INDIANAPOLIS — As first impressions go, quarterback Philip Rivers sounds affable as advertised.
The 17th-year pro is known for his expressive nature on the field. That also applies to how much he shares about himself and family when the conversation shifts from football.
Philip and Tiffany Rivers moved their nine children from Florida to Indianapolis in early June. While it would be understandable if he was guarded about discussing much of that in detail, Rivers instead was open about how making the transition in a time of quarantined existence due to the Coronavirus pandemic translated to additional family time.
Rivers smiled when asked about the logistics of such a move.
“As you can imagine, that’s a lot of us at home all the time,” he said. “It’s been awesome. It really has. It’s been really good. Our children can’t use the excuse that they’re bored. There’s plenty of playmates in the house.”
The Rivers roster of children consists of seven daughters in Halle, Sarah Catherine, Caroline, Grace, Rebecca, Clare, and Anna, then two sons, Peter and Gunner. Anna was the latest arrival in March of 2019.
One advantage they quickly realized upon arrival in the Hoosier State is how it doesn’t get darker until later than what the Rivers family was accustomed to when living on the West Coast in 16 years with the Chargers organization.
“It’s been a pretty week,” he said of their first days in Indianapolis. “I’m getting a feel for the weather, the summers, these summer nights have been beautiful, and getting used to it getting dark after 9 o’clock, it’s been a little crazy. We’ve been out playing and look up and it’s 9:05 (p.m.) and it’s still light outside.”
Rivers, 38, appreciates being with his family as much as possible. It’s easy to tell that’s what matters most. He also mentions how football provides life lessons that can be shared with the children.
It’s a side of him that some fans might not realize because of his on-field penchant for trash talk. That’s all in good fun, opponents often remind, because Rivers isn’t one to swear, even when needling foes.
Rivers talks extensively about being eager to bond with teammates and the importance of being a good teammate, an example he began to set by organization initial throwing sessions with tight end Jack Doyle and wide receiver Parris Campbell. The team has since had unsupervised workouts with other players, including rookies.
It’s a welcome deviation from an offseason of confinement, when the Colts like other NFL teams were forced to conduct team meetings via Zoom video conference calls. The fact that his work schedule allowed for more family time helped with making the family move.
“Our whole family is happy to be here,” he said.
When asked where they are residing, Rivers admitted he was unsure of exactly where the Northside address should be classified.
“I’m not real sure,” he said. “Sometimes when I give an address out, they say I’m in Westfield, and other times, they’ve said Noblesville. I’m in one of the two.
“As far as schools go, we’re not quite sure yet. We’re kind of zeroing in on that. We home-schooled last year. With all that’s obviously transpired in the last few months and not knowing what’s ahead, we’re still kind of sorting through that.”
(Phillip B. Wilson has covered the Indianapolis Colts for more than two decades and authored the 2013 book 100 Things Colts Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. He’s on Twitter @pwilson24, on Facebook at @allcoltswithphilb and @100thingscoltsfans, and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.)