Athens native Philip Rivers retires from NFL

Athens native Philip Rivers retires from NFL
A thank you message from the Colts to Philip Rivers (Source: Colts.com)

INDIANAPOLIS (WAFF) - After 16 seasons, north Alabama’s Philip Rivers says it’s time to call it a career.

In a post on the official website for the Indianapolis Colts, Rivers says he’s making the decision on a day with a lot of personal significance. “Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day.” Rivers said. It is St. Sebastian’s Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I’m announcing my retirement from the National Football League. Thank you God for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL.

Rivers began his journey to the NFL at Athens High School, where he made a name for himself early. Recruits from the biggest schools in the SEC all expressed interest, but Rivers surprised everyone by deciding to attend North Carolina State. He started 51 straight games here and broke several NC State and ACC records.

Rivers then went on to play a role in one of the most infamous NFL Draft incidents in history in 2004. The San Diego Chargers initially selected Eli Manning with the first overall pick, and Rivers was taken by the New York Giants at #4. But, Manning had made it clear he would refuse to play for the Chargers, so he and Rivers were traded.

Rivers and Manning both went on to amazing careers. However, Rivers would never capture a Super Bowl victory, despite being a part of many talented teams and being selected to 8 Pro Bowls.

Rivers’ full statement is below:

“Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day. It is St. Sebastian’s Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I’m announcing my retirement from the National Football League. Thank you God for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL.

“I am grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons, and the Colts for the 17th season. Thank you to all my coaches that helped me grow as a player and person. Thanks to the support staff. I appreciate the opposing defenses making it challenging physically and mentally every week... I also enjoyed the banter. I appreciate the referees for putting up with all my fussing. I think I was right most of the time dadgummit! Thanks to the fans in San Diego and around the nation that both cheered and booed.

Special thanks to my teammates. Without a doubt my favorite part of the game, being a teammate. Thank you for being mine. Lastly, thank you to my wife and best friend Tiffany, and our children Halle, Caroline, Grace, Gunner , Sarah, Peter, Rebecca, Clare, and Anna. Could not have done it without y’all’s unwavering support. As my playing career comes to an end , the next chapter begins. NUNC COEPI.”

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