The League

Les Carpenter
Staff Writer

Les Carpenter

Yahoo! Sports reporter and former NFL writer for The Washington Post.

Riggo doesn't know


John Riggins is not going to ruin his legacy by criticizing Redskins Owner Dan Snyder, no matter how personal the attacks become. Snyder's popularity is as low as it has ever been and, the chances are, a great proportion of the team's fanbase consider him to be as evil as Riggins suggests. Riggins has certainly done and said enough outlandish things in the past to destroy his good name dozens of times and people have never cared before. They'd smile, they'd shake their heads and they'd say "oh there goes Riggo again." This has always been his charm: saying something crazy and getting away with it.

The fact is no one should take what Riggins says about the current Redskins seriously. He simply doesn't know. He was a great football player and a bright man with a wonderful understanding of the game, but he doesn't have firsthand understanding of what goes on at Redskins Park. Greg Blache said he hasn't seen Riggins in Redskins Park in all of the six years he has been with the team. And even accounting for the fact that Riggins might well have dropped by the building at times when Blache didn't know he was there, the fact remains that Riggins -- like many of the former Redskins of his era -- is an outsider now.

Recently he suggested that Redskins Coach Jim Zorn should probably not be coaching above the high school level. This is, of course, absurd. Zorn came here with a reputation as perhaps the best quarterback coach in the league and was at the top of several prospective head coach's lists for offensive coordinator. A high school coach? Come on. It's a great comment for the radio or makes a cute video when speaking off the cuff while knocking off after a hard day of chopping wood but it is not insightful commentary.

It's something most people who have listened to Riggins on the radio should understand by now. He's funny, he's a great listen. He has some good points about the game. But he is an entertainer now. Not an insider.

By Les Carpenter  |  November 6, 2009; 12:58 AM ET  | Category:  Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Riggins has earned the right | Next: Vinny Cerrato Defends Daniel Snyder


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It is just a game.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | November 6, 2009 2:18 AM

2nd Bitter_Bill's comment. It is just a game. Riggo's comment made me cringe.

However, isn't it funny that the "outsider" cares about the team so much that you start to wonder, "who is owner here?"

Posted by: newwebid | November 6, 2009 2:27 AM

Ah, another journalist who keeps pushing the Danny/Vinnie line:

"The Redskins just need another player or two".

And Riggins is right on Zorn. He probably could not get a coaching job at a college I-A program, but yet he's a coach in the NFL way over his head.

Why don't you wonder aloud how management could hire a QB coach and then be forced to make him head coach when no head coach will actually take the job?

You're amazing in your ability to defend an owner who is worse than Al Davis. Al Davis at least had success at one time in the NFL.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | November 6, 2009 5:21 AM

Riggins is right, this mans heart seems to be dark, look at how he treats the fans.Deeds are the only thing we need, his words mean nothing. They are empty.

Posted by: RealConservative | November 6, 2009 8:03 AM

Riggo is an actor and future politician (if he chooses to be). He understood that in order to force Daniel Snyder to make a change is to put out a "national controversy" such as this on ShowTime. Look at the results, it is already paying dividends with Coaches that normally do not speak to speak out, and also to let on that personnel inside the Redskin locker room do listen to what the outside world and media are saying despite their lack of acknowledgment. Riggo probably also know that Daniel Snyder worshiped him as being the hero for winning the Redskin's first SuperBowl. Thus he is basically trying to snap Snyder from continuing this trend of failure by "slapping" his face on national media. Good job, Riggo, I hope it works. As they say, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me". However, certain words will strike a nerve that stings for a while.

Posted by: JohnWWW | November 6, 2009 9:03 AM

" fact is no one should take what Riggins says about the current Redskins seriously" Are you kidding me ,Riggins wasn't making stuff or even calling snider names . He was just stating facts . The league needs to look at snider he really cant be mentally stable. Banning signs ? people that are old enough are comparing snider to Nixon in his final days, the why he tries to hide from the press and lashes out at the fans.

Posted by: thomasuras | November 6, 2009 9:10 AM

Um, let's see team sues fans. Team creates obstructed seats. Team institutes no signs policy. Owner fires coach who wants too much control despite working to overhaul roster and get the salary cap straightened. Owner drags annoited replacement of HOF coach through ringer (despite Williams making nice and acknowledging owner let him out of contract). Owner supposedly snubs team after losses. Owner slights previous owner, and other owners (call me Mr. Snyder). Much of this is heresay & I'm sure I've missed a lot, maybe gotten some wrong, but there is a track record. Riggins may have been over the top a bit, but "that's Riggins". I think he's pretty much got it.

Posted by: notamullethead | November 6, 2009 9:20 AM

The Fan experience at Fedex is approaching zero ... lots of examples as posted above. Funny how this sports writer is commenting on Riggo's spot on comments rather than delving into the problems that Synder has created. Let's get some real reporting here on the problem -- which is the Owner and not Riggins.

Posted by: skinsfan441 | November 6, 2009 10:31 AM

Is Lavar and insider? Was Bobby Mithell an insider until he was banished? Like I said on the Mike Wise column, Riggo doesn't need to explain the obvious and the supporting facts are almost too numerous to count.

Posted by: yampaco | November 6, 2009 10:48 AM

Gotta agree with everyone here. While Riggo may not know Snyder's heart is black, there is a clearly demonstrated track recored of ACTIONS. First, disrespect Mr. Cooke by dropping his name from the stadium--did Danny Boy even consider "FedEx Field at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium" or some other variation to include the name of the man who built the place??? All the rest, too: obstructed view seats, ruining the nice plaza areas at the end zone bars, banning free speech, suing fans, publicly humiliating coaches (Zorn--like Zorn or not, the public stripping of his playcalling was appalling), and the list goes on. Danny Snyder sucks. Maybe he's a nice guy to some people sometimes, but what we see out here is a jerk who is quickly running out of second chances from the fan base.

Posted by: brad40 | November 6, 2009 11:56 AM

Riggo is right. You are wrong. Now go pick up your check from "Mr. Snyder," then shut up and go away.

Posted by: mcstowy | November 6, 2009 12:43 PM

Oh man I wish I didn't know what Les Carpenter looked like. From his laughably over the top prose, I figured he was some old fart trying too hard. Now I know he's a middle-aged fart trying too hard.

Posted by: thediesel | November 6, 2009 1:49 PM

"The fact is no one should take what Riggins says about the current Redskins seriously. He simply doesn't know..."???
Les...what are you talking about? Much of what Riggins said is true. Don't you see what's going here? The team is falling apart and much of it does have to do with Jim Zorns failures as a head coach and the rostor that Vinny Cerrato built. At the same time, Snyder banned signs that supported our soldiers that are fighting for us overseas. You've got to have a dark heart to do something like that.
Les, I believe that your analysis in your article is completely wrong.

Posted by: indycho | November 6, 2009 2:37 PM

Riggins doesn't need to be an insider to observe how Snyder treats the fans. Riggo's basing his claim on how Snyder's organization treats the fans. There is plenty of evidence from the past 10 years, from shrinking the size of the club level seats, to charging fans $25 shuttle fees while simultaneously blocking the routes they could use to walk from satellite parking, to requiring 400 section season ticket holders to purchase the tailgate package in order to get upgraded season tickets in the lower bowl.
I really wonder how much research was done for this column.

Posted by: BlueIguana | November 6, 2009 3:47 PM

How obvious is this write up??
Snyder owns most of the sports media outlets in DC.. Les is a marginal writer in the print media that is dying. Whats Les going to do, burn all his job options, with Snyder by stating the truth that Riggins is dead on correct??..

Its pathetically transparent.

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | November 6, 2009 4:17 PM

Riggo doesn't know? He doesn't know what most of us have seen since that arrogant midget took over the Skins?

Get real Les.

Posted by: boog44 | November 6, 2009 4:48 PM

knee pads on sales isle 5. say hi to wise while you're at it.

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | November 6, 2009 5:54 PM

Les your an idiot! Riggo is on the money and your just walking the line! You see Riggo can tell it like it is because none of these jokers and touch him! Riggo walked the walk and handed the ball to the Ref...more class than these myopic dufuses out there. This guy is the true Redskin HERO and NO one can touch him. So listen and learn the man knows what it takes...

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | November 6, 2009 8:52 PM

Is their some gold lining to all of this that only an insider like you is privy?

The point he was making is that Zorn was never qualified for the job and the high school coach comment was his way of drilling home the point.

Literal vs figurative? You are a journalist right?

Posted by: troyyeske1 | November 7, 2009 2:28 AM

John Riggins is attempting to be a jerk. However, he is a Redskin fan. He is speaking on behalf of all Redskin fans who have seen Danny turn this franchise into a national joke. John Riggins has a Ring, SB MVP and is in the HOF. I'm happy that someone other than the average fan is speaking out against Snyder. Riggins is 100% correct. How can you not love John Riggins? Just like he carried the team on his back to SB XVII, he is now carrying the fans on his back to get Danny to change his ways and start doing the right thing. I am so glad I don't have season tickets.

Posted by: RalphZero | November 7, 2009 8:03 AM

If Mr.Riggins were not part of the media I would give his words more credence. But it seems to me John is simply trying to increase the ratings of his radio show. I disagree with his statements that Daniel Snyder is a bad man, He's simply over his head in attempting to bring a winning team to Washington, and in hiring a GM that actually knows the game.

Posted by: george70-101 | November 7, 2009 10:34 AM

"I disagree with his statements that Daniel Snyder is a bad man, He's simply over his head "

No, when you sue widows and orphans to make more money, you're a bad man.

When you charge big $$$ for parking, and then attempt to arrest people for parking elsewhere, you're a bad man.

Danny isn't over his head, he's doing exactly what he intends; maximizing profit from the softheaded fans out there. He only needs to win "enough" to keep the suckers coming back.

He's been doing well for 10 years. But this year, the fans have grown weary of the act and the lies from Danny.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | November 7, 2009 1:49 PM

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