The League

Charles Mann
Pro Bowl Defensive Lineman

Charles Mann

A 12-year veteran lineman, elected four times to the Pro Bowl.

Riggo being Riggo

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Having played with John Riggins in the 80's I can tell you that he is a fabulous self-promoter. What he said about Daniel Snyder on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" about him being a "bad guy" and having a "dark heart" is just that - self promotion. And Riggo will freely admit that.

He may be a Hall of Famer but he needs to stay relevant and grow his business, and you can't blame him for that. I won three Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins, but I walk down the street today and the kids don't recognize me. Good, bad or indifferent he's doing what he thinks he needs to do to stay on the front page.

So is there any truth to what he's saying? Of course. If there wasn't people would dismiss his comments as crazy or, worse still, ignore them. Let's face it though, the Redskins aren't doing so well. Fans, myself included, are so frustrated we take notice. And Riggo is a master at fanning those flames. Whether he really believes Daniel Snyder has a "dark heart" is irrelevant. What matters is that people sit up and take notice.

And that carries over into his legacy. Riggo has always been a trendsetter, and he always got away with things that other people couldn't. He would wear camouflage shorts and cowboy boots one week, and the next week everyone else would be copying him. Sure he had his problems with alcohol, he had his problems with marriage, he had his problems with Sandra Day O'Connor, but how can you dislike Riggo? When he was outspoken and even embarrassing folks would give him a pass because it's just Riggo being Riggo. That legacy is not only intact, it's growing.

By Charles Mann  |  November 6, 2009; 11:06 AM ET  | Category:  Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Vinny Cerrato Defends Daniel Snyder | Next: GM has it easier

Comments

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Always nice to hear from a great Redskin like you, Charles.....you should do it more often!

Posted by: yampaco | November 6, 2009 1:58 PM

2ND!

Posted by: delfranklin4 | November 6, 2009 2:03 PM

good points Charles ...keep it up. You are awesome.

Posted by: gortiz1 | November 6, 2009 2:13 PM

Charles, you are right about Riggo. But regardless whether Riggo cross the line or not what he said is true; Snyder is a poor excuse for a human being.

Posted by: nolngeraseasontixhder | November 6, 2009 2:47 PM

Charles, you were the heart and soul of that team. I still have your "QB Sack" meal cup from Mickey D's!

Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | November 6, 2009 2:47 PM

Charles, as an ex-Redskin, it must destroy you to see the legacy you and your teammates built be torn down like an old drape. As a fan, it absolutely kills me to see our great franchise in such a disarray.

If you ever have a chance to talk with Danny, let him know that it's the lap dogs like Vinny that are screwing this organization over. Get some real management people (GM) that know football into the group and see it grow.... like what Bobby Beathard did.

Thanks Charles.... you are the man!

Posted by: skinfannomore | November 6, 2009 5:10 PM

Reminds me of the time he held out rather than sign. Of course, ultimately he returned........with no raise. "I went fishing," was his comment, "but the fish weren't biting." A complete synopsis of RIGGO ECON. 101.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 6, 2009 5:38 PM

Charles --
As disappointed as you are with the Skins, you would never attack Snyder personally. The difference is that you are a class act, as they say, and Riggins is not. In fact, even the way you have supported Riggins here demonstrates that you are a class act. So, while I disagree with you and believe that Riggins was out of line, I say that with respect.

Posted by: MichaelKun | November 6, 2009 6:12 PM

Charles I still remember you as a rookie with Tony MaGee down in Georgetown...you didn't have to be the greatest Redskin because you had the gift of being well spoken and at a level higher than the game of Football. You've carried yourself well over the years and thanks for being a good Redskin. Because we couldn't care less about you playing for another team...

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | November 6, 2009 8:37 PM

You know, I think Snyder is doing a terrible job, but I don't think he has a dark heart. I think he really truly wants the Skins to win but has put the wrong people in the front office and has no idea how to do it. Now Peter Angelos? There is a leader with a dark heart. He too destroyed a storied franchise, but he fired winning managers and beloved announcer and star players only because they wouldn't kiss his boots, not because they didn't win.

Posted by: fmjk | November 6, 2009 9:28 PM

I wish more of the real Redskins were as vocal as Riggo. You guys busted your butts making the Redskin reputation what it is and now this little nerd and his henchman is wrecking it all!

Love ya Chuck- but IMO you are taking some irrelevant cheap shots at the one guy who is telling it like it is.

Posted by: troyyeske1 | November 7, 2009 2:04 AM

I happened to be at most of the 'Skins games in the 1980s, including Riggins's record-setting runfest. My father, who had been drafted by two pro teams turned to me after one of your "Mann-Manley sandwiches" as he referrred to you and Dexter at work on some luckless Giant QB and said "now THAT guy is a class act!" It takes one to know one, Charles. Personal problems aside, John Riggins comes from a very different environment than, say, Dan Snyder. He is free to express his views as he is no longer in uniform, just like the thousands of retired soldiers are free to say whatever they think about how current wars are managed. Where some could reasonably call Snyder's style of management "cold hearted" many other executives would say "successful executive decision-maker".
Best wishes to a real class act!
The only Redskin fan in Israel

Posted by: rlgrennie1 | November 7, 2009 3:53 AM

Charles Mann and the rest of you. Riggins did speak about why he says Snyder has 'a dark heart' and is frankly a 'bad guy'.

Riggins pointed out that every move he makes is about HIM...Dan Snyder..."look at me I just spent 400 mil on Haynesworth."

Sueing redskin season ticket holders that defaulted was about HIM. I'll show them!

John's right! Dan Snyder is a no good sonofagun.

Posted by: jrickperryjr | November 7, 2009 9:45 AM

Mr.Riggings has a radio show. Mr.Riggings is attempting to enter into a war of words with Mr.Snyder to increase his listening audience, and hopefully have Mr. Snyder as a call in guest to explain his positions. Mr.Snyder is not a bad man, he's a business man who hasn't a clue on how to build a football team, or retain those that do.

Posted by: george70-101 | November 7, 2009 10:28 AM

Thank you Charles for a great piece. You and Riggo and few others are all that is left of the Redskins. Sure we could get frustrated at times and ask for more, but you really were a team and even in the not so good times there was hope, now there is neither.

Year after year it is always the same. From the players we hear "there is so much talent on this team." Oh really, I can never recall you or Art Monk saying anything like that.

Now it's all about the money all the way from the owner through the players. They don't win and worse yet it doesn't matter to them.

Posted by: bhalseyp | November 7, 2009 11:26 AM

GREAT to here that Charles Mann is alive and well. You were a very fine player Charles. And I think you nailed Riggo's persona on the head. Ahhh Charles, think of the dough your talent would have commanded in this era! As for Snyder, I think he has tinkered with the day to day football operations way too long. The losing, the bad teams and bad personality's on those teams have finally taken it's toll on the Redskin faithful. The emperor has no clothes, and the truth is now out there.

Posted by: packridge1 | November 7, 2009 12:15 PM

Charles, that was awesome. I still love Riggins, he is a Redskin to me. He can cut up and act up but I think he is dead on. I would not agree with his choice of words but I love him just the same. He is the Diesel and all of the memories I have can not be erased. Riggins is my main man and he will stay that way! What his comments says to me is... he is passionate about this organization and he is not not going to stay silent and watch this owner run this storied franchise into the ground. I consider him an activist!! Johnny help is on the way!!!!..........

Posted by: 70chiponwhite | November 7, 2009 12:19 PM

That's another sack, Charles! Best insight I've read on the subject.
As this uprising unfolds, it seems to have spread like a fire across the highway--no longer a debate about Football Management 101 (GM model etc.) to one about the character of the owner. And that's Code Red since the Redskins hold on fans rests on character, such as you embody to this day.
I suspect Mr. Snyder thought being a successful executive was sufficient, not realizing that he now was on a higher level pedestal. The Redskins are more than a business-they are a community treasure. During days of discord, racial and other, the 'Skins game was the one church where all groups came together, joyously at that. Leadership did more than win games, they inspired.

Therefore, in a "green" era, cutting down trees to get a better view is tone-deaf for a community leader. And banning signs of discontent in the Capitol City while troops are fighting to protect freedom is offensive and repugnant. Mr. Snyder needs to apologize for that.
So our beloved Riggo struck a nerve that's been festering during a long run of scapegoating and disrespect of the fans and even of media.
Mr. Snyder CAN redeem himself ONLY by following the path of humility, acknowledging his mistakes, and recognizing he must wield "soft power" now, not the defensive hardball. Will he? Probably not, but America forgives and the option exists. Otherwise, it's game over.
Don't smoke us anymore, Mr. Snyder. Don't force paid employees to defend you. Speak to us through your actions. We're all adults here and we're waiting for a game-changer. It's deep in overtime.

Posted by: lalaca | November 7, 2009 3:01 PM

Charles Mann, I could not agree with you more and if "I" saw you walking down the street this husband and father of four would have some sort of accident in my pants.

You are the man and I miss you on the field.

Posted by: fm7319 | November 7, 2009 8:11 PM

The Mann: You are and always will be one of my favorite Skins.

You seem a little bitter about Riggo's popularity. I don't think this is a publicity stunt, rather simple despair at watching the reputation of the team he (and more you in my mind) helped build/revitalize.

Glad to hear from you although I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on the proper way to build a football team and respecting the organizational chain of command as the resident genius could really care less about the opinions of his customers.

Posted by: troyyeske1 | November 8, 2009 9:19 AM

It seems to me that Riggo has better understanding of how the fans really feel than some of the columnists on this newspaper. The team has been going backwards pretty much for the past 10 seasons, aside from the odd cameo in the playoffs under Gibbs. The most successful period the team had was when the owner (JKC) stayed in the background and left it to the GM (Beathard/Casserly) and Coach (Gibbs) to build a team for sustained success, like the Patriots have done in recent years. This owner seems content to sign his trophy FA each off-season rather than plan for sustained success with a proven talent spotter and a head coach who is left to coach HIS own way. The Redskins will get nowhere with this owner in charge, not unless he mends his ways and stays out of the footballing decsion making processes. It's amazing that someone so good at making money is so dumb when it comes to running a football team.

Posted by: SRSoles | November 8, 2009 8:25 PM

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