But I don't ever remember any kid ever mentioning the negatives about him back then when I was in elementary school and junior high. Every Monday morning during football season, everyone in school would be abuzz about some great run he'd had the day before, and it would be worshipfully recounted over and over. Such is the special allure to children of the lovable rogue, I suppose.
NFL Films has posted online an excellent interview that Steve Sabol conducted with John Riggins in 2007. Part 2 (8 minutes long) begins with he and Joe Gibbs separately recounting their first meeting in 1981, when Gibbs (then the newly hired coach of the Redskins) travelled to Kansas to try to convince Riggins, who was holding a beer in each hand at 10 AM, to rejoin the team. And Part 2 ends with Riggins legendary performance in the Super Bowl against Miami in January 1983. That run of his down the sideline on 4th and 1 has to be one of the most overplayed, "legendary" plays in NFL history. I must have seen that replayed several hundred times over the last 25 years. Even I've tired of it. But every so often, like when I watched this video today, it still has the power to give me goosebumps and take me back to when I watched that game live, not even yet a teenager, over 25 years ago now. You can watch the video HERE. Some of what John Riggins says (and is said about him by Joe Gibbs and Joe Bugel) may surprise and impress you.