I love you. In a purely heterosexual way. Let's make that clear. I loved you back in the 80s for all those punishing runs, for the touchdown in Super Bowl XVII against the Dolphins, for loosening up Sandra Day O'Connor, for all of it. I loved you in more recent years for your unapologetically anti-corporate musings on the NFL and the Redskins in whatever medium was smart enough to make you available for public consumption. I love you today for the chaotic, rambling, singular lunacy you choreograph every afternoon on The John Riggins Show. Casting you in the role of the avuncular host of that program was sheer radio programming genius.
But Riggo, we gotta talk. Or, more to the point, you gotta talk less. I don't mean in general - the very best moments of The John Riggins Show occur when you regale the still-awestruck Kevin Sheehan and Gary Braun with tales of the 5 O'Clock Club, when you open a small window into Being John Riggins. That's mesmerizing stuff, and keeps me riveted.
Riveted, that is, right up until a guest calls in and you try to interview him or her. The following isn't an actual transcript of one of your interviews - more an homage - but I think it sufficiently captures the flavor of the John Riggins Interview Experience. Let's pretend you're talking to Senator George Allen about steroids in baseball:
So, Senator, I'm reading about George Mitchell's investigation of steroids in baseball, and I'm wondering how such an investigation comes about. I mean, what does Congress do with that investigation and how does it start? It occurs to me that maybe, you know, Congress shouldn't really be involved in this issue, but at the same time it's clear that all these guys were probably doing something they shouldn't have, but maybe we don't really know all the facts, or maybe we know the facts but don't want to - you know, like the ostrich typically puts its' head in the sand, well actually not the ostrich - that's kinda of an old wives tale - it's really the emu. Did I tell you about the time me and Gooch Walker shot an emu in Russia - kind of a wild deal, because we weren't sure that it was legal. There was a lot of vodka involved. Man. I guess what I'm trying to say is do you think baseball should be investigating the past?See what I mean? I'm at the point now where I generally change the channel when you start asking somebody questions. It certainly helps that Czabe and Andy are now on opposite you - back when John Thompson's crotchety mumblings held that slot, I was nearly driven to listening to NPR while you wandered around the back 40, metaphorically.
I'm still with you - most of the time. And so are the hundreds of thousands of guys like me in your listening audience that still worship you for those touchdowns, but more importantly for your irreverance, your steadfast commitment to being yourself, and the unbelievable life you continue to lead. Just let Gary and Kevin do the talking when you've got a guest, and we'll all be cool, mmmkay?
Hugs and Kisses,
Gheorghe: The Blog