Most football fans have heard of the famous Washington offensive line of the 1980’s called The Hogs, but how did the unit get their name?
The Begining – 1982 Training Camp
It all started at the Redskins 1982 training camp. Joe Bugel was working with his line, a ‘chunky’ bunch, and wanting them to hit the blocking sheds, he said, “Okay, you Hogs, let’s get running down there.” That’s really all there was to it. The guys embraced the nickname and the monnicker stuck. T-shirts were made up with razorback hogs on them; the t-shirts would become a badge of honor.
|Joe Bugel – “Boss Hog”
Offensive Line Coach, 1981-1989, 2004-present
The man who founded, inspired and was responsible for the Hogs and their dominance.
Jacoby, Starke, Grimm, May, and Bostic formed the core of the Hogs. In fact, over the next two seasons, 1982 and 1983, they would miss a combined total of just ONE game. They hung out together, they ate together, Grimm and Jacoby even roomed together for a few years. More importantly, they became a powerful, cohesive unit that provided big holes for John Riggins and pass protection for Joe Theismann. Later, Riggins campaigned to be a Hog and the Hogs loved John so much that they he was admitted as an ‘Honorary Hog’.
The original Hogs were starting tackles Joe Jacoby and George Starke, guards Russ Grimm and Mark May, center Jeff Bostic, and tight ends Don Warren and Rick Walker.
Starke (1973-1984) was the senior member of the squad, having joined Washington in 1972. The rest of the Hogs were relatively new to the team. Bostic (1980-1993) was signed as a long snapper in 1980 after being cut by the Eagles, but was starting at center by the beginning of the 1981 season. He was joined in 1981 by two rookie guards, May (1981-1989) and Grimm (1981-1991). Both May and Grimm were drafted out of Pittsburgh in the 1st and 3rd round respectively (20th & 69th overall).
The final piece of the puzzle, the biggest piece, joined the Redskins that same famed 1981 training camp. A giant rookie free agent from Louisville named Joe Jacoby (1982-1993) walked into Coach Gibbs office looking for a job. Figuring Jacoby was a defensive tackle because of his massive size (6’7″, 305 lbs), Gibbs told Joe that he’d give him a chance.
The Original Hogs
|George Starke – “Head Hog”
Left Tackle, # 74, 1973-1984
The ‘senior’ member of the group, and subsequent Head Hog, Starke was the steadying member of group and was always it leader.
Left Guard, # 68, 1981-1991
Drafted by Washington in the 3rd round of the 1981 NFL draft, Grimm logged 140 games in a Redskin uniform. He remains one its most beloved members, even today. It is a shame that he is not in the Hall of Fame.
|Jeff Bostic – “Bosco”
Center, # 53, 1980-1993
An undrafted free agent out of Clemson, Bostic would play all 14 years of his NFL career with the Redskins. Even today, he can be seen on Redskins Shows around Washington.
Right Guard, # 73, 1981-1989
Drafted in the 1st round in 1981 (20th overall), May won Super Bowls in ’82 and ’87 with Washington.
|Joe Jacoby – “Jake”
Right Tackle, # 66, 1981-1993
Arguably the best undrafted NFL player ever, he was the anchor of the Hogs for over a decade. Like Grimm, it is a shame that he is not a member of the Hall of Fame.
|Don Warren – “The Dutchman”
Tight End, # 85, 1979-1992
Warren received honorary membership in the Hogs because of his blocking prowess.
|Rick Walker – “Doc”
Tight End, # 88, 1977-1985
Walker and Warren both saw a lot of blocking duty at tight end and earned their honorary inclusion.
|John Riggins – “Ground Hog”
Running Back, # 44, 1976-1979, 1981-1985
One of the most colorful figures in Skins’ history, Riggins was granted honorary membership as a Hog. No play better exemplifies the pwoer of The Hogs that his Super Bowl run on 4th and 1. It remains a Super Bowl Classic and is the single greatest play in Redskins history.