70 Chip

John Riggins in Super Bowl XVII

Photo: Sports Illustrated

The play that won Super Bowl XVII for the Washington Redskins, thirty years ago today (described on

A play that was designed for gaining short yardage called “70 chip” turned out to be the key play of the game. With 10 minutes remaining, Riggins took a handoff on 4th-and-inches, broke an attempted tackle by Dolphin cornerback Don McNeal and ran for a 43 yard touchdown. The Super Bowl win was the Redskins’ first championship victory since 1942. Riggins’ total of 610 yards amounted to 43 percent of Washington’s offense in the four playoff games. His four consecutive playoff games with over 100 yards was an NFL postseason record. On December 6, 2007, Riggins’ run was voted by fans as the Redskins’ Greatest Moment.

I was just old enough to remember the crushing disappointment of losing to the 17-0 Miami Dolphins ten years earlier in Super Bowl VII. In one play, that disappointment was forgotten and the Redskins were Super Bowl Champions. They would go on to win two more Lombardi trophies in the next ten years, and I would get a little spoiled by their success. I’m not spoiled anymore. But on that day thirty years ago, I couldn’t be happier. My favorite team won their first Super Bowl. It was my greatest moment as a Redskins fan.

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