I know some folks have been waiting on this one so here you go.

Rivers did the smart thing and hung up his cleats after one last attempt at glory fell short in Indy. It was a valiant attempt and while it fell short it was fun to root for the ol’ kid factory one last time. He looked old though, his final passes in the playoffs falling short. He hung it up at the right time, unlike some members of the ’04 class.

Rivers and Eli are going to be tied together forever whether they want to be or not. Whether it is fair or not. Rivers will undoubtedly be used in the Eli Hall of Fame argument as both an argument for and against Eli. As someone who has reluctantly come to the conclusion that I don’t think Eli quite deserves it, Rivers absolutely doesn’t, because he’s had basically the same career but without the post-season success. If Eli gets in, should Rivers get in? I’m not sure, because the championships matter and Rivers doesn’t have them. If Eli gets in, I’d be fine with Rivers getting in. If Eli doesn’t and Rivers does, that would irritate me, because in all honesty the two of them are basically the same QB in a broad sense.

At their best, I think Rivers and Eli were evenly matched. They were also both pretty bad when they were at their worst. But where Rivers had the edge was his base level of consistency. He didn’t fluctuate wildly as Eli did, he was more reliable. Rivers would consistently perform on the lower end of the top tier of QBs. He’d never be the best or quite sniff it, but he’d always be in the top 10 and hovering close to the top 5, sometimes sneaking in. Eli didn’t manage that nearly as often. But outside the regular play consistency and the championships, the two of them read like case studies of the same guy in different scenarios.

Rivers didn’t have very good or consistent coaching. Eli did, at least for the first half of his career. Rivers had significantly better weapons like VJax, Gates, Keenan Allen, and LdT. Eli’s best weapons never lasted long. Tiki & Toomer were mostly out by Eli’s first seasons, Cruz/Nicks/Shockey/Smith all got hurt so fast, and Plax, his only true partner in crime, shot himself during his peak. I would have killed for Eli to have had an Antonio Gates. None of Eli’s skill position friends are HoF worthy. Eli played in a huge market, Rivers in a forgotten corner. Eli would have all of his successes and failures broadcast to the nation, Rivers would have his greatness and his failures easily ignored. They are both known for making weird faces. Eli was an emotionless humunculous, Rivers was overly animated cartoon character. Eli is known for his interceptions and led the league a few times, but Rivers was no slouch in the occasional fuckup department and led the league himself once.

Rivers was hilarious and genuinely underappreciated. Chargers fans will defend him to the death and are probably furious at me for even suggesting that he wasn’t better than Eli across the board but I’m fine with that. He was the kinda guy you love and defend the same way Eli was my guy. I will miss his stupid tantrums. I will miss his goofy energy and refusal to curse. I will miss his bolo ties and his fleet of children. I will miss his weird shotput throwing motion that looked terrible but somehow worked. I do wish that he and Eli weren’t so intrinsically intertwined and he could be appreciated on his own merits outside of the draft drama that brought them against each other. Philip Rivers was one of the best characters we had for the past 15 years, and the league will be lesser without him there, shouting WOOO when the Chargers win. Godspeed, marmalard.

I will not do a retirement comic for Schaub. He does not deserve one.