Joe Jacoby, George Starke, Russ Grimm, Mark May,and Jeff Bostic are not the most recognizable names in football history, that is unless you are a fan of the Washington Redskins because that group made up the “The Hogs” which dominated defenses in the 1980’s.
The man who was responsible for naming the group the “Hogs” was offensive line coach Joe Bugel. This nickname started with the fact that Joe Bugel had a bunch of guys that looked like they never missed a meal, and as the story goes, during a practice where he wanted them to switch to the blocking sleds he said “Okay, you Hogs, let’s get running down there.” An innocent statement was all it was, but those guys totally embraced the nickname and wore it as a badge of honor.
In their first two seasons together, 1982 and 1983, they missed a combined total of 1 game. From their beginning in 1982 through 1991 the Hogs dominated with the Redskins going 107-45 during that span and helped take the Redskins to the Super Bowl 4 times (XVII, XVIII, XXII, XVI) winning 3 of them (all but XVIII) . They opened huge holes for John Riggens (The Diesel), as well as giving Joe Theisman a most comfortable pocket to throw from in the early days, and helped make a one hit wonder out of Timmy Smith with 204 yards in Super Bowl XXII and Mark Rypien and the Posse possible. It is not surprising that with winning teams there is a closeness with groups that must work as a cohesive unit, and the Hogs always ate together and went out together and most importantly had each other’s backs. Joe Theisman had asked the group if he could become a member, and the large mass of Hogs said “No Quarterbacks”. John Riggens also wanted to be a Hog and they did give him the title of “Honorary Hog”. These Hogs also had their fans, none more faithful than the “Hoggettes”.
On Halloween of 1983 Michael Torbert borrowed his grandmother’s polka dot dress to surprise her at her retirement homes “Tacky Tea Party”. Before going to the party he dressed up at work and was an enormous hit at his office. He showed up at the party using the name “Mikey T.” as his alter ego. He was the party and made Granda MaMarge’s day. Mikey T. then set out and recruited 12 big crazy family guys like him to wear drag to cheer up sick kids at Children’s hospitals as well as go out in public to encourage people to donate to help care for sick children.
The group attended their first Redskins game on Novemeber 27th 1983. During this game the Team put on dresses, wigs, white hats and, of course, their pig snouts and sat in an area that would be known as the Pig Pen. They chose the name of the Hoggettes which was a combination of the Hogs and the Redskins cheerleaders the Redskinettes. The Hoggettes were and have been a fixture at Redskins games. The Hoggettes are always lending their help to support groups that help sick children. To be a member of the Hoggettes you have to be committed to the whole program and volunteer a lot of their time. The Hoggettes are not the prettiest cheerleaders in the world, but they have made a mark in Redskins history.