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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
MVP John Riggins is king for a day
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Jan. 30, 1983

Two nights before, at the Washington Redskins' team party, John Riggins wore a top hat and tails. Tonight, in Super Bowl XVII, Riggins is back in work clothes.

The blue-collar running back makes the most important dash of his NFL career on fourth-and-inches at the Miami Dolphins' 43-yard line with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. On a basic short-yardage play, called "70 Chip," Riggins breaks a tackle to turn a first down into a touchdown. The Redskins have their first lead of the game; it's 20-17 after the extra point.

Joe Theismann's second touchdown pass of the game seals the Redskins' 27-17 victory in Pasadena. Running behind a tremendous offensive line, nicknamed the Hogs, Riggins finishes with 38 carries for 166 yards, including 108 in the second half, and is named the game's MVP.

When Riggins is informed that President Ronald Reagan called his congratulations to coach Joe Gibbs, he says, "At least for tonight, Ron is president, but I'm the king."

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