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Clinton Portis on Turning 28 and John Riggins


(By Greg Fiume - Getty)


For past birthdays, Clinton Portis has bought himself a Maybach, bought himself a Ferrari, and thrown a $200,000 weekend's worth of parties that included a rooftop Kennedy Center gathering, a dinner at Zola featuring truffled spaetzle and parlor games, and a private gathering at Lotus. Was all that worth $200,000?

"It's a memory of a lifetime," Portis said today, on the day he turned 28. "I wouldn't say it was worth $200,000, but it's something you'll always remember. What's really worth $200,000, you know what I mean? It's a priceless memory."

This year's memories, though, will be different. Monday night, Portis went bowling. On his birthday night, he plans to go out to a nice dinner, "somewhere where I can wear a suit and a tie and fit in." He hasn't bought himself a birthday gift, and doesn't plan to.

"I'm getting old, man," he said after practice. "Now it's more about class, you know what I'm saying, just being fly....I just feel wiser. I just feel like I'm in a calmer state in my life. Early 20s is wide open: you want the women, you want the parties, you want the cars. Now, it's just another day."

Just another day where Portis would be asked about John Riggins, as it turned out. Riggo, of course, holds the franchise rushing record, and Portis could break it this year, which hasn't stopped the men from tweaking each other publicly. Already this year, Riggins has called Portis a headache, and Portis responsded by telling The Examiner's John Keim, "If he feels so sad about it, then I'll get one yard behind it and walk off the field if he wants it to stand on. It's not that serious to me."

Tuesday, talking to the AP's Joseph White, Portis went further.

"I mean, you know, for him to be a legend and to hate as much as he hate, to be upset that I'm on his tracks...You know, it's crazy," he said. "Like, you did your thing. You know, the people around here love you. I'm not trying to replace you. I don't want to be you. Your background check and my background check, totally different, so I really don't feel like he can comment on nothing I do, you know?...

"And I think he was a great running back, but think of who else was around, you know? Really not hard to be a great running back when you've got all that talent and help around you. I think they just had great teams, you know? I think everybody who played in that era as a running back was big around here, so it really ain't no ill will. I'm minding my business, and hopefully he'll do the same, and if I do break the record, then the day that that time come, it won't be all of the sudden oh the hell with him.

"I think the work he put in, you know, he deserves the Hall of Fame, he deserves to be a legend. I mean, I can see why the town appreciate him. When you put in that kind of work for an organization and the fans that crazy about you, you should be appreciated."

The Washington Times's David Elfin pointed out that Portis and Riggins have notable similar personality traits, chief among them a certain flamboyant showmanship.

"I mean, I'm my own man," Portis said. "It's kind of funny that you would say we have that in common, when I don't know nothing about this man, for real. I never went and watched John Riggins and studied his film, cared anything about him. But you know, I guess it's big for everybody around here, true Washingtonians or true Redskins fans. I think what he did, the things he accomplished, was great. I think his image compared to my image, I don't know where we fall."

Well, they're both good, anyhow, and they're both loved. Before he escaped the gathering media crowd, Portis was asked to describe a practice this week where he had helped fullback Eddie Williams with his route-running. Portis went through the story, and someone joked about how he was a good teacher.

"Hey, I don't boast and brag, but you know, it takes a lot, it takes more than talent to play this game," Portis said. " you've got to have some kind of smarts, so I think I've got that."

Enough to coach one day?

"No, too many hours," he said. "High school coach, yeah, but college, professional, never."

One of the later-arriving media members then asked again about his birthday plans.

"I've got two 60-year old strippers," he joked, and then walked off with a laugh.

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 1, 2009; 2:56 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Comments

portis is a low life piece of dog-do..Riggo will always be the greatest running back in redskin history..Examine the numbers portis go back to denver..you have never proven yourself here and never will..always hurt and winning

Posted by: carolina1 | September 1, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

CP needs to learn when to be quiet. Riggo is a Washington legend and he needs to respect the man.

Posted by: G20FdaCowboys | September 1, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Riggo was a great running back. He will be surpassed by CP, another great running back. Respect is earned. Riggo does not give CP respect, he does not get respect from CP in return. Stalemate.

Posted by: SPUD2 | September 1, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

What in Portis' comments indicate ANY lack of respect for Riggins? I think he was remarkably cool and even given the circumstances. I mean, the key to having a record is being cool when it's broken. Even Hank Aaron was cooler about it when a drugged-out Barry Bonds broke his record. I think Clinton acted incredibly respectful given everything.

Posted by: Urnesto | September 1, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Portis, Riggins was a beast in his day but please don't forget that between the Jets and Skins he still was a wildchild. If he played today, the media would probably been all over him for his boozing. I remember the indifference he had thru his Jet career and now he is like "the lovable family drunk". His radio show sucked, for one reason is the arrogant "aw shucks" personia he likes to portray. Wonder if the "old heyday" fans would have him on the same pedestal if the lame ass Dolphin actually tripped him up. He and Portis are both arrogant and speak their minds, are/were great backs and were game changers when they are/were on their games. Biggest difference I see is one was great while hungover and the other is great in spite of playing for a city that needs to have someone to blame. Riggins sounded like Joe Frazier slamming Ali with all his critism of Portis but NO ONE calls him on his days as "the star". I guess we should really honor the fact that Riggo was the last great White running back though, has there been one since? Alstott?

Posted by: cmann083@yahoo.com | September 1, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm certainly not a CP apologist, but based on these quotes I wouldn't say that CP is disrespecting Riggo.

Riggo, quite an arrogant ass himself, gets no credibility when criticizing Clinton because its easy to question his motivation.

Bottom line, they are both great Redskins as players and for better or worse are incredibly colorful and interesting as public figures.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | September 1, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Why the hate on Portis? Breaking Riggo's record proves CP is a great RB. He is showing utmost respect to Riggo while Riggo talks trash about Portis? Please. Portis is the man, as is Riggo. Best trade in years getting CP in here. Isn't CP top 5 RBs in the last 5 years in carries? that should tell you something.

Posted by: NickelsLuvsSkins | September 1, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

John Riggins was/is extremely overratted!! I'm glad portis is about to smash his record so he can go the hell away. Records are ment to be broken, instead of criticizing because your bitter, show some class.

Posted by: richyrich1 | September 1, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

John Riggins was/is extremely overratted!! I'm glad portis is about to smash his record so he can go the hell away. Records are ment to be broken, instead of criticizing because your bitter, show some class.

Posted by: richyrich1 | September 1, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Missing the point... Portis is a headache to the franchise. Portis does what he wants and when he can't , he cries to the Owner or out to the Public. He is a talented RB but we can win and lose without him. When Portis runs for 1700 like he did for Denver and starts scoring 12-15 TD's a year.... he can talk all he wants. He is overpaid talent but isnt that what the skins do ??? Please dont get me wrong he is a good RB and notice I have not sided with Riggo completely because he was no angel either but Portis can become a distraction (Headache) to this team because remember, it is all about him and his personalities each week, and he is Danny's boy!

Posted by: rvanags | September 1, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"portis is a low life piece of dog-do..Riggo will always be the greatest running back in redskin history..Examine the numbers portis go back to denver..you have never proven yourself here and never will..always hurt and winning"
=======================================
I love how someone calls another person a "low life" then follows it with insult like "dog-do". After that, tells Portis to go back to Denver when you're probably from Carolina. To top it off, you say he's done nothing for the franchise. The topic is Clinton Portis possibly becoming the ALL TIME RUSHING LEADER FOR THE REDSKINS! Clinton might break a record in 6 years what Riggins did in 9.

Besides the one year Portis missed significant playing time when we was injured during a preseason game, his lowest rushing total was only 85 yards less than Riggin's best in 9 years.

Come on bro'! I'm not trolling, you just so happen to be on top of the page. I felt like clicking on "report abuse" because your post was so asinine.

And don't even get me started on, "always hurt and winning" From the prior text I'm sure you meant "whining". I find it amusing that your mistake was correct. Talk about irony....

Hail to Redskins! Hail Riggins and Portis.

Posted by: epostell | September 1, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"portis is a low life piece of dog-do..Riggo will always be the greatest running back in redskin history..Examine the numbers portis go back to denver..you have never proven yourself here and never will..always hurt and winning"
=======================================
I love how someone calls another person a "low life" then follows it with insult like "dog-do". After that, tells Portis to go back to Denver when you're probably from Carolina. To top it off, you say he's done nothing for the franchise. The topic is Clinton Portis possibly becoming the ALL TIME RUSHING LEADER FOR THE REDSKINS! Clinton might break a record in 6 years what Riggins did in 9.

Besides the one year Portis missed significant playing time when we was injured during a preseason game, his lowest rushing total was only 85 yards less than Riggin's best in 9 years.

Come on bro'! I'm not trolling, you just so happen to be on top of the page. I felt like clicking on "report abuse" because your post was so asinine.

And don't even get me started on, "always hurt and winning" From the prior text I'm sure you meant "whining". I find it amusing that your mistake was correct. Talk about irony....

Hail to Redskins! Hail Riggins and Portis.

Posted by: epostell | September 1, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

That is hilarious that carolina1 misspelled 'whining' as 'winning.' What a dumb***. Portis won't catch Riggins in legend unless he wins a title. That said, Riggins has drank himself retarded and has a terrible radio show. Portis would definitely be better at that.

Posted by: eternale5150 | September 1, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Well said epostell.

Posted by: eternale5150 | September 1, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

riggins..I dont know exactly what you do now but enough of the talk about portis. so what your record will be broken, many records get broken get over it. portis has never played on the kind of teams you played with in washington. Your football career is over and portis is still playing, if you dont like portis for whatever reason go and confront him personally with your view of him.

Posted by: wathu19 | September 1, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Riggo tweaking Portis about being a headache is pretty funny since Riggo was a pain in the ass too. But Riggo won championships so he can talk. Portis should just shut up until his team wins a Lombardi.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | September 1, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Hail Portis! The greatest running back the Redskins have ever had. Truth. He was too nice to Riggo in this interview, in my opinion.

Posted by: wbbradb | September 1, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what are the odds, in the span of thirty years our beloved professional football franchise has had TWO excellent players, both of them dynamic personalities, and they played the same position!

So... we don't have to pick one or the other, right? We can love and root for both of them because we love and root for the uniform? We can appreciate that they contain multitudes, like all of us, that they're going to amuse and challenge and provoke and maybe disappoint us from time to time, and that it's not always wise to attach to much import to their every word?

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 1, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

What Clinton said makes sense until he started talking about putting in work. Maybe if he didn't wait until he was 27-28 to start putting in work at ota's and other team activities. He is a great back but his production hasn't led to anywhere close to the superbowl. Once again like last year he is complaining about the talent around him. Saying Riggins was great but look who he had around him. Hopefully this is the year Clinton leads with his actions and not his words. 28 kinda old for an RB.

Posted by: benirby | September 1, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Portis is a POS - the guy hasn't done or won anything - Portis keep your pie hole shut and try to win more than 8 games - Portis - he will never win anything -he's a loudmouth loser

Riggo is the man and called out Portis for what he is - a headache

Posted by: halltoast | September 1, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I've been a Redskins fan my whole life and remember the days of the Diesel very well. They are both great backs and it's a shame they snipe at each other. Although what Portis was saying wasn't disrespectful in anyway in my mind unless I missed something.

Posted by: BeltwayBoy | September 1, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Both great talents and great Redskins, but last time I looked only Riggo has the SB rings. I'll bet he couldn't care less that CP will likely break his team rushing record.

Posted by: Sirius2 | September 1, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Portis will get hurt this year and blame the coach for not calling the right play. He will also blame his blockers.He will also fumble in a critical game. Riggins would not do that. Time for a change at running back!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | September 1, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The reason Clinton hasn't put up the same numbers with the Skins that he did in Denver, is because he had a tremendous o-line in Denver, while the line here has been in shambles. Put the Hogs in front of Clinton and he'd rush for over 2k a season with 20 touchdowns.

Posted by: alecw81 | September 1, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Riggo was great but he is a hater. As most of the people on here are.
What has Portis said or done to be a 'headache'? When he spoke of the OLine last year, he was right. They did good at the begining but proved him right at the end of the year. The spat with Zorn wasn't good but if you think its all roses and candy at Redskins park everyday you are delusional.
So I ask myself, why are there so many haters? Is it b/c he makes alot of money? Is it b/c he's young and wealthy? Why can't a young wealthy man speak his mind? I'm not trying to be a cheerleader for Portis but it iratated when I hear the same crap from folks out there who waste no time critisizing these atheletes but can't bare to give them credit for anything. 'Low life' & 'Thug'? How many folks would decribe Bush & Cheney that way? To me, they are closer to the young man on the streets or for Portis.

Posted by: priceisright | September 1, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Man, Barry Sanders sucks. That guy never won anything! He should keep his stupid mouth shut. Oh, he does? Nevermind...

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | September 1, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Portis is not the beloved figure in DC that is portrayed in the media. He needs to know when to keep his mouth shut.

Posted by: MPNangle | September 1, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, CP!

See you at the club.

Posted by: amembernow1 | September 1, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Riggo was NOT overrated, but the whole team around him was great.

Barry Sanders is the greatest running back ever because he was on the awful lions and still made great plays.

CP will get to the hall if he wins a title
end of story

Posted by: BurgwithaU | September 2, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

if riggins ever critized his teammates or his coaches when he WAS PLAYING, i didn't hear about it. and he wouldn't be dumb enough to say that vick can go ahead and torture his dogs because they're his dogs. he lost a lot of "respect" when he stupidly said that.

the big difference is that riggins is now paid to run his mouth, which, by the way, i pay no attention to. portis, on the other hand, is paid to run the football.
he'd be a smarter man and more respected if he didn't criticize his teammates and coaches and waited until he retires to run his mouth.

Posted by: surlydoc | September 2, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Barno is fuming mad over the WaPost's latest hit piece...this time the subject is the Redskins and their ticket office, and how they sold tickets to brokers. The story is so slanted you have to read it with your head turned at a 45 degree angle. The story fails to mention the Post's own personal ticket issues in the past with the Redskins, and how the team yanked them away from the paper when they were found to be scalping them online. Cardinal rule of journalism: ALWAYS GIVE FULL DISCLOSURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The story also fails to mention where they found this stuff out from, who tipped them off, that it makes no difference whether they sold them to fans or not because so many fans scalp them anyway, that there would have been a huge steelers presence at that game last year regardless of this issue, and that the Post has most likely been sitting on this story for weeks if not months, waiting for the best time to release it....on the eve of the season opener.

The story actually gets into how this issue happened, buried in the middle, that these were rogue ticket office representatives who were channeling the tickets to certain clients. It's against team policy and they employees "were dealt with." But in all likelihood, most readers don't get that far in the article, and come away with the impression that this is a Dan Snyder idea to screw the fans and make more money.... which OF COURSE is the Post's intention. Just listening to the Mike Wise radio show this morning and Bill Rowland describes the story in just that way: A Dan Snyder Money Making Scheme Which Screws Fans.

Funny to wake up to this story today after watching the new movie State of Play last night--an absolutely terrible movie but that did have one good aspect: It mocked the Washington Post's editors throughout.

Cancel your subscriptions to this fishwrap folks

Posted by: Barno1 | September 2, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Folks, here is why the Post not giving full disclosure on their own ticket history with the Redskins is a big deal:

The whole point of this story was to make it seem like there were so many steelers fans (and cowboys, eagles, any road team etc) at Fed Ex because the Redskins were selling tickets to brokers. Ok, but the Redskins sold tickets to the Post for years and years and those very same tickets ended up going to visiting team fans as well, after the Post sold their tickets to brokers!

You miiiiiiight be a hypocrite...if you're complaining about a team selling tickets to brokers when you did the same thing with your tickets.

If the post had given full disclosure, they couldn't have even published the story because of how hypocritical they would have looked.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 2, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

What everyone is missing here is the divisiveness Dan Snyder wants to create between the old and the new. He wants to trash and tarnish Riggins because Portis is his guy, and the franchise can make money selling Portis if Riggins is devalued. Snyder is all about marketing, and the fact that this has been "revived" seven months later, shows that the Snyder marketing machine is getting poised to pounce once the record is broken. Portis is tight with Snyder, and don't think Snyder doesn't coach him. It's well known Snyder can't stand Riggins because Riggins is his own man and can't be a paid mouthpiece. That's why he cancelled Riggins radio show. It's all about message control folks. Don't buy into the media hype. Riggins could care less about Portis' record. He said last year he hoped he broke it so Joe Bugel could have the legacy as a coach. Let's all remember, hogs or no hogs, Riggins was breaking all franchise records at the age of 33 and 34, a cool six years older than birthday boy Portis. In running back years, that would be close to 85 years old right? Riggins has made it clear he has a problem with Portis' being disruptive by calling out his fellow players and his coach. Riggins is old school -- you do your job, don't complain, and NEVER insult your fellow players. That's the headache he was referring to. He's never denigrated Portis' talent. And for all Riggins "boozing" (which was the era, aka Namath, Jergensen, Kilmer), if you read what he writes or listen to him talk, he's got some serious brain cells left ...the man has a pretty big intellect. Come on people ... don't get sucked in. Stay smart. Don't be puppets for Dan and the press, and Portis' unwitting comments. He knows not what he says and does.

Posted by: dcinsiders | September 2, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

It's well known Snyder can't stand Riggins because Riggins is his own man and can't be a paid mouthpiece. That's why he cancelled Riggins radio show.

Posted by: dcinsiders | September 2, 2009 1:19 PM

You're not really this stupid are you? Steve Czaban is the biggest critic of the Redskins and Dan Snyder in this town, and is a paid employee of Snyder and a staple of Redskins radio. Riggins still appears frequently on Redskins radio shows and is still a paid employee of Dan Snyder, and his show was not "cancelled" by Snyder in any way, shape, or form.

Honestly, if you are as clueless as "dcinsiders" please do us all a favor and keep your insanely idiotic conspiracy theories to yourself.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 2, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barno1 Moron. Dan inherited Steve Czaban in his takeover. Wait till his contract is up ... like B-Mitch. Sorry to have touched a nerve. Clearly you're a Danny-boy henchman.

Posted by: dcinsiders | September 2, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"portis is a low life piece of dog-do..Riggo will always be the greatest running back in redskin history..Examine the numbers portis go back to denver..you have never proven yourself here and never will..always hurt and winning"
=======================================
I love how someone calls another person a "low life" then follows it with insult like "dog-do". After that, tells Portis to go back to Denver when you're probably from Carolina. To top it off, you say he's done nothing for the franchise. The topic is Clinton Portis possibly becoming the ALL TIME RUSHING LEADER FOR THE REDSKINS! Clinton might break a record in 6 years what Riggins did in 9.

Besides the one year Portis missed significant playing time when we was injured during a preseason game, his lowest rushing total was only 85 yards less than Riggin's best in 9 years.

Come on bro'! I'm not trolling, you just so happen to be on top of the page. I felt like clicking on "report abuse" because your post was so asinine.

And don't even get me started on, "always hurt and winning" From the prior text I'm sure you meant "whining". I find it amusing that your mistake was correct. Talk about irony....

Hail to Redskins! Hail Riggins and Portis.

Posted by: epostell | September 1, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I love how I was about to respond to Carolina1's imbecilic rant, and then I saw the above response and was going to re-post it before I got to the bottom and saw it was by Postell. Big Loot put the smack down on you Carolina, so I didn't have to.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 2, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barno1 Moron. Dan inherited Steve Czaban in his takeover. Wait till his contract is up ... like B-Mitch. Sorry to have touched a nerve. Clearly you're a Danny-boy henchman.

Posted by: dcinsiders | September 2, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Dan also "inherited" Riggo but that didn't stop him from "canceling" his show according to you. You can't have it both ways. Czaban is a big Snyder critic and yet remains on Snyder's payroll. So obviously Bmitch/Riggo were not canceled because of some vendetta, you unbelievable moron.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 2, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Where in this transcript does CP disrespect Riggo? He doesn't. It's Riggo that has constantly discredited and disrespected Portis. I think Riggo is just grumpy that Portis is about to surpass his team record. Wasn't Riggo a headache on the team? But he's remembered fondly because we won a Super Bowl with him. All is forgotten. If we win it all this year will Riggo finally shutup about Portis?

Posted by: destewar | September 2, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

WOW! I was listening to The Mike Wise Show today on The Fan, and the hosts and callers were going on and on about how Portis was taking cheap shots at both John Riggins and the offensive line. I just read the article, and have no idea what they're talking about. If anything, I thought Portis was showing respect for Riggo. And as far CP's comments about how great the talent Riggo had around him. Aren't his comments dead on? Riggo ran behind the great Hogs, played alongside Art Monk, Joe Theisman, Charlie Brown, & Joe Washington. With that talent, I can see why Riggo & Company participated in two Super Bowls. Hail to Redskins, Hail to Riggo and Hail to CP, fight for Old D.C...

Posted by: akjproductions | September 2, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

"I think his image compared to my image, I don't know where we fall."


for me, portis is not even close.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | September 3, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

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