SAN DIEGO -- In his first public comments since the Chargers announced the team's relocation to Los Angeles, Philip Rivers said he feels for the fans in San Diego who are losing their team of 56 years, but also looks forward to a new start.
"I want to be clear that my love for San Diego -- the time we've had here, the games, practices and everything about it -- is special and awesome," Rivers told Xtra 1360 Fox Sports Radio. "That will never go away. But at the same time, and I hope people understand this, I have to get excited and fired up about going up to a new area, representing our team and organization and going up trying to win as many games as we can win.
"I want to be the same guy I've always been. That's the only way I know. So I'm kind of in the middle of that, leaving behind something that you love and are thankful for, and you want to make sure that everybody knows that, and at the same time I don't want people to think, 'Well, he sure seems fired up to go up there.' ... I hope as the dust settles a little bit that people can understand that."
Rivers also said that his hope is once the anger subsides for fans in San Diego that the team is gone, perhaps they'll still watch games and root for him and the rest of the Chargers.
"I do think time always make things better," Rivers said. "It doesn't make things go away, but I do hope -- and I say this with all sincerity and sensitiveness to all of the community here -- I do hope that there's still some families, some sons and dads, that will load up and say, 'Shoot, we're right up the road,' on a Sunday afternoon, and still pull for the guys you've always pulled for."
Asked about competing in a crowded pro sports market with the likes of the Lakers, Dodgers, Rams and Kings, Rivers said the path to success for the Chargers is simple -- win games.
"The bottom line for me is this: I'm not naïve to where we're going and that market that's there in terms of how many sports teams and everything else that goes on up there," Rivers said. "But you've got to win. If you win, people will be excited and come. If you don't win, ain't nobody going to be there. That's just the way it's going to be."
Rivers compared the Chargers' position with how the Clippers, who also relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles, have recently carved out a niche in the market by consistently putting out a winning product.
Rivers is a friend of Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, and occasionally attends games.
"That's kind of the hot ticket in town up there," Rivers said, referring to the Clippers. "And when they weren't winning, from what I hear nobody wanted to go to Clippers games. So we've got to go win, and then those kinds of things will take care of itself."
Rivers, who lives north of San Diego in Rancho Santa Fe, said he and wife, Tiffany, are still working through how the couple and their eight children will handle the team's relocation to Los Angeles.
"I've been here 13 years and obviously this community means a great deal to me," Rivers said. "We love it here. We don't know yet what we're going to do. We're going to exhaust all of our options. It's still all real new, although we had an idea where that facility may be, and an idea that if it does go that way it may be the StubHub Center for two years."
Rivers said he is excited about the organization's hiring of Anthony Lynn as coach. The 35-year-old quarterback also looks forward to playing in a new venue in 2017, with the Chargers committing to play in the StubHub Center, home of Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy, for two seasons.
"The Stubhub Center excites me more than the Coliseum would have," Rivers said. "You're talking about 90,000 to 100,000 at the Coliseum in a new place. I know there were some games early that looked awesome for the Rams and others that didn't.
"But the Stubhub Center in a way excites me. It's 30,000, so it's kind of an intimate environment. It's small and everyone's right on top of you. I was actually Googling some of the pictures just seeing Galaxy games and things like that. It looks like it could be a cool environment."