Atlanta Falcons to honor former Bonanza star Gerald Riggs

After spending a long career busting through the line of scrimmage, former Las Vegan Gerald Riggs is about to enter the ring of honor.

Riggs, a Bonanza High graduate, on Oct. 7 will become the ninth player in Atlanta Falcons history to enter the NFL franchise’s Ring of Honor in acknowledgment of a remarkable career as a running back.

Riggs lives in Chattanooga, Tenn., these days, but was raised in West Las Vegas. He is the son of Bertha Lloyd, who calls him an inspiration to many local athletes.

He has been that and more.

After graduating from Bonanza in 1978, Riggs starred at Arizona State and after college was drafted by the Falcons. He was a bruising and durable runner. Including his years with the Washington Redskins, during which time he helped lead the team to victory in Super Bowl XXVI in 1992, Riggs gained 8,188 yards in all.

“I don’t know where to start,” Lloyd says. “We’re very proud of him and of what he was able to do. Gerald was such an amazing young man from his youth to where he is now. The one thing I really am grateful for is the fact he was able to accomplish what he did and was still able to remain in reasonably good health.”

And if you’ll allow a proud mother to boast a bit, Lloyd adds, “I don’t think anyone would ever have a harsh word to say about Gerald. The one thing I tried to instill in him is that, whatever you do, be a good citizen. He’s a good man.”

He will be honored at halftime of Monday night’s Falcons-New York Jets game.

Many Las Vegans who have known Riggs as a class act will be cheering for him from afar

MOB TALK: They didn’t use a broom to clean up the mob in Las Vegas, but just how did the job get done?

Former federal Organized Crime Strike Force prosecutor Stan Hunterton, ex-gaming regulator and casino executive Jeffrey Silver and award-winning investigative reporter George Knapp will lead a lively discussion under the heading of “Cleaning Up Las Vegas” at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The event will be moderated by author Jack Sheehan. Topics will range from holes in the head to the Hole-in-the-Wall gang.

Information and reservations: 229-2734.

GOP BATTLE: The state Republican Party continues to snipe at its own soldiers after Saturday’s landslide re-election of Michael McDonald as chairman over political operative Robert Uithoven.

Although some political observers predicted Uithoven and his moneyed backers would prevail, McDonald took advantage of a superior understanding of his party’s conservative grass roots and won easily, 193-112.

Instead of playing nice, party hacks turned their vitriol on McDonald, whose tenure as a Las Vegas City Council member had plenty of controversy but didn’t prevent him from winning the party’s chairmanship.

Result: One more embarrassment for a Republican Party in turmoil.

The state Democratic Party crowed about the failed move, and Gov. Brian Sandoval’s efforts to build a competitive GOP machine continue to look hapless.

MOM &POP: The diminutive Harvest Café at 4835 W. Craig Road features nice prices, home cooking and a menu from chicken Parmesan dinners to chicken-fried steak and eggs.

ON THE BOULEVARD: Longtime Las Vegas casino figure Bernie Sindler, the man of a million stories, is still going strong at 89. He once owned pieces of the Silver Slipper, Frontier, and Circus Circus. And, yes, he’s still working on his memoir. … Stephen Nasser, whose book, “My Brother’s Voice,” continues to sell well, has presented more than 800 lectures in the United States and Europe on the Holocaust from his compelling personal perspective.

BOULEVARD II: The canal at the Venetian was recently drained, but it’s not a water shortage, just routine maintenance.

Have an item for Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to jsmith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295.

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