John Riggins is mentioned often on this Forum. Yes, he had as much ability as any back who ever played. However, his performance was frequentlysub- par. I saw him play (on TV) for Kansas, and when he first came up to the Jets in 1971. The people who comment on him in this Forum seem to base their comments on how Riggins was with the Redskins from 1982-85. Riggins was a different runner when he came up, not the plowhorse with a good burst of speed he was late in his career. Below is from Paul Zimmerman's story on Super Bowl XVII in SI. "In his Jet years, before then-Redskin Coach and General Manager George Allen signed him as a free agent in 1976, Riggins was a different animal than he is now. Power was only part of the package. Speed, finesse, balance, combined with excellent pass-catching ability, made the picture complete. "A white Jimmy Brown," was how one scout described him when the Jets drafted him in '71. "He'd catch that swing pass and turn upfield, and you's see sheer terror in the secondary," said Washington Assistant Coach Dan Henning, who was on the Oiler's staff in 1972. "Oddly the one knock on Riggins was lack of stamina. He wasn't a big horse who'd pound the tackles for 20 or 25 carries until everyone got tired except him. He wasn't a blocker, either; the Jet's attack featured 207-pound Emerson Boozer blocking for Riggins, not vice versa. He was a thoroughbred, and occasionally he'd get tired." Zimmerman neglected to mention in this article that Riggins had a knee injury with 3 games left in his second year, 1972. He other knee was operated on in 1977. Any back loses something under those circumstances. Jim Brown would have slipped if he had serious injury to both of his knees. Riggins held out in 1973, and did little for the Jets that year or in 1974. He finally got just over a thousand in 1975, and landed the big contract with the Redskins. His play then fell way off, a pattern throughout his career. Jack Pardee moved him back some from the line of scrimmage in 1978 and Riggins' numbers improved. Then, in 1980, he quit football altogether. He came back in 1981, "broke and bored." Several months ago, Don mentioned that many 70's white athletes "didn't always play with strong intensity and motivation." John Riggins is Exhibit A in this category. I recall a book by Sam Deluca, a former Jet player and broadcaster. Deluca wrote that "Riggins considered himself too intelligent to be used by the owners." This means that Riggins was willing to get big money while not playing with all-out drive and intensity. Riggins certainly did run hard and well in the 1982 Playoffs and Super Bowl XVII. My favorite runner of all time is Jim Brown. I remember seeing him play on TV growing up, which is different from someone who has only seen Brown on highlight films. To really judge a player, you have to see him in a whole game. Brown's strength was game in-game out consistency. Brown almost always had a good game. First quarter, or fourth quarter, he'd get you. When you totalled him up at games end, Brown would have a good day. Packer FB Jim Taylor put up numbers nearly as good as Brown in the early 60's, even winning the rushing title in 1962, and outgained Brown in head to head meetings. Taylor was a far better player intensity-wise than Riggins. Unfortunately, Taylor is forgotten today. Gale Sayers ran very hard inside, as well as the spectacular runs you see on highlight films. I remember seeing him on TV tearing out tough yardage four and five yards at a time. He was very dangerous on screens and ran many kicks back for TD's. Riggins wasn't as good as Brown or Simpson career wise. He did have a Super Bowl MVP award, which gives a player lasting fame.