While Justin Upton was throwing a helmet, the Chargers were tossing around money. Lots of lettuce, in fact.
Philip Rivers added his two cents on Monday, commenting for the first time since becoming the Chargers’ $65 million man.
The Chargers 2015 slogan of “All In” meant they pushed all their chips toward Rivers. After watching backup Kellen Clemens’ erratic passes in Thursday’s exhibition game, we don’t blame them.
The Padres stagger home after a getting shut out in offensive-friendly Denver. That’s akin to visiting an all-you-can-eat buffet and declining a second heaping of grub. But enough about the Padres’ lineup, which was blanked for a league-high 16th time.
The main news is Yonder Alonso’s bump on his noggin’ — courtesy of Upton’s flinging of a hard hat — had subsided.
The upside to Rivers signing an extension: The Chargers, wherever they might call home sweet home, have a fighting chance.
LWR — Life Without Rivers — isn’t something Chargers fans want to arrive any quicker than possible.
Or did you forget the likes of Babe Laufenberg, Mark Malone, Mark Vlasic, Jim McMahon and Billy Joe Tolliver, in those two years after Dan Fouts’ retirement?
So, mark the Chargers securing of Rivers along the lines of a blind squirrel and an acorn. An organization which consistently angered its patrons this offseason finally did something right.
The posturing by both sides went by the wayside with Rivers inking a reported $85 million, four-year extension, with $65 million being guaranteed.
“The commitment and the opportunity to finish as a Charger, at the end of the day, that was what was most important,” Rivers said.
Rivers didn’t hide his reluctance regarding a move to Los Angeles this spring. But he said on Monday that reflected his affection for San Diego instead of anything negative about the City of Angels.
Being a Charger, whether it’s in San Diego, Carson, Inglewood, San Antonio or London, was No. 1 with No. 17.
“That outweighs any of the other uncertainties,” Rivers said. “The fact they want me to finish here and continue to lead this team, that opportunity in itself outweighs any of the other variables out of my control.
“How I felt at the beginning, and by no means was I misquoted, but it could have been misinterpreted that my hesitation was a lack of excitement for a potential move. It was more a thought about leaving this community, than a disdain for L.A. It wasn’t a hatred of Los Angeles.”
But to show how tentative the Chargers’ situation is, it was telling that team president Dean Spanos didn’t attended the press conference. Usually an event in which general manager Tom Telesco described has “a very important day in the history of the Chargers” would warrant a Spanos sighting.
But Spanos wasn’t around as Rivers talked about the riches plopped in his bank account.
For someone who was raised in Alabama, shopped at Piggly Wiggly and wore denim to make a fashion statement, his contact is eye-opening.
“It really is and I’m just thankful and grateful for the finance part of it is and that’s what this league is about,” he said.
“But at the same time I can honestly say for me and my family that is not what drives us. I understand that, but you honestly feel you have a platform way more than football. It’s certainly not just the money part that affects myself and my family, but hopefully it can help many, many more people.”
For many, many more years Rivers is under center. A team which has cornered the mega-market of distractions will no longer have one regarding Rivers.
That’s a reason to celebrate and you, too, can do so like Rivers.
“Stopped at Domino’s and got a pizza on the way home,” Rivers said after an agreement was reached.
After giving a thumbs up to the richest deal in Chargers history, Rivers splurged for three toppings.
“Pepperoni, anchovies and black olives,” he said.
Sounds like a recipe for indigestion.
But the real stomach turn comes when Rivers exits. Health willing, that’s not an issue through 2019.