Rivers takes skills competition loss in stride

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers lost a skills competition to a high schooler recently, but he wasn't necessarily planning on winning the event that was part of a reopening of a training facility he owns part of in Huntsville, Ala.

The 120 local campers included six high school quarterbacks including Rivers' brother, Stephen, who plays at Athens High School near Huntsville.

The quarterbacks ran through three challenges July 8 -- an accuracy competition, longest throw and an obstacle course, said a D1 official who attended the camp.

Rivers was off in the accuracy contest and lost to Will Nunn of Huntsville High. Rivers won longest throw, unofficially 69 yards. He was urged by D1 officials not to do the obstacle course, but participated at less than full speed.

"I'm all right," Rivers said afterward. "You know what, it would have been bad if I'd have won to be honest with you. It was fun to compete a little bit, but to be sure I didn't do anything to get hurt. I've got a big year ahead of me.

"It was good. Will has a lot of ability. A lot of these kids have got a lot of ability and competed well. It was fun. You add a little bit of spice to the camp. You do so many fundamentals and then you go play some games, throw in a little challenge and let the local quarterbacks enjoy that."

Nunn was reserved as he spoke to WHNT-TV after the challenge.

"It was great," he said. "I don't know if he was trying as hard as he could have. But it was a good confidence booster."

D1 Sports Training has facilities connected to NFL and NBA players in eight cities including Nashville (Peyton Manning), Columbus (A.J. Hawk) and Memphis (Shane Battier).

Before jumping on Rivers over losing a skill position competition, consider some context.

  1. Rivers seems to be getting hit hard over this, which makes me wonder: If he stomped the kids, wouldn't a large segment of the population have crushed him over that?

  2. What's the right amount of NFL prowess to take into work with or against high school campers?

If I am a Chargers fan, all I care about from this is that he didn't get hurt. The only football played by Rivers that I would care about starts Monday night, Sept. 14 at Oakland.