John Riggins

Robert John Riggins (born August 4, 1949), nicknamed "The Diesel" and "Riggo", is a former American football running back who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Jets and Washington Redskins. He was known for his powerful running style and productivity well into the latter years of his career; in 1983 at age 34, he rushed for an NFL single-season record 24 touchdowns, and again led the league in rushing touchdowns the following season at age 35. Although he had only one Pro Bowl appearance in his career, Riggins had his greatest success in the postseason, and was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XVII where he scored one touchdown and rushed for 166 yards in a 27-17 win for the Washington Redskins over the Miami Dolphins. Riggins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.

John Riggins
John Riggins
No. 44
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:August 4, 1949 (age 69)
Seneca, Kansas
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Centralia (KS)
College:Kansas
NFL Draft:1971 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:11,352
Rushing average:3.9
Rushing touchdowns:104
Player stats at NFL.com

Early life

Riggins was born in Seneca, Kansas and attended Centralia High School in Centralia, Kansas, of partial Czech ancestry. While there, he was a three-sport athlete, earning high school All-American recognition in football, all-state honors in basketball and twice winning the Class B 100-yard dash state title.[1]

Riggins' high school is now located on John Riggins Avenue, which runs through a main part of Centralia.[2]

On October 12, 2012 John with his brothers Frank (Junior) and Bill Riggins were on hand to dedicate the Centralia High School football field renaming it Riggins Field in honoring their parents, Franklin Eugene and Mildred Riggins. The Pro Football Hall of Fame dedicated a plaque and NFL Films was there to film the event. The Riggins brothers took center field for the opening coin toss and the Centralia High School Panthers went on to beat the Troy (Kansas) High School Trojans with a final score of 55–0. [3] [4]

College career

Riggins attended and played college football at the University of Kansas for the Jayhawks, where he was an All-American[5] and two-time All-Big Eight Conference first-team selection.[1] Riggins led the Jayhawks to a Big Eight Conference championship win in 1968.[6] The team then went to the 1969 Orange Bowl, which they lost to Penn State, 15–14.[1]

During his senior season in 1970, Riggins rushed for 1,131 yards and scored a then school-record 14 touchdowns.[1] He finished his career with 2,659 rushing yards,[1] which broke Gale Sayers's career rushing record for the school[5] Riggins is now ranked fifth for Kansas' all-time rushing leaders and 14th for total yards.[7]

While at Kansas, Riggins majored in journalism.[8]

Professional career

New York Jets

Riggins was drafted in the first round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the New York Jets and as a rookie he became the first Jet to lead the team in both rushing and receiving.[9] On October 15, 1972, the Jets set a team-record of 333 rushing yards against the New England Patriots, beating them 41–13.[10] Riggins, who had 168 yards, and Emerson Boozer, who had 150 yards, became the only running back tandem in franchise history who both rushed for 150 yards in a game.[10] Although he missed the final two games in 1972 because of knee surgery, Riggins rushed for 944 yards, four yards less than Matt Snell's franchise record.[9]

Riggins was among the top ten rushers in the American Football Conference in 1974 despite missing four games with a shoulder injury.[9] After only four years with the Jets, he was already the fourth leading rusher in team history with 2,875 yards.[9] In 1975, Riggins became the first player in franchise history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in a season.[11] On December 21, 1975, he ran for 121 yards against the Dallas Cowboys which gave him 1,005 for the season.[11] In what turned out to be his last season with the Jets, Riggins made his only appearance in the Pro Bowl.[5]

Riggins was named the Jets' MVP (now known as the Martin Award) in 1972 and 1975.[12]

Washington Redskins

In 1976, Riggins signed as a free agent with the Washington Redskins,[5] who offered him a five-year, $1.5 million contract, compared to the $63,000 he earned in his final year with the Jets.[13] He was used mostly in short-yardage situations in his first season with Washington and missed much of the 1977 season with a knee injury.[13] However, he gained more than 1,000 yards each of the next two seasons and was a major part of the Redskins' offense.[13]

Contract dispute

During training camp in July 1980, Riggins requested to renegotiate his $300,000-per-year contract and the Redskins refused.[14] He then chose to leave camp and the Redskins placed him on the left camp-retired list, a move that made him ineligible to play for any other team in the league.[14] Riggins sat out the 1980 season[5] and did not rejoin the Redskins until 1981, when new Washington head coach Joe Gibbs traveled to Kansas to make a peace offering.[15]

"He had a camouflage outfit on", Gibbs recalled.

He had been hunting, him and a buddy. He had a beer can in his hand. It was 10 o'clock in the morning and he's meeting his coach for the first time and I'm thinking [sarcastically], 'This guy really impresses me.' But I went in there, and halfway through the conversation he says, 'You need to get me back there. I'll make you famous.[15]

I thought to myself, 'Oh, my God, he's an egomaniac.' I thought, 'I'll get him back and then I'll trade him. I'm not putting up with a fruitcake.' So I fly back to Washington, and two days later he calls me. He says, 'Joe, I made up my mind, and I'm going to play next season.' I thought it was great. I've got him back, and I'll trade that sucker. But then he says, 'There's only one thing I want in my contract.' I ask what it was. He says, 'A no-trade clause.'[15]

Riggins' return also came at the suggestion of Ed Garvey, who was the executive director of the NFL Players Association.[14]

Eleven months after he left, Riggins returned to training camp in 1981 with a new contract,[13] telling the media "I'm bored, I'm broke, and I'm back."[14]

Return to the Redskins

John Riggins Super Bowl XVII TD Run
Riggins' Super Bowl XVII 43-yard touchdown run

Upon Riggins' return in 1981, he managed just 714 rushing yards but scored 13 touchdowns.[13]

During the strike-shortened 1982 season, Riggins gained 553 yards.[13] He was much more successful during the playoffs, during which he gained 444 yards in victories over the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings (where he had a franchise playoff record 185 yards), and Dallas Cowboys, and helped the Redskins reach Super Bowl XVII.[13] Riggins rushed for a then-Super Bowl record 166 yards on 38 carries as the Redskins beat the Miami Dolphins 27–17.[5] He was then named Super Bowl MVP.[5]

A play that was designed for gaining short yardage called "70 chip" turned out to be the key play of the game. With 10 minutes remaining, Riggins took a handoff on 4th-and-inches, stiffarmed cornerback Don McNeal and ran for a 43-yard touchdown.[16] The Super Bowl win was the Redskins' first championship victory since 1942.[17] Riggins' total of 610 yards amounted to 43 percent of Washington's offense in the four playoff games.[13] His four consecutive playoff games with over 100 yards was an NFL postseason record.[17] On December 6, 2007, Riggins' run was voted by fans as the Redskins' Greatest Moment.[18]

The 610 rushing yards and 625 yards from scrimmage he gained in the 1982 playoffs are both single NFL postseason records.

In 1983, Riggins rushed for 1,347 yards, scored a then-NFL record 24 touchdowns, won the Bert Bell Award,[13] and was named All-Pro for the first time in his career.[5] Riggins went on to have another outstanding postseason, rushing for 242 yards and two touchdowns in their two playoff games, extending his NFL record of postseason games with at least 100 rushing yards to six.[5] However, he only rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Redskins' 38-9 Super Bowl XVIII loss against the Los Angeles Raiders.[19]

Two other career milestones happened in the 1983 season for Riggins. On November 20, 1983, he set an NFL record by scoring in his 12th consecutive game during a 42–20 win over the Los Angeles Rams. His record would end at 13 consecutive games the following week.[20] Then on December 17, 1983, Mark Moseley set an NFL kicking record by scoring 161 points in a season, which also made him the league leader in scoring that season. Riggins, who scored 144 points, was second on the season scoring list. This was the first time since 1951 that the top two scorers in a season played on the same team.[20]

Riggins gained 1,239 yards in 1984 and tied for the league lead in rushing TDs (14), despite a bad back.[13] In 1985, he rushed for more than 100 yards in three of his last four starts before being replaced by George Rogers as the starter.[13] He retired after that season.

Riggins played 175 games in 14 seasons, had 13,442 total yards (11,352 rushing and 2,090 receiving) and 116 total touchdowns (104 rushing and 12 receiving).[5] Riggins rushed over 1,000 yards five times in his career and over 100 yards in 35 games, including a then-record six in post-season. He rushed 251 times for 996 yards and 12 touchdowns in nine post-season contests.[5] He was the second player ever to rush for over 100 touchdowns in NFL history, and the first to do it since Jim Brown reached the milestone in 1965.[21]

NFL records

  • Most rushing attempts and rushing yards in a single postseason: 136 attempts, 610 yards; 4 playoff games (1982)
  • Oldest player to rush for 150+ yards in a game: 35 years, 71 days
  • Oldest player to rush for 3 touchdowns in a game: 36 years, 70 days
  • Oldest player to have a game with 100+ rushing yards & 1 rushing touchdown: 36 years, 84 days
  • Oldest player to have 30+ rushing attempts in a game: 36 years, 84 days
  • Oldest player to rush for 100+ yards in a playoff game: 34 years, 157 days (breaking his own record he set one week earlier)
  • Oldest player to rush for 150+ yards in a playoff game: 33 years, 179 days
  • Oldest player to rush for 175+ yards in a playoff game: 33 years, 164 days
  • Most 100-yard rushing games after 35th birthday: 8
  • Most games with 20 rushing attempts after 35th birthday: 11
  • Oldest player to have 300+ rushing attempts in a season: 35
  • Oldest player to have 1,200 rushing yards in a season: 35
  • Oldest player to have 10+ rushing touchdowns in a season: 35
  • Oldest player to score 20+ touchdowns in a season: 34
  • Oldest player to have 350+ rushing attempts in a season: 34
  • Oldest player to have 1,300 rushing yards in a season: 34
  • Oldest player to have 20+ rushing touchdowns in a season: 34
  • Most rushing attempts after 30th birthday: 1,510
  • Most rushing touchdowns after 30th birthday: 71
  • Most games with 20 rushing attempts after 30th birthday: 36

Honors

On October 21, 1990, Riggins and Joe Theismann were inducted into the Redskins' Ring of Fame. As Riggins' name was called, he ran onto the field in full Redskins uniform, including pads, and was received by the crowd at RFK Stadium with thunderous applause. Riggins later explained that he "just had to hear [the roar of the crowd] one more time".[22]

In 1992, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On October 13, 2007, Riggins was inducted into the University of Kansas' Ring of Honor at Memorial Stadium.[1]

After football

Acting

In 1994, he began acting lessons and has since starred in off-off-Broadway productions of the plays Gillette and A Midsummer Night's Dream (in which he played Bottom).[23] His television credits include Guiding Light, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and One Tree Hill.[8]

Riggins' acting career began at Centralia High when a teacher cast him as the lead role in his junior play.[8] His career as a professional actor started in 1992 when he appeared in "Illegal Motion" at the Olney Theatre Center for the Arts.[8] He starred as a beleaguered head football coach accused of inappropriate recruiting practices.

Commentating

Since retiring from professional football, Riggins has worked as a sports commentator on television and radio.

In 1998, John and Chris Russo hosted Riggins and Russo on Sundays during the football season. The show was aired on WCBS-TV in New York City, focusing primarily on the Jets' and Giants' upcoming games.

Since 2006, Riggins has served as color commentator on Westwood One for the network's weekly national radio broadcast of Sunday Night Football.[24]

On July 18, 2006, Triple X ESPN Radio was launched with Riggins hosting The John Riggins Show.[25] Riggins could be heard in the Washington, D.C. area weekdays from 4-7pm on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM & 730 AM, WXGI 950 AM in Richmond, Virginia and WXTG-FM 102.1 FM in Virginia Beach, Virginia and WXTG (AM) 1490 in Hampton, Virginia.[25] The last show of the series aired on its second anniversary, July 18, 2008. With the merger of Triple X into WTEM to form ESPN 980, Riggins' afternoon show was replaced by WTEM's afternoon drive show, The Sports Reporters. Riggins stayed with ESPN 980 as a commentator at large.

On January 3, 2008, Riggins co-hosted the 74th Orange Bowl pre-game show. That same night, the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 24–21. It came 39 years after Riggins and the Jayhawks last played in the game in 1969. He offered congratulations to his Alma Mater in his closing comments, saying "The KU ship's been out at sea since '48. It finally came to port tonight!"

In September 2008 it was announced that Riggins would co-host the program "Sirius Blitz" with Adam Schein on Satellite Radio Stations Sirius 124 and XM 105. Following his involvement with "Sirius Blitz" Riggins began hosting his own show, The John Riggins Show, which simulcasts on television and radio on MASN-TV and WTOP-HD3, which airs each weekday afternoon. Riggins has been critical on his radio shows of the current management of the Washington Redskins under owner Dan Snyder.

Previously, he had been a panelist on Redskins Report until that show was canceled in December 2008 due to budget cuts.[26]

In 2016, Riggins returned to ESPN 980 Redskins radio in a variety of roles. Weekly appearances consisted of a one-hour appearance on Tuesdays with Bram Weinstein, a Thursday appearance on moving drive with Kevin Sheehan & Chris Cooley and a Friday appearance on Inside The Locker Room with Doc Walker, Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson. Additionally, Riggins co-hosted the Washington Redskins Radio Network pregame show with Kevin Sheehan before every Redskins game.

Personal life

John Riggins as Santa and Nancy Reagan unveil Christmas decorations at White House 1984, photo 15
Riggins was still welcome at the White House in 1984.

Riggins has been married twice and has six children Robert, Portia, Emil, Liberty, Hannah and Coco.[8] He now resides in Cabin John, Maryland near the Potomac River with his current wife Lisa Marie.[27]

It was at the 1985 National Press Club's Salute to Congress at 529 14th Street NW in Washington D.C. that Riggins drunkenly told Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to "loosen up Sandy baby" because she was "too uptight" when the two met at dinner.[28] Riggins then fell asleep under the table.[29] The next time Mrs. O'Connor and John Riggins met at a function years later, he gave her a dozen roses.[30]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Jayhawks to induct Riggins into Ring of Honor". Capital-Journal. Archived from the original on August 5, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
  2. ^ "Centralia is town full of pride". Capital-Journal. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
  3. ^ "Centralia & NFL to honor John Riggins Friday in Centralia". Marysville Advocate. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  4. ^ "Kansas Prep Zone". WIBW video. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "John Riggins' HOF Profile". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
  6. ^ "Focused Jayhawks plan to remain a Big 12 contender". ESPN. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
  7. ^ "John Riggins' Bio". KU Sports. Archived from the original on March 5, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Riggins lands soap gig". LJWorld. Retrieved June 25, 2008.
  9. ^ a b c d "John Riggins' Profile". New York Jets. Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
  10. ^ a b "History of the New York Jets: 1972". New York Jets. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
  11. ^ a b "History of the New York Jets: 1975". New York Jets. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
  12. ^ "New York Jets Team Awards". New York Jets. Archived from the original on December 24, 2007. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Biography – John Riggins". Hickok Sports. Archived from the original on December 10, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
  14. ^ a b c d "Riggins Returns to Redskins". New York Times. June 12, 1981. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  15. ^ a b c "The Redskins Book: Page 123". Washington Post. February 2, 1998. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  16. ^ "Magic '70 Chip' Ends Four Decades of Trying". Washington Post. July 27, 1996. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  17. ^ a b "Super Bowl XVII MVP: John Riggins". NFL. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  18. ^ "Riggins' Run Is Redskins' Greatest Moment". Washington Redskins. Archived from the original on January 31, 2008. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  19. ^ "Raiders Dismantle Redskins, Records in Super Bowl, 38-9". Washington Post. July 23, 1998. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  20. ^ a b "Washington Redskins History: 1980s". Washington Redskins. Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved June 25, 2008.
  21. ^ Gay, Nancy (October 18, 2007). "Testaverde's comeback is one for the ageless". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  22. ^ "One Last Hurrah". Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 24, 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2008.
  23. ^ "'Sight Unseen' (Broadway) and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (Storm Theatre)". Broadway World. Retrieved June 25, 2008.
  24. ^ "ABC, in its 'MNF' swan song, will be changing tunes weekly". USA Today. August 9, 2005. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  25. ^ a b "Red Zebra Launches Triple X ESPN Radio". Washington Redskins. Archived from the original on July 23, 2008. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  26. ^ "Leonard Shapiro: Loss of Michael Is a Truly Deep Cut". The Washington Post. December 29, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  27. ^ http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/homes/luxury-homes-march-2009/
  28. ^ "DC Sports Bog". The Washington Post.
  29. ^ {https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2012/10/29/john-riggins-and-loosen-up-sandy/
  30. ^ "Redskin Riggins' 1st Appearance On Stage Comes Up Roses". Chicago Tribune. July 12, 1992.

External links

1968 Kansas Jayhawks football team

The 1968 Kansas Jayhawks football team represented the University of Kansas in the Big Eight Conference during the 1968 college football season. In their second season under head coach Pepper Rodgers, the Jayhawks compiled a 9–2 record (6–1 against conference opponents), tied with Oklahoma for the Big Eight Conference championship, lost to Penn State in the 1969 Orange Bowl, and outscored opponents by a combined total of 394 to 190. They played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas.

The team's statistical leaders included Bobby Douglass with 1,316 passing yards, John Riggins with 866 rushing yards and George McGowan with 592 receiving yards. John Zook was the team captain.Quarterback Bobby Douglass finished 7th in Heisman Trophy voting receiving 9 1st place votes.

1969 Kansas Jayhawks football team

The 1969 Kansas Jayhawks football team represented the University of Kansas in the Big Eight Conference during the 1969 college football season. In their third season under head coach Pepper Rodgers, the Jayhawks compiled a 1–9 record (0–7 against conference opponents), finished in last place in the Big Eight Conference, and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 290 to 176. They played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas.

The team's statistical leaders included Phil Basler with 746 passing yards, John Riggins with 662 rushing yards and John Mosier with 339 receiving yards. Emery Hicks was the team captain.

1970 Kansas Jayhawks football team

The 1970 Kansas Jayhawks football team represented the University of Kansas in the Big Eight Conference during the 1970 NCAA University Division football season. In their fourth and final season under head coach Pepper Rodgers, the Jayhawks compiled a 5–6 record (2–5 against conference opponents), tied for sixth place in the Big Eight Conference, and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 277 to 270. They played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas.

The team's statistical leaders included Dan Heck with 1,169 passing yards, John Riggins with 1,131 rushing yards and Ron Jessie with 308 receiving yards. Larry Brown was the team captain.

1976 Washington Redskins season

The 1976 Washington Redskins season was the franchise’s 45th overall and 40th in Washington, D.C. The season began with the team trying to improve on their 8–6 record from 1975, which they did, finishing 10-4, second in the NFC East behind the Dallas Cowboys. They would be eliminated from the NFL playoffs by the Minnesota Vikings. This was the first season as a Redskin for Hall of Fame running back John Riggins, signed as a free agent after spending the first five seasons of his career with the New York Jets. This was also the last season in which the Redskins would make the playoffs under Hall of Fame head coach George Allen.

1982 Washington Redskins season

The 1982 Washington Redskins season was the franchise's 51st season in the National Football League (NFL) and their 46th in Washington, D.C.. Although the Redskins lost all their preseason games, they were to advance from an 8–8 record the previous season to become the only team in NFL History to win the Super Bowl after not winning a pre-season game. Only the 1990 Buffalo Bills and the 2000 New York Giants have since made it to the Super Bowl after a winless pre-season.The 1982 NFL season was shortened from sixteen games per team to nine because of a players’ strike. The NFL adopted a special 16-team playoff tournament; eight teams from each conference were seeded 1–8, and division standings were ignored. Washington had the best record in the NFC, and were the number one seed in the conference for the playoff tournament.

The Redskins marched through the NFC playoffs, beating each of their opponents by an average of 19 points. In a rematch of Washington's only prior Super Bowl appearance ten years prior, the Redskins – in a game famous for Washington's "70 Chip’ play on fourth-and-1 – went on to beat the Miami Dolphins 27–17 to win Super Bowl XVII. It was the Redskins’ first ever Super Bowl victory, and their first NFL Championship in 40 years. Combining the post-season and their first Super Bowl victory, the Redskins finished the season with an overall record of 12–1.

1983 All-Pro Team

The 1983 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News in 1983. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The NEA chose two inside linebackers for the first time, as a reflection of the 3-4 which was the common alignment for NFL defenses in the mid-1980s.

1983 Washington Redskins season

The 1983 Washington Redskins season was the franchise's 52nd season in the National Football League (NFL) and their 47th in Washington, D.C.. The season began with the team trying to win consecutive Super Bowls, following their victory in Super Bowl XVII against the Miami Dolphins. Washington's 14–2 record was the best in the NFL. Though the Redskins did win their second-consecutive NFC Championship they were blown out by the Los Angeles Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII, 9–38.

The Redskins' 541 points scored and +209 point differential was the best in the league, with the 541 points setting an NFL record at the time. The 1983 Redskins also had a turnover margin of +43, an NFL record. Washington was the first team since the merger to record more than 60 takeaways (61).This season is cornerback Darrell Green's first in the league. He would spend the next 19 years with the team.

1984 Washington Redskins season

The 1984 Washington Redskins season was the franchise's 53rd season in the National Football League. They failed to improve on their 14–2 record from 1983 and finished at 11-5. Art Monk set an NFL record (since broken) for most receptions in a season. The Redskins started the season losing their first two games but would recover to win their next five games. A mid-season slump had them on the playoff bubble at 7-5. However, the Redskins would finish the season in strong fashion winning their final four games to win the NFC East with an 11-5 record. The Redskins quest for a third straight NFC Championship ended quickly as the Skins were stunned by the Chicago Bears 23-19 at RFK Stadium. The 1984 Redskins have an NFL-record 14 straight games with 3 or more sacks, having accomplished that from weeks 3 to 16.

Bob Burns (American football)

Robert Henry Burns (born January 12, 1952) is a former American football running back for the New York Jets. He played his college football at Georgia. He is the father of MLB player Billy Burns (baseball).

Burns played only the 1974 season for the Jets. His best game came against the New York Giants, which was played at the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut. Filling in for the injured FB John Riggins, Burns gained with 101 yards on 21 attempts in the 26–20 Jets win.

Don McNeal

Donald McNeal (born May 6, 1958) is a former American professional football player who played cornerback for the Miami Dolphins in the 1980s.

McNeal was born and raised in Atmore, Alabama. He is a 1976 graduate of Escambia County (Alabama) High School where he was a star on the football team. He played college football at the University of Alabama for the legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. McNeal played on Alabama's 1978 and 1979 national championship teams; he was Captain of the Team in 1979. In 1992, he was selected as a member of the University of Alabama All-Centennial Team.

The Miami Dolphins drafted McNeal as a defensive back in 1980. McNeal played in two Super Bowls with the Dolphins: Super Bowl XVII in January 1983 and Super Bowl XIX in January 1985. He retired at the end of the 1989 season having played his entire pro career with the Dolphins.

McNeal was involved in one of the more famous plays in the annals of professional football, which took place in Super Bowl XVII. Late in the game with fourth down and inches to go, McNeal was unable to bring down Washington Redskins running back John Riggins, who rumbled 43 yards into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown. Riggins' Run is the Redskins' "Greatest Moment of all time" as voted on by Redskin fans. This became not only a famous play but also a famous photograph as well.

Today, McNeal is active in the community with associations that assist youth and adults. He serves as a drug-rehab counselor, teacher, coach, lay pastor, board member, and is a frequent public speaker. He is a pastor at New Testament Baptist Church in South Florida and speaker for Power Talent. His life is further described in his autobiography Home Team Advantage: From the fields of rural Alabama to the pro football field of the Miami Dolphins.On May 31, 2008 Don McNeal was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in Birmingham, Alabama.

Fullback (gridiron football)

A fullback (FB) is a position in the offensive backfield in American and Canadian football, and is one of the two running back positions along with the halfback. Typically, fullbacks are larger than halfbacks and in most offensive schemes their duties are split between power running, pass catching, and blocking for both the quarterback and the other running back.Many great runners in the history of American football have been fullbacks, including Jim Brown, Marion Motley, Jim Taylor, Franco Harris, Larry Csonka, John Riggins, Christian Okoye, and Levi Jackson. However, many of these runners would retroactively be labeled as halfbacks, due to their position as the primary ball carrier; they were primarily listed as fullbacks due to their size and did not often perform the run-blocking duties expected of modern fullbacks. Examples of players who have excelled at the hybrid running-blocking-pass catching role include Mike Alstott, Daryl Johnston, and Lorenzo Neal.

List of Kansas Jayhawks in the NFL Draft

The University of Kansas Jayhawks football team has had 175 players drafted into the National Football League (NFL) since the first draft held in 1936, through the 2018 NFL Draft. KU has seen nine players taken in the first round, including six top-10 picks: Gale Sayers, John Riggins, Ray Evans, Mike Butler, John Hadl, and David Verser. Sayers, a College and Pro Football Hall of Famer, was the highest pick from KU as the fourth overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft.

Through the annual NFL Draft each NFL franchise gets the chance to add new players to their teams. The current draft rules were established in 2009. The team with the worst record the previous year gets to pick first, then the next-worst team picks second, and so on. Teams that were not in the playoffs receive their draft order by their regular-season record. If 2 or more non-playoff teams have the same record the tie breaker used is their strength of schedule. Playoff teams receive their draft order after all the non-playoff teams, based on their round of elimination (wild card, division, conference, and Super Bowl).In 1944 the All-America Football Conference was established and it began play in 1946 in direct competition with the NFL. From 1946 to 1949 the two leagues fiercely competed for the top college football prospects with each league holding their own drafts, before the AAFC finally merged with the NFL at the end of the 1949 season.

Like the AAFC earlier, the American Football League (AFL) operated in direct competition with the NFL and held a separate draft. This led to a massive bidding war over top prospects between the two leagues. As part of the merger agreement on June 8, 1966, the two leagues would hold a multiple round "Common Draft". Once the AFL officially merged with the NFL in 1970, the "Common Draft" simply became the NFL Draft.Sixteen former Jayhawks who were drafted have been selected to a Pro Bowl or AFL All-Star Game. Twelve former Jayhawks who were drafted have won a championship with their respective teams, one was named MVP, John Riggins in Super Bowl XVII.

List of National Football League annual rushing touchdowns leaders

This is a season-by-season list of National Football League players who have led the regular season in rushing touchdowns. Although rushing has both an offensive and a defensive meaning, this list charts offensive rushing touchdowns, usually scored by a running back, either a halfback or a fullback.

Record-keeping for rushing touchdowns began in 1932, when Bronko Nagurski of the Chicago Bears led the league with 4 rushing touchdowns. Since then, LaDainian Tomlinson has set the record for rushing touchdowns in a season, when he led the league in 2006, with 28 rushing touchdowns, while playing with the San Diego Chargers. Prior to Tomlinson's setting of the record, Priest Holmes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Shaun Alexander of the Seattle Seahawks, jointly held the record with 27, reaching that mark in 2003 NFL season and 2005, respectively.

Jim Brown holds the record for most league-leading seasons in rushing touchdowns, with 5 (1957, 1958, 1959, 1963, and 1965). Dutch Clark became the first player to lead the league in consecutive seasons (1936 and 1937), although in 1937 he co-led the league. The first sole rushing touchdowns leader in consecutive seasons was Johnny Drake, when he led in 1939 and 1940. Steve Van Buren was the first to lead the league in 3 consecutive seasons, from 1947 to 1949, a figure later matched by Jim Brown (1957 to 1959) and Leroy Kelly (1966 to 1968). Marcus Allen is the only player in NFL history to lead the league in rushing touchdowns while playing with 2 different teams; in 1982, Allen led the league while playing with the Oakland Raiders, and in 1993, he led the league while playing with the Kansas City Chiefs.

In 1943, Bill Paschal became the first NFL player to post a 10+ rushing touchdowns season, when playing for the New York Giants. 40 seasons later, in 1983, John Riggins posted the league's first 20+ rushing touchdowns season. Steve Van Buren was the first player to lead the league with consecutive 10+ rushing touchdowns seasons, in 1947 and 1948; he would add a third consecutive in 1949. Emmitt Smith posted the first consecutive league-leading 20+ rushing touchdowns seasons in 1994 and 1995–an achievement later matched by Priest Holmes, in 2003 and 2004.

List of Washington Redskins rushing leaders

The List of Washington Redskins football rushing leaders includes lists of Washington Redskins rushing single–season and career records for yardage, carries and touchdowns by Washington quarterbacks and running backs. The Redskins compete in the East Division of the National Football Conference. The franchise was founded as the Boston Braves, named after the local baseball franchise. The team changed their name to the Redskins in 1933 and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1937.The Redskins have played over one thousand games. In those games, the club won five professional American football championships including two NFL Championships and three Super Bowls. The franchise captured ten NFL divisional titles and six NFL conference championships.The Redskins won the 1937 and 1942 Championship games, as well as Super Bowl XVII, XXII and XXVI. They also played in and lost the 1936, 1940, 1943 and 1945 Championship games, as well as Super Bowl VII and XVIII. They have made twenty-two postseason appearances, and have an overall postseason record of 23 wins and 17 losses. Only four teams have appeared in more Super Bowls than the Redskins: the Dallas Cowboys (eight), Pittsburgh Steelers (six), Denver Broncos (six), and New England Patriots (six); the Redskins' five appearances are tied with the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins.

Otis Wonsley

Otis Wonsley (born August 13, 1957) is a former American football running back who played for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Alcorn State University and was drafted in the ninth round of the 1980 NFL Draft.

Riggins (surname)

Riggins is an Anglicized form of the Irish surname Ó Riagáin ("son of Riagán") derived from the Irish personal name Riagán, which means "little king". Notable people with the surname include:

Bill Riggins (1900–1943), American baseball player

John Riggins (born 1949), American football player

Karriem Riggins (born 1975), American jazz drummer

Quentin Riggins (born 1966), American player of gridiron football

True (artist) (born "David John Riggins," 1968), American artist

Running back

A running back (RB) is an American and Canadian football position, a member of the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block. There are usually one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a halfback (in certain contexts also referred to as a tailback), a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back" if he is the team's starting running back.

Super Bowl XVII

Super Bowl XVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1982 season. The Redskins defeated the Dolphins 27–17 to win their first Super Bowl championship. The game was played on January 30, 1983 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

This Super Bowl came at the end of a season that was significantly shortened by a players' strike. Teams ended up only playing nine regular season games, and the league conducted a special 16-team, four-round playoff tournament where divisions were ignored in the seeding. The Redskins had an NFC-best 8–1 regular season record, while the Dolphins finished at 7–2. Both teams advanced through the first three postseason rounds to Super Bowl XVII. The game then became a rematch of Super Bowl VII, also played in the Los Angeles area at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ten years before, where the Dolphins completed their 17–0 perfect season at the Redskins’ expense by a score of 14–7. This was also the second Super Bowl to rematch teams, the first being Super Bowl XIII.

The Redskins scored 17 unanswered points in the second half and gained a Super Bowl record 276 yards on the ground, while holding the Dolphins to just 47 offensive plays for 176 total yards, 76 of which came on a single play.

Nevertheless, Miami built a 17–10 halftime lead with Jimmy Cefalo's 76-yard touchdown catch and Fulton Walker's 98-yard kickoff return.

The turning point in the game came with 10:10 remaining: facing fourth down and 1-yard to go at the Dolphins' 43-yard line, and trailing 17–13, Washington running back John Riggins broke through the Miami defense and ran into the end zone for a touchdown to take the lead. Wide receiver Charlie Brown then added an insurance touchdown with his 6-yard scoring reception.Riggins was named Super Bowl MVP,

finishing the game with 2 Super Bowl records: the most rushing yards in a Super Bowl game (166), and the most rushing attempts (38). He was the first player from an NFC team to rush for 100 yards in a Super Bowl. Riggins also recorded a reception for 15 yards, giving him more total yards than the entire Miami team.

Super Bowl XVIII

Super Bowl XVIII was an American football game played on January 22, 1984 at Tampa Stadium] between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion and defending Super Bowl XVII champion Washington Redskins and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Los Angeles Raiders to determine the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1983 season. The Raiders defeated the Redskins, 38–9. The Raiders' 38 points scored and 29-point margin of victory broke Super Bowl records; it remains the most points scored by an AFC team in a Super Bowl. This was the first time the city of Tampa hosted the Super Bowl and was the AFC's last Super Bowl win until Super Bowl XXXII, won by the Denver Broncos.

The Redskins entered the game as the defending Super Bowl XVII champions, and finished the 1983 regular season with a league-best 14–2 record, and led the league in fewest rushing yards allowed, and set a then-NFL record in scoring with 541 points. The Raiders posted a 12-4 regular season record in 1983, their second in Los Angeles, having moved there from Oakland in May 1982.

As the favored team, the Redskins' 38–9 defeat at the hands of the black-jerseyed Raiders led Super Bowl XVIII to be known as "Black Sunday." The Raiders outgained the Redskins in total yards, 385 to 283. Los Angeles built a 21–3 halftime lead, aided by touchdowns on Derrick Jensen's blocked punt recovery, and Jack Squirek's 5-yard interception return on a screen pass with seven seconds left in the first half. Raiders running back Marcus Allen, who became the third Heisman Trophy winner to be named the Super Bowl MVP, carried the ball 20 times for a then-record total of 191 yards and two touchdowns, including a then-record 74-yard run in the third quarter. He also caught 2 passes for 18 yards.

The telecast of the game on CBS was seen by an estimated 77.62 million viewers. The broadcast was notable for airing the famous "1984" television commercial, introducing the Apple Macintosh. The NFL highlight film of this game was the final voiceover work for famous NFL narrator John Facenda.

John Riggins—awards, championships, and honors

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