Daily Staff Report
WINCHESTER -- John Riggins, the former Washington Redskin and Hall of Fame running back, has been named Sports Marshal of this year's Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival.
The announcement comes only a week before the bulk of the festival's pre-eminent events are scheduled to begin, which, incidentally, will be the only events Riggins will have time to attend. The Sports Breakfast and the Grand Feature Parade, to be held at 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, respectively, will be the only events the Redskins legend can fit into his schedule.
"This unique individual's remarks at this year's Breakfast will be some of the most highly anticipated in years," according to an ABF news release. "Sports fans in general and Redskins fans in particular are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity."
Riggins is the umpteenth Redskin to make an appearance at the festival, though it will be the first for the halfback known to Redskins fans by his punishing, oily moniker, "The Diesel."
Some former Redskins who have attended the festival Sports Breakfast: Sammy Baugh, Billy Kilmer, Larry Brown, Joe Theisman, Sonny Jurgensen, Mark Moseley, Joe Gibbs, Dave Butz, Doug Williams, Mark Rypien, among others.
Joe Jacoby was a sports guest at last year's festival, and Moseley returned to speak at the breakfast event.
Riggins will join nine-time All-Pro defensive lineman Roger Brown; former Redskin running back Brian Mitchell; University of Maryland shooting guard Greivis Vasquez, who makes his second consecutive appearance at the festival; and Olympic gold medalist Mary Wayte Bradburne, who won the 200-meter freestyle and 400-meter freestyle relay in 1984.
Moseley will speak at the Fast Forward Business Luncheon on Wednesday.
Riggins will hardly be overshadowed at the festival despite his brief appearance next week, described in the press release as such: "More than a Redskins icon, Riggins is a sports icon, a national celebrity."
The Cabin John, Md., resident was born in Seneca, Kan., played football at the University of Kansas, and was drafted by the New York Jets in 1971.
After a five-year stint in New York, one in which he became the first running back in Jets history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season, Riggins became a Redskin in 1976. He retired in 1985.
In 1983 the Redskins won their first Super Bowl, a 27-17 win over the Miami Dolphins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Riggins was named Super Bowl MVP.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992, and currently hosts "The John Riggins Show" on WTOP's HD3 radio station.