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First Person

Philip Rivers, Chargers Quarterback

Posted: Tuesday January 9, 2007 12:09PM; Updated: Tuesday January 9, 2007 12:09PM
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Philip Rivers, Chargers Quarterback
Philip Rivers, Chargers Quarterback
Tim Mantoani/SI

As told to Ben Reiter

On his favorite academic subject

I'm a math guy. Calculus, all that stuff. My favorite subject in college [N.C. State] was statistics. Some people would be like, Gosh, I hate this stuff, but I used to get fired up trying to figure out a problem. I get my math from my mother [Joan]. She was a competitive swimmer and a math teacher. Me and her, we had a blast doing calculus stuff.

On his favorite fifth-grade project

It was about things that were important to you, things you don't like, and you could make three wishes. For things I don't like I put mayonnaise, and for things that are important to me I said church and family and football. One wish was for a brother -- I was an only child at the time. My brother, Stephen, is now 14, and I have a sister, Anna, who's eight. Another wish was to be an NFL player. I had the cover of SI, with a Viking on it. I just cut out my little fifth-grade picture and put it over his face.

On living with his wife, Tiffany, and their three young daughters

Our two dogs, Lola and Raleigh, are girls as well, so I'm really outnumbered. It's great. You're buttoning baby clothes, trying to put a ponytail in. The puzzles and the Barbies. I know how to do all those things. Not too many balls being thrown around.

On being a ball boy for the Decatur (Ala.) High teams that his dad, Steve, coached

I loved it when the ball was inside the 30, because the coaches can't go down there. If it was third and one, they didn't know how close they were, so I got to hold my hands up and tell them, "Hey, you need this much." I felt like I had a say in whether they were going to go for the first down or not. One game it was absolutely pouring rain. The towels I had for the balls were all soaking wet. I remember vividly my dad hollering, "Get us a dry ball!" and just looking at him, like, Are you kidding me? He knew he could blame it on me and I'd still go home with him.

On where he got his distinctive three-quarters throwing motion

Me and my dad's theory is that I was around his practices as a little kid, so I was throwing a big ball -- a high school regulation ball -- as a five-, six-year-old. I had to use all my might and do whatever it took. We think that's how the awkward motion started. Obviously it hasn't been a problem to this point.

On his linemen

I don't spend a ton of time outside football hanging out, but I try to be involved with those guys. I like to talk, to be personal. We joke around. The other day [guard] Kris Dielman was jabbing me about my [sore right] foot, "Oh you poor baby, your poor foot." And I was jabbing him about injuries he's had. That's the cool thing about this team: Everyone's on the same level.


Issue date: January 15, 2007