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Veteran NFL Quarterback Retains Passion for the Game

Philip Rivers’ career has been long and decorated, ranking statistically among the NFL’s all-time top-10 quarterbacks. Discover what fuels his fire to stay unwaveringly committed. Read Transcript

- [Announcer] 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 thecharge of beginning again.

- 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.

- 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 it sets a dynamic,

from so many different places,

from so many different backgrounds,

that you get to be aroundeach and every day,

and I really enjoy that part.

- [Interviewer] Preparation,when do you know it's enough?

- I think you just know.

For me, now, I think it took time,

when you're working, andyou're studying third down,

and you're studying red zone,

and you're studying all these things,

a part of the game plan.

To me, some of preparing is relaxing.

It's not constantly working;it's having that good balance.

And I don't know, Bill, thatyou ever stop preparing,

until the ball gets kicked off.

- What do you find to be themost challenging adjustment

you had to make as youevolve as a quarterback?

- Well, I think early on I had to learn

with how to deal with thehighs and lows, you know?

It's kind of a rollercoaster, the season.

You're gonna throw aninterception to lose one,

you're gonna throw a touchdown to win one,

and not going for that rollercoaster ride,

my wife would tell you, mychildren would tell you,

I've gotten better at handling that,

and I still can't stand losing,

but I'm able to just handle it all better,

with a little more even keel temperament.

- [Interviewer] Have beenable to ride with the Chargers

your whole career, now allof a sudden to move to L.A.,

how easy or difficult is that for you?

- It was a tough transition,I think just because you felt

such a connection to thecommunity in San Diego.

But at the same time, Iwas around the same people,

the same teammates,the same support staff,

the same coaches staff,

so whether we were in L.A. orSan Diego, or who knows where,

that gives you some of thatcontinuity, familiarity.

But you do have to be flexible,

and I think it's this,it's the nunc coepi.

We're beginning again.

- [Interviewer] Nunccoepi, we see it on the hat

at the press conferences.

We know the team has picked up on that.

Where does that hit you?

- It hits me really at the core.

I think it's more personal than anything

and then it's become familyand then it's become team

and then it's become football.

A preacher friend of ours, Father Martin,

introduced it to me in themidst of a spiritual direction,

we were talking about prayingand he said, "Nunc Coepi."

Ya know, he's like begin again.

So really, what it endsup being about for me

from a faith standpoint is God's mercy.

His infinite mercy.

I mean, he's there forus to call out on him

to begin again.

- What for you has requiredfrequent beginnings?

- I think in my professionallife, it's just the nature

of the position, right?

You have to touch the ball every play.

So it's truly been from playto play, from week to week,

game to game.

In our family life, it'sas a dad and as a husband,

it's the same.

The same qualities.

You're always gonna havegood days and bad days

and it's that constant beginning.

It's so encouraging because it's freeing.

It's OK, we're starting right now then.

We can't change what wedidn't do the last two weeks

but we can today.

- So practically, when youget in the huddle after

a three and out, after a turn over,

do you bring that saying?

- I have, I have.

Ya know what, and I don't wear it out.

When I first introducedit to the guys, I said,

"Hey, if it hits ya, good.

"If it hits ya as a man, ifit hits ya in your marriage,

"use it, if it doesn't, that's fine."

Like I've always said, Ihave the Alabama version,

the Alabama-Latin version.


A little twang to itbut as much as it's been

impactful for me, I hope that others

have been impacted as well.

- [Interviewer] It'sintentional, immediate,

redemptive, hopeful.

- Yeah.

- [Interviewer] Where doyou impact that the quickest

in your own life to inspire you?

- I think what you hit me with is hopeful

and I think, I mean, wehave today, I think that

more than anything, it'ssanctifying 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.

- You have been a consistent performer.

You've been durable.

Life is the opposite.

It's full of inconsistencies.

What do you admire mostabout the consistency

of the Christ that you follow?

- Gosh, that's deep and good.

I love that.

- [Interviewer] Too deep?

- No, it's good.

I think it's love.

At the core of all, he taughtus love was right there.

He's just so good to us, you know?

I think the other thingis in the small burdens,

crosses that we have to endure as people,

I think being thankfulfor whatever he allows

that is for us, it's for our salvation.

This is what I neededfor my walk with him.

- [Interviewer] What does theachieving competitor have most

in common with the Christ follower?

- An unwavering commitmentand an intense focus

and again, there's timeswhere they lose some focus,

but then you nunc coepi.

We had a slogan in ourweight room that said,

"Commitment is doing whatyou said you're gonna do

"long after the mood yousaid it in has left you."

That's what I think aboutbecause of the unwavering

competitor is just aconstant pursue to try to get

to the top of the mountainand that's what we should be,

an unwavering commitment.

- Philip, huddle up thatwandering soul that's either

skeptical or has been hurt by the church,

but still wants to resolvetheir place with Him.

What do you tell them?

- Ya know, God loves them.

He created them.

He wants to be with them, forthem to be united with Him..

If you're just so open just tolisten 'cause God can reveal

the truth, revealhimself to so many people

in so many ways.

Thankful for His grace

and that God's grace is there for them.

- [Interviewer] Philip, nunc coepi.

- [Philip] Nunc coepi.

(dramatic music)


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