The NFL is an absolute content factory, churning out news, notes, and viral tidbits like a Ford plant in pre-union Detroit. From Wednesday P.M. to Tuesday A.M., the NFL dominates the American sports news landscape, rolling off the assembly line with one shiny new story after the next. Even by these obscenely high standards, however, this week was special. After the dust settled on Sunday evening, there were game-deciding missed calls to rewind, an Eli Manning wake to attend, more Patriots cheating allegations to sift through, and even the most brutal kicker firing in the history of brutal kicker firings to unpack. It was a banner week for post-football football content, but the NFL, with its penchant for drama, chose to save the best for last: Footage of a mic'd Philip Rivers celebrating a 90-yard touchdown pass as only the weirdest dude in the NFL can. Ladies and gentleman, SOUND UP.
Iconic. That this, in a year when an embattled Jet quarterback admitted to seeing paranormal phenomena into a hot mic on Monday Night Football, stands as the best mic'd-up moment we've heard in eons, is a testament to its majesty. After getting shoved to turf by the Jaguars' Yannick Ngakoue, Rivers springs to his feet and screams, voice cracking like a middle school boy every time his crush steps foot in the same timezone, "NINETY-YARD TOUCHDOWNNNNN" straight in Ngakoue's ear . . . twice.
At this point the referee sees the writing on the wall and sends Rivers scampering down the field to his teammates with a casual "Get the f—k out of here." Eventually 91 catches up to 17, and reminds him to "stay humble." But this is Philip Rivers we're talking about. It's way too late for that.
"I can be excited!" Rivers declares.
"Yeah, but don't that by my ear," Ngakoue replies.
"I will do it by your ear [growled], I will do it by your ear!" repeats Rivers. "That's what I do, that's what I do!"
And so unfolds the greatest piece of theater in the NFL so far this season. Once again, the wily veteran gets the best of the kid—the passer, as foretold in prophecy, vanquishes the pass rusher. Rivers won't exactly score any brownie points with those who already believe him to be a glorified compiler sans a clutch gene at best and solely responsible for Southern California's rampant overpopulation problem at worst, but you can't argue with the fact that it's pure entertainment, and for what does the NFL exist if not to entertain?