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The 700 Club

Veteran NFL Quarterback Retains Passion for the Game

Tom Buehring - 700 Club Producer

The Los Angeles Chargers Philip Rivers is aging well! If the NFL were the fountain of youth, the 15-year veteran is swimming in it – still playing at the top of his game and climbing statistically among the game’s all-time elite quarterbacks – while mastering the charge – of beginning again!

Question: “So at this stage of your career, if we were to compare it, players are in their decline, but not for you, your success continues to surge! Why?”

Philip: “I still have the passion, I think I still have the drive. I have all of those things. Mentally, physically, spiritually, I’m in a good place. You know I’m steady. And I do think some of the young guys have helped with that too! Their kid-like demeanor and have fun and enjoy that with them because its such a dynamic from so many different places and so many different backgrounds that you get to be around each and every day. And I really enjoy that part!”                                 

Question: “Preparation! When do you know it’s enough?”

Philip: “I think you just know – for me now!  I think it took time. When you’re working and you’re studying third down, you’re studying red zones and you’re studying all these things a part of the game plan. To me some of preparing is relaxing.  Its not constantly working its having that good balance and then you just ‘alright’ – and I don’t know that you ever stop preparing until the ball gets kicked off.”                  

Question: “What have you found to be the most challenging adjustment you had to make as you’ve evolved as a quarterback.”

Philip: “Well, I think early on I had to learn with how to deal with the highs and the lows. You know, its kind of a roller coaster of a season.  You’re gonna thrown an interception to lose one. You’re gonna throw a touchdown to win one and not going for that roller coaster ride. My wife would tell you, my children would tell you, I’ve gotten better at handling that. I still can’t stand losing but I’m able to just handle it all better with a little more even keel temperament.”               

Question:  “Have been able to ride with the Chargers your whole career, but all of a sudden the move to LA! How easy or difficult is that for you?”

Philip: “Yeah, it was a tough transition I think because you felt such a connection to the community in San Diego. But at the same time I was around the same people, the same teammates, the same support staff, the same coaching staff, so whether we were in San Diego, L.A. or who knows where – that gives you some of that continuity, familiarity, but you do have to be flexible I thinks it’s this – it’s the Nunc Coepi – we’re beginning again,”

Question: “Nunc Coepi - we see it on the hat at press conferences, we know the team has picked up on that. Where does that hit you?”

Philip: “It hits me really at the core. I think it’s more personal than anything, and then it’s become family, then it’s become team, then it’s become football. A priest friend of ours, Father Martin, introduced it to me in the midst of a spiritual direction we were talking about praying. And he said “Nunc Coepi”. He’s like – begin again!  So really what it ends up being about for me – from a faith standpoint -- is God’s mercy. His Infinite Mercy!  He’s there for us to call out on Him to begin again!”        

Question: “What for you has required frequent beginnings?

Philip: “I think in my professional life it’s the just the nature of the position, right? You touch the ball every play. So it’s truly been play to play, from week to week, game to game. In our family life it’s – as a dad and as a husband it’s the same right. It’s the same qualities and you’re always gonna have good days and bad days and it’s that constant beginning! It’s so encouraging because it’s freeing! It’s okay - we’re starting right now, then! We can’t change what we did the last two weeks but we can – we can today!”                                

Question: “So practically in the huddle – after a three and out, after a turnover, will you bring that, saying it in the huddle?”

Philip: “I have, I have! And you know I don’t wear it out. When I first introduced it to the guys I said ‘hey if it hits you - good! If it hits you as a man, if it hits you in your marriage – use it! If it doesn’t, that’s fine! And like I’ve always said, I have the Alabama version, the Alabama-Latin version, (laughs) with a little twang to it!  But as much as its been impacting for me, I hope others have been impacted as well!”                          

Question: “Its intentional, immediate, redemptive, hopeful (yeah) – where do you unpack that the quickest in your own life to inspire you?”  

Philip: “Yeah! I think what you hit with was hopeful and I think it’s immediate! We have today - I think that more than anything. It’s sanctifying each moment you have because we won’t have it again. This exact time is only happening now. Embrace each moment that you have. Be where you are!”

Question: “You’ve been a consistent performer. You’ve been durable. Life is the opposite! It’s full of inconsistencies. What do you admire most about the consistency of the Christ that you follow?”  

Philip: “Gosh! That’s deep and good. I love that! (Tom: “Too deep?”) No, its good! I think its love! At the core of all He taught us – love was right there! He’s just so good to us! I think the other thing is in the small burdens, crosses that we have to endure as people, I think being thankful for whatever He allows – that it’s for us! It’s for our salvation, this is what I needed for my walk with Him.”  

Question: “What does the achieving competitor have most in common with a Christ-follower?”   

Philip: “An unwavering commitment! An intense focus! And again there’s times where you lose its focus – but then, Nunc Coepi! We had a slogan in our weight room that said, ‘a commitment is doing what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in, has left you. That’s what I think about because the unwavering competitor is just a constant pursue to try to get to the top of the mountain and that’s what we should be - an unwavering commitment!”

Question: “Philip, huddle up that wandering soul that’s either skeptical or has been hurt by the church but still wants to resolve their place with Him. What do you tell them?”

Philip: “You know God loves them, He created them. He wants to be with them, for them to be united with them. If you’re just so open, just to listen! Because God can reveal truth, reveal Himself to so many people in some many ways. I’m thankful for His grace and that God’s grace is there for them.”

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