It is undeniable that Philip Rivers is one of the greatest players in Chargers franchise history. Rivers has set just about every passing mark in franchise history (which are waiting to be broken by Justin Herbert) and played at a high level for over a decade.
Unfortunately, like many of the all-time greats, Rivers did not play his entire career with the Chargers. After 16 years with the Chargers (14 of which he was starting), Rivers played his last season in the NFL in 2020 with the Indianapolis Colts. There, he made one last playoff run before being eliminated by the Buffalo Bills.
Chargers fans like to block out that short-lived portion of Rivers' career. That was impossible to do on Friday, however, as it was Rivers' 42nd birthday and both of his former teams wished him a happy birthday on social media.
While the Chargers posted a collection of Rivers' best mic'd up moments in the powder blue, the Colts went a different (but still similar) direction. The Colts' social media team didn't just post Philip Rivers mic'd up highlights, they drew comparisons between Rivers and the team's current head coach, Shane Steichen.
Colts break Chargers fans' hearts on Philip Rivers' birthday
This feels like a dagger to the heart in two different ways for Chargers fans. First is the obvious pain that is felt any time there are highlights of Rivers in a Colts jersey. It doesn't feel right, it doesn't look right, and it is something that every Bolts fan wants to forget.
But the Steichen comparison is the real icing on the cake that makes this painful. Steichen isn't like Rivers by accident. He coached Rivers with the Chargers, as he was first hired by the team all the way back in 2014.
Steichen slowly worked his way up with the Chargers, making it all the way to being named the team's offensive coordinator in 2020. Unfortunately, Steichen was part of the house-cleaning process when the Chargers fired Anthony Lynn and his staff after the 2020 season. It did not take long for the Philadelphia Eagles to hire him as their offensive coordinator.
Steichen led two very impressive seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Eagles and was hired as the head coach of the Colts prior to the 2023 season. Now, Steichen is the runaway favorite for coach of the year as he has the Colts in a playoff spot even after Anthony Richardson suffered a season-ending injury.
While the Chargers are dealing with a head coach that most fans despise, the Colts have a head coach who is similar to Rivers and has been one of the best coaches in the entire league. That is the definition of pain.