It’s a good thing Philip Rivers signed that contract extension in 2015. The longtime veteran quarterback of the (now) Los Angeles Chargers was able to create a customized SUV for the commute from his San Diego home to the new practice and game facilities in Carson. This will allow him to minimize his time away from his wife and eight children, even though his team has moved more than an hour north.
Rivers paid $200,000 for a customized SUV that comes with two recliners, a 40-inch TV screen, satellite TV, WiFI, and a mini-fridge. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, it doesn’t look much different from a normal SUV — on the outside. Rivers cited his commitments to his family and to his team as the reasons behind this investment:
“My two biggest things were my family time and my preparation and what I owe this football team,” Rivers said. “I was not going to sacrifice either of them in any big proportion. I can look at all the pluses and minuses and say, ‘OK. This does it.’ This allows me to get home in the 6 to 7 hour, which is when I got home the last 11 years, and it allows me to watch all or more of the film I watched before.”
Rivers has been with the Chargers since he was selected #4 overall in the 2004 NFL draft. Originally from Alabama, Rivers played his college ball at North Carolina State before heading West. He put down roots in San Diego, married his middle school sweetheart, and began raising a family — a BIG family. The Rivers clan includes eight children so far, ranging from two years old to high school.
So when the Chargers made the painful decision to move to the Los Angeles market and abandon San Diego, the veteran quarterback had a hard decision to make. There were rumors that he might retire instead of uprooting his family and moving them to a new city. Rivers wasn’t ready to quit football, though. Some of his teammates chose to get apartments in their new city, but that would have meant far too much time away from family for Rivers. So he and his family spent countless hours house hunting and school hunting in Orange County. The family just couldn’t cut their ties to San Diego:
“Every time we started driving back home,” Rivers said, “it was like, ‘Gosh!’ We had the feeling of ‘Ohhhh.’ … You look around (when house hunting) and you kind of get excited. You know, ‘That’s a neat neighborhood.’ Then we’d be driving home and we’d get to about Carlsbad and say, ‘Gosh! I feel like we’re going home.’ It just felt that way.”
The only remaining option was to find a convenient way to commute to practices and home games. He initially considered carpooling with his backup quarterback, just as he had been doing in San Diego. Rivers said that ended up being too much time in the car away from home — upwards of three hours of unproductive time stuck in traffic.
Rivers even considered using a helicopter to make the commute but found that without a convenient landing pad nearby, he wouldn’t save all that much time.
The solution? Rivers found a company that caters to the ultra-wealthy in Southern California. The customized SUV and a hired driver now take Rivers and his backup to and from the facility for practices and games. This solution actually allows Rivers to make his time stuck in traffic productive. He says he spends at least as much time studying game film as he had been watching at home after practice — maybe more.
The best part? He gets to be home by 6 or 7 p.m. on weekdays, and on Fridays when the Chargers have a home game, he can still pick the kids up after school.
This dedication to family is admirable in a league that is filled with dark headlines. Instead of sensationalizing every domestic abuse allegation, drug suspension, or player protest, it’s refreshing to see a positive family story about an honest to goodness dedicated father and family man.
This is not the first time we’ve gotten a glimpse at Rivers’ dedication to making a positive difference. Rivers and his wife have been dedicated to helping foster children since he joined the league.
This is a story of Philip Rivers and his dedication to family, faith, and positively impacting his community. It won’t grab the headlines like Ezekiel Elliott, Ray Rice, or Joe Mixon, but that’s a shame because we all could use more positive news about what really matters.