What Time Are The Playoff Football Games This Weekend John Riggins Biography and Interesting Facts About His Career

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John Riggins Biography and Interesting Facts About His Career

Biography

When it came to John Riggins, everyone knew what to expect. He played by his own rules. He ran hard, and he ran his way. He’s just as likely to show up to team functions in military uniform as he is in a tuxedo. However, when it came time to play football, he was a no-nonsense fullback whose strength and speed were surpassed only by his determination and toughness.

Riggins did not tire as the game wore on. The more times he got the ball, the stronger he seemed to get. The same applied to his NFL career. When other running backs would lose their stride as they aged, John Riggins gained momentum with each NFL season. He was 35 when he recorded his sixth 1,000-yard rushing season. Although no one knew what to expect from Riggins off the football field, teammates and fans alike could always count on him to perform exceptionally well when it was time to play football.

While still playing at a high level, Riggins shocked the world when he retired from football after posting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. One day he had just walked out of Redskins training camp in 1980 and announced his retirement.

Riggins played by his own rules. He was not satisfied with the contract and football in general, so he decided to leave according to his own rules. After spending the offseason on his farm in Kansas, he returned to Washington in 1981 and said, “I’m bored, I’m broke, and I’m back” Riggins decided he was ready to play football again.

After Riggins’ humiliating declaration to return to football, he began his second career as an NFL player. His one-year hiatus showed during his first season, but by the end of 1982 he had fully regained form. Heading into the playoffs, he approached Redskins coach Joe Gibbs and told him that if he could be given 20 carries per game or more, the Redskins would win.

Coach Gibbs took Riggins’ advice. Over the next three games, Riggins averaged 148 yards and 33 carries and led the Washington Redskins to Super Bowl XVII.

In the Super Bowl against the Miami Dolphins, the Redskins relied heavily on Riggins. His biggest play was in the 4th quarter. Down 17-3 and facing a fourth-and-1, Riggins took the handoff, dashed left and raced 43 yards to the end zone. Behind John Riggins’ 166 yards on a career-high 38 carries, the Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl 27-17.

The following season, at age 34, John Riggins had his best year as a professional. At the time of his retirement, he was fourth on the all-time list. It was a career no one could have predicted. No one who did not understand the will and determination of John Riggins, that is.

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