With the team implementing a coat and tie policy for road games under Head Coach Mike McCoy, Rivers took on a unique twist of the dress code, at least for those who live to the west of the Mississippi. The first time he adorned his bolo tie, Chargers fans all across San Diego loved it, and now, football fans all over the country have caught bolo tie fever.
One such fan who took notice was 76-year old Ted Williams, who stopped by Chargers Park to drop off a bolo tie he made for Rivers. He left it at the front desk and thought there was only a fraction of a chance the star quarterback would ever receive it. Fast forward a week later, Williams finished watching the Chargers’ playoff victory over Cincinnati thinking it was the best Sunday he could have asked for until he witnessed what happened shortly thereafter. Rivers took the podium as he normally does following a game. But this time he adorned the very bolo tie Williams dropped off for him earlier that week.
“I made it myself about 10 or 15 years ago,” said Williams. “I saw that he had bolo ties on when they beat the Chiefs and beat the Broncos, so I figured he liked them. I thought he might like that one. It was always too big for me but he is a bigger guy so I thought it might fit him!”
So what was his reaction when he saw Rivers wearing it?
“I thought it was great!” said Williams. “The guy that went down there with me is an ex-cop from LA, and he called me up when I was doing yard work and said it was on TV. I asked ‘What’s on TV?’ and he said ‘Your bolo tie!’ So I went running in and rewound it because it was halftime of the 49ers game, so I saw it and it tickled the heck out of me. I liked it a lot.”
When Williams dropped off the gift with Chargers receptionist, Georgette Rogers, he wasn’t sure if it would ever make its way to Rivers, but there he was in Cincinnati on national television wearing the handmade bolo tie.
“I didn’t know if he would actually get it,” he explained. “It’s kind of like if you never throw a pass you don’t have a chance to get it across the goal line. You’ve got to take your chances. The guy is out there with 11 guys trying to kill him, and here he is entertaining us. I thought shoot, I’d be glad to give him one of my bolo ties.”
When asked about it on Monday, Rivers explained how he wore it to honor the fan who made it for him.
“The one yesterday was actually one that somebody sent me here locally from El Cajon,” he explained. “So I thought I’d wear it for him.”
The fact that Rivers felt compelled to honor a fan in this manner speaks to the unique bond between the community, the fans and the San Diego Chargers. Moments after Rivers spoke about wearing it,
"It's us. It's the community,” said Eric Weddle. “The fans that were in Cincinnati, it was amazing. The fourth quarter, seeing all the Bengal fans walking out and our fans slowly coming up to the edge of the rows, it was definitely a sight to see. We do it for us, the city, this organization and the people that support us. We can't do it alone. We have said all along that the fans and the people who support us mean the world to us as players. The people that stick by us through the tough times, the three-year hiatus, those people who stuck with us, hopefully we are rewarding them right now."