9.05.2014

John Riggins, 1973 Topps (Football Friday No. 209)


Name: John Riggins
Team: New York Jets
Position: Running back
Value of card: The broken radio antenna from that sweet '71 Oldsmobile in the background
Key 1973 stat: Put Bill Bradley to shame
Hair's the catch: Football fans know that John Riggins was a tough guy, a hard-nosed runner who was never one to shy away from contact. But few remember that Riggins appealed to the league before the 1973 season to let him play without a helmet, arguing that his luxurious afro would absorb any impact on the field      and adding that it would be a crime to cover it up in any way. The NFL decided to allow Riggins to forgo his hat for one preseason game as a trial. The running back, as you might expect, was knocked unconscious in the first quarter. The league then quickly denied Riggins' appeal      not because it was concerned about concussions or player safety (as we've come to learn), but because of commissioner Pete Rozelle's incredible hair envy.
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