I was all set to pen a post about how John Riggins was nothing more than a bigger, more popular version of Brian Mitchell; a former Redskin hardwired to blow hard for fast money.
But after reading this piece from the Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins , you get a background on Riggins that puts brains behind the bluster, and reasoning behind the rage against the Redskins. He’s a guy with a troubled childhood and issues with authority, which have saved him and plagued him throughout his professional life.
I don’t know how dark Daniel Snyder’s heart is, which is among the more infamous shots Riggo has taken at the Skins’ in the last few weeks, but I do know that he isn’t the first former player to claim it. And he likely won’t be the last. The thing about Riggins that gave me more respect for him instead of guys like Mitchell, is that he as willing to spit his truth on a youtube video in the middle of the woods as he is on a radio or television broadcast.
Where most guys want to be regarded as hard nosed truth tellers, Riggins will let you keep the nose. He’s eloquent and humorous; both unintentionally at times. And where the Redskins have tried to alienate him as a voice of criticism, he’s been willing to continue his personal quest for a better ‘Skins franchise; whether he is paid for it or not.
It’s not to make Riggo’s pain more soluble or justifiable against any other sports pundit, but it is to say that there is no mask that he hopes to create out of hit. Who he is on the air is who he’ll be off of it, so it seems. There doesn’t seem to be the same disingenuous feel to his rants as there is with Mitchell, who proudly accepted a place into the Redskins Ring of Fame after a number of years of criticizing ownership and players in as an employee of the team with ESPN980.
So here’s to you Riggo. Hope you stick around.
And you WILL stick around.