To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Sandy Baby Retires (But Did She Ever Loosen Up?)

Twenty years ago at a Washington Press Club dinner, then-Washington Redskins running back John Riggins -- still to this day a consumate character -- was seated across a table from retiring Supreme Sandra Day O'Connor. What happened next is legend, as recounted in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch:

"Come on, Sandy baby, loosen up. You're too tight."

Those words were uttered by perhaps the only man who would have had the nerve, John Riggins, then the iconoclast running back for the Washington Redskins. [...]

Riggins and O'Connor were seated at the same table. And Riggins did more than just offer those words of advice, across the table, to O'Connor during the dinner.

At one point, after complaining of back pain, Riggins walked around a bit, then crouched beside O'Connor and her husband, John.

Riggins eventually dropped to one elbow, then stretched out on the floor and slept through a speech by then Vice President George H.W. Bush, snoring occasionally.

Riggins, not Bush.
I had a bet with myself whether the Riggo anecdote would make it into O'Connor's retirement notice, or whether it might be saved for her obituary. Or forgotten. Thankfully for everyone who has never tired of this tale, they're inextricably linked. Time-Dispatch story is here.