Philip Rivers: Part Two

Since I felt that the comments made in this post on Philip Rivers deserved an answer, I thought I’d go ahead and make a second post on the topic. I won’t re-hash the contents of the other post. That’s what the link is for. But I will elaborate and answer the criticisms I received at the original post.

First was “Anonymous” (really, even though I leave that option open, it’s always nice to know the name of the person with whom you are conversing):

Wow, Out of line you are. First of all, who are you to judge? Do you fall short, yes, we all do so do not judge. Secondly, I am assuming you have never played a sport or have absoultey no competitive spirit because it is not easy to always keep a cool head on the field. Youre taking Rivers actions way out of context. Where you with him on the field? Do you know what was being said, NO, you do not. It makes me mad when people like you discredit other people for trying to be christians on and off the field. He is a role model for kids and adults, but you have no idea what he even said. Dont judge is the bottom line. And one more thing, GO CHARGERS!!!

I am not judging Rivers as a person on the whole. I am judging his actions. (Thanks, Jeff, for sticking up for me, though.) First of all, we are not called to never judge anyone anywhere for any reason. As a matter of fact, we are called to judge fellow Christians. One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to correct the sinner. In order to do that, we judge them. And I made a judgement of his behavior in those situations. In those situations, he came off looking like a total jerk. I’m sorry, but that is the perception of a lot of people who watched the games. (I watched the games, by the way, not just SportsCenter.) Even people who generally liked him prior to the incidents I talked about.

Now, as far as me playing a sport. My activity as an athlete was very short. I’m not a good athlete. However, Big Girl is an athlete. She plays sports nearly year-round now. (She plays soccer in the Spring and Fall, has started basketball this month, and we try to get her into T-ball/baseball in the summer, though if we travel a lot, it’s not worth the investment nor is it fait to the team if she won’t be there.) So we are around games a lot. And there’s no trash talk. The league she’s in is a homeschool league that is committed to having a good time and acting in a godly manner. So there is no. trash. talk. And we do manage to cheer and jump around and yell and scream when we’re excited, especially with her soccer team. But we do so without taunting the other team.

You’re right that I wasn’t with him on the field, that I don’t know exactly what was said. But I know what I saw. It’s the perception that is reality for the rest of us. We can’t know what we haven’t experienced in this situation. We can only know what we see.

Gloria had two excellent comments. In the first one, she was defending Rivers’ off-field actions, especially his message to people about chastity. I’ll let you go ahead and read that if you haven’t already.

Her second comment asked me some questions, which I wanted to answer (hence this post). I apologize for not doing so sooner, but Soccer Dad was home before dinner on Friday, and the girls and I had spent a lot of time out in the snow that day. All weekend, it was cleaning, going to basketball games (Big Girl’s team is 1-1 now), taking down Christmas decorations, doing laundry, and watching football. In short, family time. 🙂 So I didn’t answer right away. Besides, I tend to want to think things through before I answer. I’ll post Gloria’s comment and put my answers within it in bold italics.


gloria said…

Dear Christine,

I decided to post again to ask you a question – Do you agree with Philip’s chastity message? Absolutely I do. And I applaud him for it. I am going to assume that yes you do as it seems that you adhere to the true teachings of The Church from glancing at this blog. Thank you. I was hoping that comes through.

And if you do, why would you discredit Philip’s message by writing this blog entry? I would hope that my saying that his behavior is unbecoming for a Catholic wouldn’t discredit the rest of his message. Look further into the situation. There are many coming out defending him:

Eric Allen on the Colin Cowherd radio show : (I would post a link but don’t know if that’s possible within this comment) You can do that. I found the clip here, but you do need to register in order to hear it. Unfortunately, it’s a pay-for-it kind of thing. Rats. I was all set to listen to it. If you find a link that doesn’t require a paid subscription, please, by all means, link to it in the comments area. I’d like to hear it.

Also, Phil Simms wrote an article as did a few others. I am trying to find it. Would you mind posting a link to it, please? I am looking but am unsure where to look for it. I do want to read it. In only very slight relation to that, I Googled “Phil Simms article philip river” and found my original post was the number 10 result! Interesting! But how many people will Google that?? Also listen to Philip’s press conference explaining himself. I would absolutely do that, if I could find it at this late date. As I write this, I’m in the process of searching for video of the post-game stuff. In the meantime, I just haven’t seen it. He is his own man, he knows who he answers to. But he is a football player. And he has his personality for a reason, you’ll see. But right now, please do not buy into what the devil is selling and please for the sake of all that is sacred do not be the devil’s advocate by discrediting Philip’s chastity message. We must protect our youth from falling into the sins of the flesh. How much impact does his message lose, though, when he chooses to lose his cool on the field? Like I said, what he did was not what you’d expect from, as my husband might put it, a Catholic gentleman.




My point about Rivers’ actions and my condemnation of them was that he puts himself out there as a Catholic, as a Christian, but when he acts like this, even in the heat of the moment, he loses credibility. And he makes all Catholics look bad at the same time. Remember that we are dealing with, by and large, an unbelieving world. A world that isn’t going to spend half an hour on Monday looking for reasons not to think Rivers stepped over the line.

I don’t know Philip Rivers personally. I don’t have the luxury of knowing if that was merely a slip-up. I’m like most of the world on this: I know what I saw. It didn’t look like behavior becoming of a Catholic. If I lose my temper and blow up at someone, I go back and apologize for it. Even if I might have been justified for being angry. Letting my anger get a hold on me like that is letting the devil have a hold on me.

Anger is an emotion of the soul, which leads us violently to repel whatever hurts or displeases us.

This emotion, my children, comes from the devil: it shows that we are in his hands; that he is the master of our heart; that he holds all the strings of it, and makes us dance as he pleases. See, a person who puts himself in a passion is like a puppet; he knows neither what he says, nor what he does; the devil guides him entirely. He strikes right and left; his hair stands up like the bristles of a hedgehog; his eyes start out of his head–he is a scorpion, a furious lion. . . . Why do we, my children, put ourselves into such a state? Is it not pitiable? …

Again, I’ll point out Tony Dungee. His team lost – they were favorites! – and yet he showed no anger on the sidelines. He kept his cool. I’m not saying that no one can slip up. I am saying that when you do, you make ammends.

Look, what I tell my children is this:

You might be the only Catholic a peson ever sees or meets. They might never meet another Catholic in their lives. The way you act towards people is going to be what that person thinks Catholics are like. It’s not fair. It’s not right. But it’s the truth. So always be on your best behavior and treat people just like you’d want to treat Jesus. Be like Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: show everyone love.

I also tell them that if they fail, they need to apologize. And that is all I’m saying Philip Rivers should do: make it clear that his actions are not the way he wants to be seen, that he shouldn’t taunt anyone, or even answer back to those who are taunting him!

Yeah, turning the other cheek stinks most of the time. At least it does in the moment. But we must be masters of our emotions, not the other way around.

And, for the record, I think that if Philip Rivers is doing chastity talks and promoting a chaste life to people (young and old!), that is fantastic! We need more people who are willing to do that – not just through their actions, but also by speaking up about it! I admire him for it. I admire that he’s married to his high school sweetheart! I think the fact that he’s got three children already (quick work there!) is also great. I love that he is trying to live the Catholic faith in full. REALLY. And that makes it all the more important for him to be on guard against temptations to act in a manner that he will regret later. Or in a manner that is perceived as being contrary to his faith.

Look, he was really great on Sunday. And he just kept his head down and played hard. If he keeps that up, this whole thing will be forgotten. And if it isn’t, he’ll eventually get the question: What about the taunting from last season? And then he can say, you know what? I was an idiot for doing that. Man, am I sorry I acted that way. But I’m working on not doing it any more.

It’s the least a Catholic can do.


For more on Philip Rivers and his life, you can go to this site, which had an ongoing feature on Rivers as told by a woman who watched him (and his family) while he grew up in Alabama.

6 thoughts on “Philip Rivers: Part Two

  1. Ack! That is what a I meant to write! Thanks for telling me I got it wrong; I have fixed the error and added a link to the Works of Mercy.Now to be sure I got it right in another post I mentioned the Spiritual Works of Mercy in. (Other blog.)


  2. I know this is an old post, but I came upon your blog while searching for info on Philip Rivers.It is all well and good for you to post negative remarks about him on the internet, but if you really wanted to exhibit Christian charity, wouldn’t it have been better for you to send Philip a letter expressing your thoughts?You say that you weren’t on the field, but you know what you saw and perception is reality. Shouldn’t we as Christians avoid jumping to negative conclusions about people? You say that Philip “puts himself out there as a Catholic” and acting in a manner you don’t like causes him to “lose credibility” and he “makes all Catholics look bad.” Unless the fact that he is Catholic is mentioned before every game, I highly doubt most football fans know or care. Furthermore, if you want to talk about a Catholic making Catholics “look bad,” then take a look at William Donohue of the Catholic League. He is always rude and loud every time one of the networks gets comments from him. However, unlike you making a post on the internet about Philip Rivers, I emailed the Catholic League website to comment on what I thought was an obnoxious appearance by Mr. Donohue. Personally, I wish the networks would contact someone else for the Catholic reaction to religious news items, but I’m sure they prefer a loudmouth like Mr. Donohue precisely because he doesn’t give a good picture of how a Catholic should respond.Lastly, you say you don’t know Philip, his behavior was unbecoming, and when you lose your temper, you apologize for it. Well, how do you know that Philip didn’t apologize? Maybe he did. Do you seriously think the media is going to mention something so trivial? Aain, we should try to be more charitable. Contacting Philip Rivers would have been far more charitable.


  3. I stumbled across this blog and from the perspective of a Christian, not catholic, that you appear to be judgemental and rude yourself. The remark to the anonymous poster and the jibes at Rivers aren't those that a person who wants to represent catholics well would make.


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