John Riggins 4th and 1 Original LeRoy Neiman Artwork
Washington was behind 17-13 in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XVII as they faced a fourth-and-1 situation from Miami’s 43. It was time for a big play. This is where famed artist LeRoy Neiman, renowned for his depictions of sporting events and sports figures, steps in. His works have a knack for capturing the moment, and here was a moment in waiting. The play was called, and Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann handed off to #44 John Riggins. After taking the handoff, this 6’2”, 240 lb. running back played like a mountain to 5’11”, 185 lb. Dolphin cornerback Don McNeal, who flew out of nowhere into Riggins, literally bounced off of “the Diesel” like a rag doll, and then was unceremoniously palmed away, dragged by his own grip and then left behind by Riggins driving leg power. Riggins - the game’s eventual MVP - proceeded to run 43 yards to a touchdown, and turned the game around, eventually to a 27-17 Redskins victory. Neiman portrays the scene of Riggins shaking the pesky and tenacious McNeal in definitive Neiman explosions of color and drama. In Neiman’s work, realistic detail takes a backseat to his, if you will, abstract representation, which not only captures where a scene is going, but also its unique existence in a vacuum - the moment. Offered here is one of this master’s early, original paintings, an oil on panel, with his signature and date (1983) at bottom. Measures in frame to 33 x 57”. Reference # appears on verso.