It was him–number 17–QB for the San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers walking through the glass-door entrance of our hotel. He was accompanied by a family member as they waited for a car to arrive.
He was less than 20 feet from us before he walked through the doors. I was in awe of how extremely tall he was. You see them on TV, unaware of their size in the flesh. He’s huge.
We continued talking to Bill for a bit longer before his next meeting.
Thanking Bill again for the passes, we headed up to our rooms to take in all of what just happened. It was a lot to process. I was so relieved to finally have this huge secret off my chest. I immediately called Mom to tell her everything.
Since we were staying in the hotel, we were bound to come across some other players throughout the evening.
We made our calls, texted our family and took a cat-nap. I was beyond exhausted the night before, and had barely slept, so I desperately needed some shut eye.
We dressed for dinner stopping to ask the hotel folks for recommendations on restaurants nearby.
I turned to my left and Philip Rivers was standing on the far side of the lobby talking to a group of what looked like were family members of his. They appeared to be waiting for the elevators. I gestured to Klay and told him Rivers was in the lobby, again. He looked over at the NFL quarterback and then tapped me on the arm.
“Hey, look,” Klay said and gestured for me to turn around. “That’s their Defensive Coordinator [John Pagano] and their Cornerback, Jason Verrett. He’s one of the best cornerbacks in the league, but he’s hurt.”
“This is crazy,” I said. “Do you want to ask them for a picture?”
I turned around to look at Klay for a response, and the 6’5″ Quarterback for the San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers towered above Klay catching my eye. He was heading straight toward us
When I’d turned around and saw him walking in our direction, I was taken by surprise. He was less than 10 feet from us before I could spit out “he’s coming this way” to Klay.
I immediately shot out my hand out and uttered, “Hi, Philip! I’m Cassidy and this is my husband Klay.”
He shook our hands and smiled.
I told him Bill had given us sideline passes, so we’d be there cheering him on the next day. Then, we wished him good luck.
He thanked us for our support, smiled at us even though we could tell he was in a hurry.
Another fan approached him asking for an autograph, but he was off to a meeting, and said he’d have to catch him when he came back down later.
I didn’t have time to snap a photo capturing the moment. But you could tell he was busy and determined to get to his meeting. We didn’t want to bother him.
Klay and I talked about our encounter on the way to the restaurant. We were starving.
If you’re ever in Houston, you must treat yourself to a meal at State Fare. The food is absolutely incredible and worth every penny.
We ordered drinks–Klay had a beer while I ordered a “Cranberry Surprise”–and in mid-conversation Klay looked over in a booth near us to see rookie Defensive End (DE) Joey Bosa sitting with another Chargers DE Tenny Palapoi and another fella we were unsure of who he was.
Klay was in shock and started laughing.
We ate and chatted away casually looking over from time to time to see if they were still eating. Before we finished our meal, the three men stood up and headed out the door. We watched as they walked around the wall of windows that surrounded us, amazed at how massive these players are in person.
State Fare Kitchen & Bar provided a delicious spread of food for us. I had the catfish; it was craze amaze. Klay had their pork chop meal, which probably could have fed the entire defensive line for the Chargers. It was that big. OK, maybe not that big, but it was the thickest pork chop I’ve ever seen.
I decided to have another “Cranberry Surprise” because it was so delish it was like Christmas on your tongue and I had to take advantage of this frozen goodness while I had the chance.
We went back to the hotel and took our leftovers up to our room and then headed back down to the gift shop in need of some items we’d forgotten.
As we entered the elevator, a man and a woman are leaning against one-side of the wall.
Chargers Linebacker Melvin Ingram stood with a diamond gold chain draped around his neck and both he and his friend smiled politely at us. We asked how they were doing; they asked if we were going to dinner, but we told them we’d just gotten back, and the conversation went back and forth before Klay introduced himself, shaking Melvin’s hand. We arrived back to the lobby, told them it was nice to meet them and they were on their way.
At the gift shop, a burly man with a beard stood at the register decked in SD gear. He was clearly a player. Klay and I looked around for our items and stood behind him as we waited for the cashier to finish ringing him up. He smiled and nodded at us before walking past us.
We decided to run our stuff from the gift shop back upstairs. We entered the elevator once again and there stood wide receiver Tyrell Williams.
I leaned against the back wall of the elevator; Klay on my left, Williams on my right. I was trying to think of something to say… and let out a “Sooooooo…” when the elevator stopped on the fourth floor.
Three men stand ready to board. One of them was none other than SD’s Head Coach Mike McCoy.
I turned to Klay and he’s looking down shaking his head. I’m debating on whether I should be snapping photos in this tiny elevator because Klay’s clearly recognizing people a lot better than I am. The elevator stops on our floor and I holler out “Good luck tomorrow, guys! We’ll be there cheering you on.”
Mike McCoy says, “Oh, well thank you!” He smiled before the doors closed.
This whole night has seemed like a dream. We can’t believe all that’s happened to us so far. It’s nuts!
After dropping our goodies off at the room, we went down the elevator again to finally try out the bar in the hotel.
As soon as we sit, DJ Fluker, who plays guard, walks in. He’s a GIANT. At 6’5″ 339 lbs, he definitely knows how to make an entrance.
Klay and I are sitting in a large booth with windows displaying the front of the hotel entrance behind us, when I turn around and say, “Hey, there’s Philip again.”
Philip Rivers and his wife were outside of the front entrance. What are the odds?
Klay and I ordered drinks which were absolutely vomit-worthy. They were awful. And around 11 we were yawning (I know we’re old) and ready to call it a night.
Back in the elevator (again), we’re accompanied by a pretty, young girl who looks like she may be a player’s girlfriend. I ask if she’s here for the game and she says her BF plays for the Chargers–Denzel Perryman, inside linebacker.
Damn, girl, that must be nice.
I mean honestly. I don’t think our stay in our hotel could have been more EPIC.
And we haven’t even been to the game yet. Can you believe this weekend can get any crazier?
Part 3 coming soon.
Still shitting myself,