Fans of the LA Chargers are spoiled as they went from a Hall of Fame quarterback in Philip Rivers to one of the best and most exciting young quarterbacks in Justin Herbert. Herbert is already breaking some of Rivers' records and is making his mark in the history books through just two seasons.
With there being only one game in-between a Rivers and Herbert start, Charger fans have not really gotten the chance to slow down and appreciate Rivers' departure. Rivers' future was unclear at the end of the 2019 season and he did not receive much of a send-off from Charger fans while the team played in a soccer stadium.
All of this became more disappointing after watching the Week 17 Monday Night Football showdown between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger played what is likely going to be his last game at Heinz Field and he got the kind of send-off that he deserved. As bad as Ben played, it was a fantastic moment for both him and every Steelers fan.
Philip Rivers deserves this kind of send-off from the LA Chargers
Philip Rivers is still the greatest quarterback in Chargers history and he deserves his flowers from Charger fans. There was speculation of the team signing him to a one-day contract in the offseason but that never happened as Rivers left the door open to returning to a team this season.
However, the New Orleans Saints reportedly reached out to Rivers to come back against the Miami Dolphins and Rivers did not return as he wanted to stay home for Christmas.
That opens the door for Rivers to do it this offseason. If he did not return to play in the 2021 season, it is hard seeing him return in the 2022 season. However, the problem with doing it in the offseason is that it might not generate the kind of crowd that Rivers deserves. Sure, there will be Charger faithful that show up, but the logistics of booking out SoFi Stadium for a Rivers retirement ceremony in May just does not make a lot of sense.
Rivers deserves the same halftime ceremony that LaDainian Tomlinson received in 2015 when he retired. Luckily for the NFL and the Chargers, the perfect situation is possible. The first week of the NFL season will take place on the weekend of September 11th. Rivers made his first career NFL start for the Chargers all the way back on September 11, 2006.
The Chargers have started the season on the road in each of the last two seasons. They are due to start the season at home, which potentially puts their first home game of 2022 on September 11, exactly 16 years after Rivers made his debut with the Chargers.
That is the day to give Rivers his roses and give him the kind of send-off that Big Ben received on Monday night. He deserves it and Charger fans deserve it.