Why Everyone Should Be a Los Angeles Chargers Fan

Ever since I was in sixth grade, I have been an enthusiastic Los Angeles Chargers fan. The one wrinkle? I was raised in Virginia as a Packers fan. Why would I suddenly be a Chargers fan? 

It all came down to the leadership of one man: Philip Rivers. 

Rivers is an exceptional man in the world of pro sports. Like many athletes, he grew up on a football field, first helping his dad coach, and then eventually playing for his father. After high school, he was offered a scholarship to North Carolina State, where he played a record 51 straight games. He was selected fourth in the 2004 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and immediately traded to the Chargers, where—despite starting his career on the bench, second string to Drew Brees—he has amassed a slew of records, including an incredible 96.8 single-game completion percentage: only one of his passes was incomplete. But a successful high school career, college stardom, and an upward trajectory in the NFL is the story of plenty of quarterbacks. For Rivers, though, football is not his primary job.

The legendary quarterback of the Chargers centers his life around faith and family. Rivers makes his wife and nine children the most important part of his life, even prioritizing arriving home by 7. A devout Catholic, Rivers married his wife Tiffany during his freshman year of college and was raising his oldest child by his junior year. “What it boils down to is he’s the most selfless person I know,” his wife said in an interview with Chargers media. She added: “He still surprises me. Obviously, wives know their husbands best, but he’s just really selfless. He comes home and when he’s home, he’s home.” When his team moved two hours north from San Diego to Los Angeles, Rivers and his wife shopped for schools in the LA area, but ultimately decided against ripping their family out of the neighborhood where they had spent the last twelve years. He instead did something only an NFL quarterback could do: He bought an SUV and turned it into a luxury film room, complete with hired driver, so that he could work in the car and still arrive home in time to be with his family. 

On being a dad, Rivers comments that “children want our time. Sometimes it might just be five minutes, and sometimes it can be a lot more, but I think they want our time and to be engaged with them and present.” As the quarterback of an NFL team, Rivers is an incredibly busy man, but he nevertheless makes the effort—and succeeds—to be first and foremost a father. He is not just a great example for not only fathers. He demonstrates a profound paradigm that everyone who takes their work seriously encounters. The balance that he strikes in prioritizing his faith and family could serve as the ideal point of departure for approaching life’s challenges. His refusal to become a workaholic sheds light on the most valuable things in life, and with the unique platform that he has established for himself, he furnishes a powerful witness for prioritizing faith and family above all.

The second reason you should root for the Chargers is a rookie already making an impact, with an interception against the Arizona Cardinals: Drue Tranquill. During his time at Notre Dame, Tranquill was a two-time captain, First Team Academic All-American, and Wuerffel Trophy winner (this is awarded to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best exemplifies the spirit of service on and off the field). As a Dean’s List student in five of his eight undergraduate semesters as a mechanical engineer, Tranquill excelled at everything he put his mind to. Now living in Los Angeles, Tranquill brings that same dedication to his work as an NFL linebacker. 

The Chargers are off to a 2-3 start this year, and are coming off a tough loss to the Broncos. Nevertheless, even if you already root for the Chiefs, Broncos, or Raiders, you need to add the Chargers to your list of favorite teams. Philip Rivers should be your favorite NFL player, hands down, and you should want to see him win as much as possible. After all, he’s clearly the favorite of the Dominican sisters, and that’s hard to argue against. 

Zef Crnkovich is a sophomore PLS and Classics double major living in Stanford Hall. He is currently on 5 RecSports teams and contemplating adding a 6th. Discourage him from ruining his academic career at jcrnkovi@nd.edu.