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The Hogs (American football)


The Hogs (American football)

The Hogs was the nickname for the offensive line of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League during the 1980s and early 1990s. Renowned for their ability to control the line of scrimmage, the Hogs helped the Redskins win three Super Bowl championships (XVII, XXII and XXVI) under head coach Joe Gibbs. In the context of college football, the phrase "the Hogs" usually refers to Arkansas Razorbacks football.[1][2][3]


"The Hogs" was a term coined by offensive line coach Joe Bugel during training camp in 1982, when he told Russ Grimm and Jeff Bostic, "Okay, you hogs, let's get running down there."[4]

Center Don Warren and Rick Walker comprised the original Hogs. While Starke retired in 1984 shortly after the team won their third NFL Championship and first Super Bowl in Super Bowl XVII, Bostic, Grimm, Jacoby, and Warren stayed together until the early 1990s and were on all three Redskins Super Bowl winners under Gibbs.

The line averaged 273 pounds in 1982 [5] — not including Jacoby, who joined the team later weighing in at around 300 pounds.

Early on, the Hogs provided cover for running back John Riggins and quarterback Joe Theismann. Riggins was accepted as an "Honorary Hog". Quarterback Theismann threw a key block one day and begged to be named an "honorary piglet." Theismann never had to hit a blocking dummy every day, which is why he never made "piglet." Besides, Bugel said: "We don't want a quarterback in the gang." "No quarterbacks," Starke said at the time. Theismann has said in numerous occasions that after that block he did make it into "The Hogs" as a "Piglet."[4]

Their successes inspired a group of male fans who came to be known as "The Hogettes",[6] who attended games dressed in "old lady" drag (dresses, wide-brimmed hats) and wearing plastic pig snouts. The Hogettes cheered the Redskins on for 30 years before announcing their retirement in 2013.[7]

Soon after losing Super Bowl XVIII 38-9 to the Los Angeles Raiders in 1984, Starke retired. Theismann's career ended in 1985 after suffering an injury while being tackled by New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. Riggins retired after the 1985 season. The Redskins were joined by a new class of Hogs, including 1985 draft pick Raleigh McKenzie, a left guard from the University of Tennessee, and 1989 draft pick Mark Schlereth, a right guard from the University of Idaho, along with Ray Brown, Ed Simmons, and Pro Bowl left tackle Jim Lachey, who was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Raiders. With their help, the Redskins won two more Super Bowls - XXII in 1988 and XXVI in 1992.

On August 7, 2010 Russ Grimm was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.


  1. ^ Whole Hog Sports. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  2. ^ Hog Database : Arkansas Razorbacks History, Stats, Records, News, and Opinions. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  3. ^ Arkansas Razorbacks Fansite. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  4. ^ a b The History of the Hogs. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  5. ^ Paul Attner (November 27, 1982). "Some Redskins 'Hogging' the Victories".  
  6. ^ The Hogettes. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  7. ^ "Redskins fans 'Hogettes' retiring". Retrieved 11 January 2013. 

External links

  • - Article by columnist Bill Simmons of ESPN about the close-knit Hogs.
  • - A history of the Hogs.
  • - 1982 Washington Post article about the Hogs.
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