Less than one week ago, Philip Rivers decided to retire from the NFL after an impressive 17-year career. As soon as he indicated his future plans, the debate kicked into high gear on whether Rivers should be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame but, regardless of where they argument lands, Rivers was (very) good at playing quarterback and he also contributed entertainment on and off the field.
One more example arrived this week when Colts head coach Frank Reich shared a tremendous story with NBC Sports, and it involves Rivers and a sport other than football. In short, it appears that the 39-year-old recent retiree is a stunningly good free throw shooter.
“One more story from San Diego. One day—I don’t know how the subject came up—a bunch of us were talking free-throw shooting,” Reich wrote. “Philip said, I’m over 90 percent. We’re all like, No way. So we made a wager: shoot 100 free throws, and he had to make at least 80. He went out there on the hoop we had at camp, and he made 97. We were blown away. But that wasn’t enough. He figured, I’ll show you. Those guys went out there 10 straight days to shoot free throws, 100 a day. And he made, like, 946 out of 1,000. He didn’t even have to do that—he already won the bet. But that’s Philip.”
Obviously, there could be some embellishment here, if only because it is quite difficult for anyone to make 97 out of 100 free throws. In fact, even professional basketball players would have trouble reaching that particular standard, and that doesn’t even get into the wild nature of making “946 out of 1,000” at the charity stripe.
On the other hand, the best athletes in the world are often freakish with the things they can accomplish. Rivers clearly has tremendous athletic coordination in order to throw a football accurately and, given his height at about 6’5, it stands to reason that he had a basketball in his hands somewhere along the way. In the end, it might be a little bit tough to believe, but Reich managed to ignite the internet in speculation, which is fitting for the way Rivers’ football career will be litigated in the coming days.