On Thursday, they competed in another manner, coaching a team of NFL legends and well-known celebrities for the EA Sports Madden NFL 14 Pigskin Pro-Am Powered by Gamestop aboard the USS Midway. Rivers’ team featured the likes of Dan Marino and Jerry Rice while Freeney had the chance to coach players including Troy Aikman and Deon Sanders.
“This is fun,” Rivers said shortly before the game began. “Coaching is fun, but any kind of competition gets me excited. But really, and I told them this so hopefully they don’t feel old, but I grew up with these guys. So to be around Marino and Aikman and all those guys who are Hall of Famers out here playing a game of flag football is definitely special. It really makes me feel like I came a long way from a small town in Alabama 20 years ago.”
As for his coaching strategy, Rivers said there’s not much he could tell someone with the pedigree of Marino.
“I mean what am I really going to tell a guy like Marino?” he said with a laugh. “Dan Marino was on my wall on a poster growing up. I don’t think he needs any tips!”
The Hall of Fame quarterback certainly agrees with his coach.
One thing Rivers shares along with the rest of the legends playing in the game is his competitive nature.
“Everyone is out here to have some fun, and they are, but what makes all these guys tick and why they were so great is how competitive they are,” Rivers said. “They are super competitive. They all want to win.”
Speaking of being competitive, Rivers admits he had some extra motivation to beat Freeney.
“It’s all in fun, but I want to win. It’s offense vs. defense!”
To find out whose team came out on top, be sure to tune in to the one-hour special that will air in late August on NBC prior to one of the nationally broadcasted preseason games.