“I’m a little bit numb about it all. It hasn’t really settled in,” the quarterback told KLSD-AM in San Diego on Friday, a day after the Chargers announced they would move to L.A.
Rivers, a longtime proponent of the Chargers remaining in San Diego, spoke of the struggle between leaving the city he’s called home and embracing the move to Los Angeles.
“I want it to be clear that my love for San Diego, the time here, the memories we had, the games, the practices, everything about it is special and awesome,” he said. “That will never go away. But at the same time, I hope people understand this, I have to get excited, fired up about going up to a new area and representing our team and organization and going and trying to win as many games as we can win. And be the same guy that I’ve always been. That’s the only way I know.”
“I’m kind of in the middle of that of leaving behind something that you love, you’re thankful for,” he continued. “And you want to make sure everybody knows that. And then at the same time I don’t want people here to go, ‘Golly, he sure seems so fired up to go up there.’ I’m just fired up all the time, whatever the task is. That’s just the only way I know. I hope as the dust settles a little bit, I know there are a lot of emotions right now that people could understand that. I hope that when the dust does settle that the people that have been fans here for a long time can still watch a game on Sunday and go ‘Hey, that’s our quarterback.’ You want them to still feel that because you always do. It’s like your hometown.”
Chargers fans are upset over the move to L.A., but the relocation is no easier on players. Rivers appeared to be a little emotional toward the end of his interview after talking about how the whole experience has been “surreal” for him.
“Time can make things better,” Rivers said. “And I know it’s not going to ever just be great and San Diego is gonna just say ‘Oh it’s no big deal.’ I know it’s a big deal. Believe me. I know it’s a big deal that it’s come to this. I’m going to do my part the only way I know how. The Philip Rivers that San Diego’s gotten over the last 13 years, that’s what they’re going to get up there. And I’m going to embrace that and go like crazy. I ain’t going to be there for 13 years but I’m going to give them all I got for the short time I have left.”