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Sun., Oct. 02, 2016 1:25 PM to 4:25 PM PDT
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Malcom Floyd Steals Show in Major Way
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Malcom Floyd has made the fans at Qualcomm Stadium rise to their feet countless times over his 12 year career.
Perhaps none compared to what occurred with 7:05 remaining in the game.
With Floyd making it clear that 2015 will be his final NFL season, the Chargers honored him with a tribute video during a break in action. Highlights of M80’s acrobatic catches and memorable moments elicited a roar from the crowd as each and every fan gave the humble wide receiver a raucous standing ovation.
“It was so hard to stay focused,” he said with tears in his eyes. “I was just trying to stay focused. It’s so emotional. I got teary-eyed right there. It’s just crazy when you play in a stadium for that long and it comes to an end like that. I’m just glad that we got a win today so I could soak it in. I just appreciated all the support from the fans through the ups and downs throughout these 12 years. I love them to death.”
“I wanted to know who picked that song because it was hard for me to keep it together,” Antonio Gates said of the video tribute. “You’re talking about a guy that I have been playing with for over a decade. He means so much to myself and to this team. I hate to see him go out the way we have this season, but he is so special and means so much. He epitomized what it means to be a San Diego Charger and I am happy to be able to enjoy these last 12 years with him.”
In a game where Danny Woodhead scored four touchdowns, which are tied for second most in franchise history, and the defense continued to play lights out, it was a man who had only one catch that stole the show. While it was his only grab of the day, his 27-yard snare was the type of clutch, acrobatic deep reception that has made him one of the best deep threats in the NFL since he arrived in 2004.
“The roughest part of it for me was Malcom when they were playing that (video),” Rivers said. “Seeing Malcom and those highlights and stuff, I had a hard time calling the next play in the huddle just knowing, shoot, he’s got two games left of ever playing football…He’s down to the last two and the last time for sure he’ll ever play a home game. So, that one got me. I had a hard time calling the next play.”
The Bolts made sure it was a special day for Floyd from the very beginning. M-80 was the last player introduced during pre-game warmups, and he joined Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Mike Scifres and Eric Weddle for the opening coin toss. Later, with the game decided in the final minute, Head Coach Mike McCoy removed Floyd from the game along with Rivers and Gates to another rousing ovation.
“Malcom Floyd; what a stud,” McCoy said. “That is what this is all about, and a lot of other great leaders we have. Knowing what Malcom has publicly come out and said, what he is going to do at the end of the year, we wanted to make sure he went off the field a winner today.”
That moment meant the world to the humble Floyd.
“Man, to be mentioned in the same tier with those guys, you know, I don’t deserve it,” he said. “They played at a high level all year. They made me. I just appreciated just being mentioned amongst them. I love them to death. They’re my brothers forever. We laid it out on the line for each other throughout the years. No doubt, I love them to death more than a brother.”
When Nick Hardwick retired earlier this year, he mentioned his career was laced with “championship moments,” which would be the best way to sum up what Sunday meant to the popular wide receiver.
“Today definitely ranks up there with the playoff games because it was my last game. It was so emotional today. This was the last time I’ll be in this stadium. I’m going to soak it in and just want to say how much I appreciate and love the fans. Without them, there wouldn’t be me.”