events of the Chargers players as you’ve seen on this site in the past. The players are always extremely kind, willing to be a part of your life even if for a few minutes. My loyalty is with the players. That’s my team. Those are my guys. Wherever they play is where i’ll be. San Diego. Los Angeles. Mars.
I’ll be there.
For the record, I say if you’re ready to forsake the Chargers at their lowest moment you were never a true fan. The same way we don’t choose our parents, the team didn’t choose their owners. We wear the players names on our backs, not the names of the owners. Separate the team you live and die for (if that’s the case) from the ownership. Your beef is with those in the ivory tower who are facilitating this hot mess. The players are collateral damage. If you’re ready to abandon ship on the Chargers and root for the Raiders if they relocate to San Diego all I have to say to you is this:
Bolt Nation doesn’t need you. I’d rather be stuck in Disneyland on the It’s A Small World Ride with a Justin Beiber concert droning on in front of me until the end of time than watch the Silver and Whack colors representing San Diego one time. You 619-for-lifers out there…represent your city. Have pride in your city, absolutely. Don’t declare your devotion for the Chargers then bolt to the Vader-mask wearing dark side if the Raiders set up shop in America’s Finest City.
If it happens, enjoy the black hole. I hope it swallows all of you whole so we never have to see Raiders players representing San Diego ever again. The very thought of it makes me want to projectile vomit all over my computer screen. True Chargers fans feel the same way I do.
Everything will be all right Bolt Nation. To paraphrase Terrell Owens:
That’s our team
That’s our quarterback
The rest of you can kick rocks. Are you staying Bolt proud or will you welcome the Raiders if they move in? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s GOOOOOOOOO
The Greg One
Four of the five longest tenured San Diego Chargers will suit up this season, likely for their last time together. Quarterback Philip Rivers, safety Eric Weddle, tight end Antonio Gates and Wide receiver Malcom Floyd all are in their final year of their contract and it’s likely one or more will not be playing football come this time next year.
Now entering his 12th season as the face of the franchise, record-setting quarterback Rivers is the undisputed leader of the team. Recently, Rivers softened on the stance of not being interested in playing for the Chargers if they leave San Diego. There’s no doubt the team will throw as much money as necessary to keep him in lightning bolts. Rivers took a beating last season behind a patchwork offensive line resulting in back and rib injuries. GM Tom Telesco was busy this offseason re-signing and bringing in players to solidify the offensive line and keep Rivers upright. A new deal should be imminent.
A couple interesting milestones are worth following for Rivers this season. The biggest one is with three passing touchdowns, he will pass Dan Fouts into first place in that category. That record could fall in the first game. Rivers needs five fourth quarter comebacks and four game-winning drives to pass Fouts into first place in those categories as well. Considering those specific feats could happen simultaneously, it will be a curious event to track.
Rivers favorite target, Gates, is entering his 13th season as a pro. Rivers and Gates are the number one quarterback/tight end touchdown tandem as they have compiled 72 touchdowns together. One of the leagues greatest undrafted free agent success stories, Gates is a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer for his achievements on the field. Coming into the league after leading the Kent State basketball team into the Elite Eight of the 2002 NCAA tournament, Gates helped revolutionize the tight end position. Using his size, speed and basketball instincts to his advantage to win jump balls and create space over the middle, gates showed tight end can be more useful than just being an extra blocker that occasionally catches passes.
There are two huge milestones within reach for Gates this season. He has 99 touchdowns receptions for his career. You can be in the stands when he catches number 100. The Chargers begin the season at home against Detroit. With 13 touchdown receptions, Gates will be the all-time touchdown leader for a tight end, passing Tony Gonzalez who has 111. To his credit, he will achieve these milestones in three fewer seasons than Gonzalez. It’s not out of the realm of possibility. Gates had 12 touchdowns last season. Gates is likely to ride off into the sunset after this season, handing over the tight end reins to understudy Ladarius Green.
Malcom Floyd is entering his tenth season as another fantastic Chargers undrafted free agent signing. The gold standard for possession receivers, Floyd can claim the second-highest first down percentage in NFL history. In 2011, 41 of 43 catches went for first downs for a whopping 95.3%. At present, Floyd is eight all-time in receiving yardage (4,989). With 593 yards this season, he will pass Anthony Miller into seventh place behind Air Coryell great Wes Chandler. Last season, Floyd led the Chargers in receiving with 52 catches for 856 yards and six touchdowns.
The player Bolts fans lovingly refer to as M80 has stated that this season will most likely be his last. In a recent interview he intimated he wanted to spend more time with his wife and four children. He stated he will decide for sure after the season but the timing looks appropriate being in the last year of his contract.
Eric Weddle is another Chargers lifer who has made the most recent headlines in his quest for a contract extension. He has made his displeasure known and feels ‘highly, highly disrespected’ that the front office has told him they will not pursue a contract extension this season.
Weddle is the defensive captain and locker room leader. Now in his ninth season and just crossing the age of thirty, Weddle has shown no signs of slowing down but of improvement. Statistically, Weddle has improved each of the past three seasons. He’s been voted into the Pro Bowl three of the past four seasons. While feelings between Weddle and the front office are contentious, I expect the All-Pro safety to remain in lightning bolts whether the Chargers extend his contract during the season or franchise him after the season.
These four have been the staples, the hallmarks of the franchise for over a decade. Along with punter Mike Scifres they are the five most senior home-grown Chargers on the roster. They deserve our support and our thanks for their long years of continued service to our favorite team. I implore every Chargers fan to come out to at least one game and voice your appreciation for this amazing group of talents and enjoy as they play together.
One last time.
The Greg One
When scanning the debates on Chargers related social media outlets, one topic that always brings heated discussion is: Who is the best Chargers quarterback (QB) of all time? As you can imagine, this argument goes back and forth and at times borders on the ridiculous! Let us take a look at this question and see if there is one definitive answer, or if it is truly open to interpretation.
First or all, in order to answer the question, one must understand the guidelines set forth by the question. We are deciding the best “Chargers” quarterback of all time. Not the best quarterback who ever played for the Chargers. If we were looking to find the best quarterback who ever played for the Chargers, the answer would arguably be Johnny Unitas. Unitas played one season with the Chargers before hanging up his high-top cleats. He only started four games and had a record of 1-3 with San Diego. But his lifetime record of 118-64-4 puts him far past his nearest competitor, not to mention his Super Bowl championship in 1970 against Dallas. Although Unitas was undeniably brilliant as a quarterback in the league, he did almost all of his damage for the Baltimore Colts, not the San Diego Chargers. Therefore, he is not a viable candidate for best Chargers QB in history.
In this reporter’s humble opinion, there are only four quarterbacks in Chargers history who would even garner a vote; Dan Fouts, Stan Humphries, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers. Honestly, I only put Brees on this list because he is still loved in San Diego and many have still not gotten over the Chargers letting him go. In fact, Brees would give Unitas a run for his money when it comes to the best QB to every don the lightning bolts. Let’s take a look at these four QBs and see who has the most legitimate argument for being named the best Chargers quarterback of all time.
Dan Fouts: Fouts played his entire career for the Chargers. He came up as a rookie in 1973 and retired as a soon to be Hall of Fame inductee in 1987. He started 171 games for the Bolts, with a career record of 86-84-1. His career record may surprise you. Most would not honor the work of a QB who barely had better than a .500 record. Well, the fact is that the defense in those days carries a lot of the blame for the Chargers losses. Fouts put the points up, but the defense gave them right back. Fouts also led the Chargers to the post-season on four occasions with a career post-season record of 3-4.
He had a three year span (1979-1981) where his offense, masterminded by legendary coach Don Coryell, was unstoppable. He amassed 13,599 yards in those three seasons with a record of 33-15. Yardage numbers like Fouts was running up were unheard of at that time. In his career, Fouts totaled 43,040 passing yards. Many would argue that Coryell and Fouts laid a blueprint for the future of the NFL and what offenses have become today. Although his touchdown to interception ratio is not that impressive (254:242), one could argue that the wide open style of offense that “Air Coryell” offered was so risky that interceptions were destined to happen and not that big of a deal. The payoff would simply have to come on the next drive.
Stan Humphries: Humphries played six of his eight NFL seasons with San Diego. He played his first two seasons with the Redskins and then was brought to the Chargers in 1992. Good things were starting to happen in San Diego with a stout defense and solid running game needing one key ingredient; a quality starting quarterback. Since Fouts stepped down, the Bolts went through nine quarterbacks in just four seasons, before finding Humphries. Despite the team’s recent struggles, Humphries came in and was effective right away. He led the Bolts to an 11-4 record in his first season at the helm of the offense. In fact, his record was over .500 for his first five seasons with the Chargers. His only blemish was a 3-5 record in his injury shortened and final season in 1997. Statistically, many may argue that Humphries does not belong on this list. He only threw for 16,085 yards with a touchdown to interception ratio of 85:73. But stats do not include everything when it comes to judging a leader. The fact that Stan Humphries is the only quarterback in Chargers history to go to a Super Bowl makes him number one in some fans eyes.
Drew Brees: Brees is the lightning rod in this debate. Some would argue that it was preposterous that Brees was let go after receiving a career threatening shoulder injury on the last game of his expiring contract in 2005. Others would argue it was too big of a risk to keep a QB with an injured shoulder when you had Philip Rivers under contract and ready to start. Still others would argue that the injury had nothing to do with the dismissal of Brees. In fact, it was simply a power-play by then General Manager A.J. Smith to get Rivers on the field after he paid him $40 million to hold a clipboard for two seasons. Honestly, in regards to this question, why Brees left in irrelevant. The fact is that his numbers as a Charger were rather pedestrian compared to some others. Not to say that he would not have led the Bolts to glory as he did the Saints! We will never know what would have transpired if he had stayed. All we know for sure is that he didn’t stay and when considering whether he was the best Chargers quarterback in history, none of his Saints stats should be considered.
Taking a look at Brees’ stats with the Chargers you see that he had a record of 30-28 along with a touchdown to interception ratio of 80:53. Brees also accumulated 12,348 passing yards in his time with San Diego. Respectable numbers, but still not stellar. Brees did lead the Chargers to the post-season one time when he and the Chargers were upset by the underdog Jets. By most, Brees was given a pass on that loss due to a missed field goal by rookie kicker, Nate Kaeding.
Philip Rivers: Rivers, like Fouts is another lifetime Charger. He joined the team in 2004 and is still leading the offense today. In fact, he has not missed a start since he took over the reins from Brees in 2006. His numbers are undeniable. In his tenure with the Bolts, Rivers has amassed 36,655 yards passing with a 252:152 touchdown to interception ratio. His won/loss record with the Charges is a respectable 88-56. He has led the Chargers into the post-season on five different occasions with a record of 4-5.
In his younger days, Rivers was believed to be the chosen one who would finally lead the Bolts to the Promised Land. So far, that has not been the case and Chargers fans are growing impatient. Adding heat to the fire is the recent talk that Rivers will let his contract run out after the 2015 season and test free agency. Some call it leverage, other a smoke screen, still others say it is his way of saying, ‘If the Chargers are going to Los Angeles, I’m not going with them.’ Time will tell on that issue, but the fact is that current controversy aside, his numbers speak for themselves.
Well there you have it! Now who do you think the best Chargers QB in history is? Make your voice heard by answering the poll below.
Thanks for reading and participating! Go Chargers!
Fanatic: ( noun) 1. A person with an extreme or uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.
Another NFL season has come to a close and as a devotee of one of the 31 teams that did not acquire the brass ring, there is nothing to do but reflect. Instead of the usual breakdown that will and has already been done ad nauseam, I thought I’d use this space to purge my Chargers thoughts. Confessional style.
When it comes to sports I am, above all things, a Chargers fanatic. My earliest childhood memories come as a seven-year-old, sitting on my dad’s lap every Sunday. His drinking buddies came over because we had the biggest TV on the block. A giant, Zenith floor model unit that probably weighed some 200 pounds. While I was taught the game by the guys and learned some things by osmosis (like how to count by 7’s. I can still count by 7 without end when moved to do so).
The guys always asked who I wanted to win and until I finally got a grasp on players and teams, my best logic was the team with the best helmets would win. The Chargers always had the best helmets, hence they became my first favorite team and it’s always been that way. Regardless of sport, the Chargers are #1, everyone else is jockeying for a distant second.
Growing up in North Carolina, the Redskins and Falcons were always the closest in proximity. Most were born Redskins or Cowboys fans in the south but I always gravitated to the Chargers because they were always the late game and the last image of a football team I saw that day. The Chargers teams from then on were not different from what we experience now. There were strings of really awful seasons and there were streaks of really great seasons with the Air Coryell era being the first I was there to live through.
Not coincidentally, that was the birthplace of my disdain for the Raiders. That was the time when the Raiders were the most intimidating team in the league. Guys like Lyle Alzado, Ted ‘The Stork’ Hendricks, Lester Hayes, Howie Long and others were known for being dirty. Those guys made Ndamukong Suh look like a boy scout by comparison. My love for the Chargers is only matched by my hatred of the Raiders.
At this time, the fabled Air Coryell passing attack was revolutionizing the NFL. I enjoyed watching legendary Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts shredding the league even though I didn’t at the time realize the enormity of what I was witnessing. Today, I and many pundits recognize Fouts as the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL never to play in a Super Bowl. It’s a hard point to argue. Fouts was a first ballot Hall-Of-Famer, league MVP in 1982, six-time Pro Bowler and Offensive Player of the Year among many other records and accolades.
Fast forward to present day.
The Chargers have another quarterback who is a sure-fire first ballot Hall-Of-Famer in Philip Rivers. The similarities are obvious. Both are tough as nails, humble team generals. Neither were fleet of foot, they prefer to stand tough in the pocket and deliver strikes downfield. Both known for their accuracy and were featured in pass happy offenses. Granted, after phenom running back LaDainian Tomlinson arrived the Chargers became a run-first offense it only made Rivers more dangerous. I’ve always thought of Rivers as Fouts 2.0. My only wish is that his career doesn’t mirror Fouts in the Super Bowl appearance department.
In the deep, dark recesses of our sports conscious that we dare not speak aloud to like-minded fanatics, the questions loom like a thundercloud.
What is wrong with my team? Why can’t we ever stay healthy? What is it going to take to get Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Eric Weddle and the long-suffering fans of the Chargers their long overdue Super Bowl championship? A winning season is not enough. The promise of a new day is not enough. Every team has this song and dance at the beginning of every season. We, like sheep, dance along settling for mediocrity.
There’s nothing romantic about being a long-suffering fan. It’s painful. It’s gut wrenching. It’s mood altering. We should demand better from our team and from the front office from the owner to the equipment manager. We are nothing if not loyal and loyalty should be rewarded.
I have these questions not because I question my devotion to my team, I have these questions because I care. I care more than I should about a collection of multi-millionaire athletes and coaches who wouldn’t know me from a hole in the ground but that’s the definition of a fan. We fans share a deep, emotional attachment and that’s why we cheer, boo as loud as we do and scream for vengeance when our team is wronged.
Looking at YOU, Ed Hochuli. Looking at YOU, Marlon McCree. Looking at YOU, 1994 San Francisco 49ers. A fan never forgets. The emotional scars may heal in time but they stay with us like nicks on a plate of armor. The only way to smooth them out is a Super Bowl win. We’re fans, a shortened form of fanatic. We’re not fanatics because by definition a fanatic is uncritical. We are definitely critical, sometimes overly or unjustly critical.
The debate, even among Charger fans, regarding where Philip Rivers stands when ranked among the likes on Dan Fouts as San Diego’s best quarterback is all over the board. In Fouts, you have a Hall of Fame quarterback that put up tremendous numbers during his time in America’s finest city with the Bolts. He threw for an astounding 254 touchdown passes in the Air Coryell offense.
Despite the epic numbers that Fouts put up, including 43,040 yards passing, unfortunately he also threw an epic number of interceptions with 242. He also walked away from the game having not won a Super bowl. But, as mentioned above, he has a bust that will forever remain in Canton, Ohio.
But this article is not about comparing Rivers to Fouts. It’s bigger than that.
The majority of fans outside of San Diego can’t stand Philip. They claim he is a whiny, trash-talking cry baby that incessantly complains to the officials after every play. Well, those claims couldn’t be further from the truth. Although he may “get into the ear of officials often, this is a guy that refuses to even use a cuss word on the field. He plays with a passion that would have those very same fans of opposing teams supporting him to the utmost if he was on their squads. He is a fantastic leader and he plays like a coach on the field. In 2014, Rivers led the entire league in completion percentage at 69.5%. He put up over 4,000 yards passing, again, and had over 30 scoring passes as well.
This piece is about his entire career up to this point, and where we can expect the rest of his numbers to end up when it is all said and done. Personally, as much as I need the Chargers to win a Super bowl in my father’s lifetime, and mine as well, I do believe that if he continues to play at the level he has, for the vast majority of his career, he can end up in Canton even without having claimed that trophy with a gleam.
I’ve asked some prominent San Diego media members their opinions on the matter, and even a couple of senior writers here at BoltBlitz.com. Let’s take a look at what they have to say on the matter at hand.
Fernando Ramirez ( Chargers Beat Writer Sportspeak.org) :
I think he will need a ring because of the draft class he came in with. Eli Manning has two rings. Ben Roethlisberger has two as well. This is unfortunate for Rivers knowing that he’ll be compared to them. We all know that Philip is the best quarterback of this draft class, but Super bowl wins do matter. So, to get that yellow jacket, Rivers will need a ring.
Jamie Hoyle ( Senior Writer at BoltBlitz.com and co-host of BoltBlitzLIVE on Mountain Country 107.9 ):
The short answer is yes, he will need a ring. He shouldn’t, but ultimately he will be compared to Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees by lazy fans and writers with no sense of context. His image outside of San Diego also will hurt him if he doesn’t have a ring.
Derek Togerson ( NBC San Diego reporter and Sports Anchor ):
I think Philip Rivers, right now, is a Hall of Fame quarterback. But unless he wins a Super bowl, he won’t be enshrined in Canton. Writers are going to look at his stats, sure, and Philip’s numbers are right there with contemporaries like Peyton, Brady and Brees. But, all three of those guys have rings, and that’s going to be held against Rivers.
He’s in a golden age of quarterbacks. So, when compared to the best players of his era, he has a huge gap on his resume. HOWEVER, I will say this…. if the Chargers do win the Super bowl under his watch, then Philip Rivers becomes a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. Everything else is already there.
Eddie Brown III ( Draft expert and Fantasy Football analyst for UT San Diego ):
Almost all of his contemporaries have a ring. Brady has three, Roethlisberger has two, Eli has two while Peyton and Brees have one. So, the likely answer is yes, because the Hall of Fame is all about pecking order. Brady, Peyton and Brees will certainly get in first. Then it’s down to the class of ’04. All three have the numbers, therefore rings will be the deciding factor. If Rivers doesn’t win a ring, fair or not, he’ll have a long wait to get into the Hall of Fame. If he gets in at all.
Thomas Powell ( Senior Writer/Reporter for BoltBlitz.com and BoltBlitzLIVE co-host ):
Without a Super bowl ring, no, he doesn’t get into the Hall of Fame. His stats make him a great quarterback, but not a Hall of Famer. Stats are there, and will continue to be there, but not winning a ring will leave him out of the Hall of Fame equation.
Here’s my take: ( Owner/Editor of BoltBlitz.com and Host of BoltBlitzLIVE on Mountain Country 107.9 ):
I have little to no doubt that Philip Rivers will eventually be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, regardless of whether or not he has won a Super bowl. With the new regime in place, I expect that Tom Telesco will continue to surround him with the talent that allows him to put up stellar numbers. When I mentioned above that Fouts has 254 touchdown scores, Rivers is on pace to exceed that number this season – he needs 33 touchdowns to tie Fouts – without having even half of the interceptions that the Hall of Famer put up in his 15 years in San Diego.
Sure, we are in a new era of the NFL that is transitioning into a passing league. Running backs have become an afterthought when it comes to their draft status. We are now in a situation where running back by committee is the way to go, so to speak. But I have full faith in Rivers doing what he does best, and that’s put up numbers. When looking back to the 2010 season, Philip tied an NFL record by throwing to 17 different receivers. And he did so behind a make-shift offensive line. Fans outside of the San Diego community, and within it, to be quite honest, were claiming that Rivers had lost it during the 2011-2012 seasons. I saw a man who knew he had very little to work with in offensive weapons and protection and, undoubtedly, made some very poor decisions due to such inadequacies. We all remember the pick-six against Tampa Bay.
Here’s the deal. Rivers is not old by quarterback standards. He has a half of a decade in front of him to ensure his status as a true Hall of Fame candidate. Will he be a first ballot inductee? Maybe not. Will he get into the Hall of Fame without a Super bowl ring? I, absolutely, without a doubt, think so. If he keeps up the pace that I believe he will stat-wise, even without a ring, you’ll see a bust, and number 17 jerseys, hanging out at the ceremony at some point in Canton, Ohio.
Thanks to everyone that contributed to this article. I genuinely appreciate your time and effort. Leave it to me to think that I’m right. In Rivers, I believe.
What are your thoughts, Charger fans? Can Rivers make it into the Hall of Fame without a Super bowl victory? Let me know by voicing your opinions in the comment section below.
Thanks a lot for reading.