Skip to main content

Chargers Official Site | Los Angeles Chargers -

Chargers Making Immediate Impression in London

The Chargers arrive at London Heathrow Airport ahead of their Week 7 matchup versus the Tennessee Titans at Wembley Stadium.

It's taken no time at all for the Chargers to make their presence felt in London.

After taking a red-eye flight across the pond, the Bolts touched down at Heathrow International Airport, bussed over to the hotel and immediately jumped into their usual Friday practice return.

"We haven't been on the ground very long, but I have to tell you the hospitality has been outstanding so far. We're the home team and it feels like a home game even," said Head Coach Anthony Lynn, who then offered a joke about the time change. "Hopefully, we can wake up in time and put on a good show (come Sunday)."

While the team tried to make it as routine as possible, there was an extra jolt of electricity in the air as throngs of international media and fans have clamored to get even the smallest glimpse of the Bolts.

To that end, Keenan Allen made sure he gave one lucky woman a memory she'll never forget.

As KA13 walked to the field, he stopped and approached the fan.

"Excuse me," he said. "Do you know what swag is?"

"Swag?" she asked in a thick British accent.

"Yeah, swag," he responded. "Cause guess what – you're looking at it!"

The woman broke out in a big laugh, and the two exchanged a high five in what will be a moment this new football fan will never forget.

"We're out here having fun," he said. "At the end of the day we got to get the W, but we are making the most of (the experience)."

It's clear those here in London are eager to do the same.

Philip Rivers has held countless press conferences over the years, but the look on reporters faces getting to ask questions to the future Hall of Famer was truly something to be seen. In fact, one let out an audible gasp when he walked into the room. Minutes earlier, this same reporter explained how he's followed Rivers' career from afar for so long, and that while he was being completely professional, he couldn't help but get those same fanboy emotions getting to be in the presence of his hero.

True to form, Rivers didn't disappoint.

You could hear a pin drop when the quarterback took the podium, answering a wide array of questions about the game itself as well as his personal life.

Still, his answer to one particular question proved to be most profound.

What do you love about the game of football?

The quarterback gave a vintage Philip Rivers response.

"Well, I grew up a coach's son – my dad coached high school football – so I was around it ever since I was little," Rivers said. "I developed a love for the game itself very young, from the strategy and all that comes with it. But I think the game is even more special to me just because of all the other things it teaches you about life and all the traits and characteristics that it takes to succeed in this sport. For me in football, they're the same ones that you need to be a good dad and to be a good husband. All those things, you can apply them in your faith, everything. That's what it is for me. All of those traits you need kind of transfer. It's more than just a game. All the lessons and teamwork and all the different things that come with it, but in between the lines of the game itself, I do enjoy playing and I play it like I did when I was 10, 12 years old. Just that same kind of kid-like approach and still doing it at 36."

Everyone knows Rivers loves the game of football as much as anyone who's ever been lucky enough to play.

Meanwhile, the respect for Rivers as a family man apparently extends beyond the states as the quarterback was asked to share advice he has for working fathers who have multiple responsibilities.

"I certainly can do both," he explained. "During the season, it's a little bit more a challenge just from a time aspect, because you're spending a lot of time at the office, but I think definitely it's better to have a good balance. I found that the biggest thing our children want is our time, whether that's 15 minutes at night after a long work day or whether it's a lot of time during the off-day or the offseason, they want that quality time. I found that spending that (time) goes a long way and I certainly try to do that as much as I can."

As excited as Londoners are for the Bolts’ arrival, the Chargers are equally grateful for this opportunity.

"This is a blessing," said Melvin Ingram. "It's special. To be recognized around the world for playing football, it's really super dope. It's all about Sunday though. Getting a (win). But it's dope to be here."

"This feels good, and hopefully after this game even more people know about this team," added Casey Hayward. "If we can come out here and play to our potential in this environment, and get a win, that would make this special. We need to come in here, hit the Titans in the mouth and win this game. That would make it really special."

Another Charger grateful to play across the pond this year is Antonio Gates.

The legendary tight end admitted to the media last year this time that he didn't know if he was going to return for another season or hang up his cleats. He's cherishing every moment along the way this season in case it really is the end, and the trip to London is particularly meaningful.

"I've never taken anything for granted, and last year I was on the borderline of coming back again or not," he said. "So this whole (year), I've really tried to soak as much in as possible. To be exposed to this culture, and get to play in front of football fans, a different type of football fan, it's certainly something I cherish."

Gates has been as popular as any Charger since the team landed in London. Feeling this type of love so far away from home has affected the tight end, who opened up about how much this whole experience means to him.

"It's a dream come true," he said. "For any child growing up, any athlete, your whole focus is to try to become successful. Your whole focus is to try to be somewhat popular and do things that somehow impact people throughout your life. When I see kids (here) and people that say my name, it allows me to think about the footsteps I took to get to this point. The platform that I've had. I'm really grateful. It's a situation that I have a lot to be thankful for."

Related Content

From Our Partners