NFL Films on John Riggins’s journey

November 16, 2012

It’s hard to make confident declarations in these parts without sparking at least some disagreement, but I’m gonna give it a try. If you were a Redskins fan during the 1980s, you will want to watch the upcoming NFL Films documentary about John Riggins on the NFL Network. And you will love it.

The show — “A Football Life” — will premiere on the NFL Network at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21. There’s a 12-minute preview available online here. It’s filled with so much amazing footage — so many things I’ve heard about but never seen — that I can’t even imagine what the full thing is like.

“John’s the character of the characters that were a part of that football team,” Joe Theismann says in the movie. “He’s the lead act. John wasn’t afraid to buck the establishment. John wasn’t afraid to do something out of the order. If the band was playing, John had his own drums that he was beating on.”

“I think that the biggest misconception is that he is a clown, and he’s not a clown,” John Kent Cooke says. “He’s a showman instead, and he knows intuitively the right thing to do, and yet do it in a colorful way.”

“Football was never my life,” Riggins says. “The guys, the relationship were my life. I have an ability to be able to relate to darn near everybody. 9’ve sat beside a sitting president at dinner, and been around vice presidents, and been around vice presidents who became presidents, and at the same time I used to hang out with the equipment guys. I take on all comers, basically.

“It wasn’t like there was anything forboding about my intentions,” Riggins also says. “It was always pure. It was always in the vein of having fun and making them laugh. So I think that that’s why it worked that way, and that’s what I do. That’s how I give back.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Sarah Kogod · November 16, 2012

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