Twenty-eight years after his retirement, John Riggins remains the standard on rushing excellence for the Washington Redskins.
Besides being a larger-than-life personality, Riggins was a larger-than-life player, a 6-2, 230-pound bruiser appropriately nicknamed “Diesel.”
It turns out that that nickname likely would have been fitting regardless of his line of work, considering he really wanted to be a truck driver growing up in Centralia, Kan.
The noted outdoor enthusiast shared his childhood dreams with Larry Michael on Redskins Nation, as he took in the sights and sounds of the inaugural Richmond training camp.
“When I was a kid growing up in a small town of about 500 people in the 60’s, the way I thought I was going to get out to see places like the Redwood National Forest was to be a truck driver,” Riggins said. “Obviously, I took a different route. At the same time, I get to do exactly what I wanted to do as a kid.”
Riggins was speaking of his latest television project, Riggo On The Range, which chronicles his cross-country adventures with friends and former teammates in his RV. Naturally, the more nature, the better.
“The interstate doesn’t go there. You have to get off the road on the small paths to get there,” he said. “One of my favorite trips was with Clint Didier, former Redskins’ tight end in the southeast corner of Washington state. We just had a ball.”
But wait, there’s more!
“In fact, I am going back in the fall with him, and Russ Grimm is going to join us. We are going to hunt elk in Clint’s back yard. I just got finished with a show with Joe Gibbs. I also did a fishing show in Alaska with Coach [Bob?] Knight. And I just got back from the Outer Banks with some of my old teammates: Russ, Joe Jacoby and Jeff Bostic.
“We did a little deep-sea fishing. Not all of us fared well, but I won’t give all of the plot away.”
Can’t to see which one of them gets seasick…I hope.
Check out Riggo On The Range for all of your John Riggins hijinx at 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays on Comcast Sportsnet. But in case you need a taste of what you’re getting yourself into, here’s Riggo vs. Kansas Quail.
Guess who wins?