Philip Rivers steps to the makeshift podium and did it need to come to this?
“I’ve enjoyed my 14 seasons with the Chargers,’’ Rivers said. “I just can’t believe it is ending this way.’’
Immediately after Rivers’ impromptu press conference, the Los Angeles Chargers issued a terse statement:
“We wish Mr. Rivers much success in his future endeavors.”
No, we didn’t get our calendar confused. It is closer to New Year’s Day than April Fool’s.
But you’re a dunce if not seeing what’s on the horizon for the Chargers’ celebrated quarterback.
The team’s last possible week of being the San Diego Chargers includes a helping of nonsense. The Chargers again shown why, at times, they’re tougher to root for than the IRS.
The black cloud, lump of coal, and snakebites, which shadow the Chargers, is on display with Eric Weddle.
The Chargers and Weddle have been fussin’ and fightin’ since the offseason. Weddle, an All-Pro safety, saw his contract expiring and wanted to renegotiate.
The Chargers spotted Weddle’s wear-and-tear from being the ultimate team player in terms of defensive and special-teams snaps, and declined to break bread.
So Weddle blasted the Chargers.
The Chargers acted like they couldn’t be bothered.
The latest chapter of this sage reads like the numerous ones before it: The Chargers embrace a player when he is young and productive and deliver a cold shoulder once either of those change.
What’s baffling is that the Chargers aren’t alone in roster turnover. The NFL is famous for depleting bodies, and then disposing them once they revolt from playing this violent game.
But few teams — any? — seem to botch the separation of a star and a franchise with such buffoonery as the Chargers.
Many of the Chargers’ all-time greats were shown the door like an undrafted free agent. Standouts that should have exited with their head high and a back sore from slaps, were kicked to the curb like rubbish.
It’s an impressive list of those leaving with a frown and frustration: Ron Mix, Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow, Leslie O’Neal, Junior Seau, Rodney Harrison and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Now it’s time to throw Weddle on the scrap heap and tell me you’re not surprised.
Weddle’s agent, David Canter, revealed that the Chargers fined their defensive captain $10,000 for watching his daughter perform during halftime of the recent Dolphins game. Instead of joining his teammates for the break, Weddle broke ranks.
To be fair, that is infraction worthy of discipline.
To be fair, this is making a mountain out of a speed bump.
Weddle should have informed coaches of his intentions.
But Weddle figured asking for permission and being denied wouldn’t accomplish his goal.
So he took his punishment, paid his fine and moved on without a word.
But the petty Chargers do what they do best: making an uncomfortable situation untenable.
Weddle, who aggravated a groin injury in the loss at Oakland, was placed on injured reserve. That guaranteed he couldn’t play in Sunday’s season finale at Denver, the last game in among the most dreadful seasons in Chargers history.
The team told Weddle he couldn’t board its charter flight. Something about the plane being too small and if you can’t see through that bluster, take another look, Buster.
The Chargers had a card to play and did just that. Weddle wanted to see his last Chargers game from the sidelines. But someone who’s gone above and beyond for the Chargers — before his halftime shenanigans — was denied.
Instead Weddle will watch from afar as the Chargers attempt to upset the Broncos.
What’s clear is Weddle has been bucked from the Chargers’ good graces.
Good gracious, Weddle is in good company.
Contact Jay Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports.
Sportswriter Jay Paris has written his “Sports Talk” column since joining the Coast News in 2013.
Paris, a Cardiff resident, is a longtime Southern California writer, getting his start with the Orange County Register before coming to San Diego in 1992 to cover the Chargers.
He had the Chargers beat for more than two decades with Oceanside Blade-Citizen, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, before being named a sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Paris has won numerous awards voted on by his peers in the Pro Football Writers of America. He has also been a staple on countless media platforms, everything from the KPBS to MLB Network and various radio outlets.
Paris is also the author of three books, with his latest one being, “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story Of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar.” He has also written “Game Of My Life Chargers” and “Game Of My Life Rams.”
He currently covers the NFL in Los Angeles for Forbes. com and is a contributor to USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow Jay on Twitter @jparis_sports