- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 4, 2015


So what do we think Washington Redskins team president and general manager Bruce Allen did after his memorable New Year’s Eve press conference?

Went back to his office and hung a “Mission Accomplished” banner?

Or spent the afternoon throwing up in the Redskins Park executive washroom after uttering words like, “We’re winning off the field?”

That’s where his father would have been.

“To win this game, I’d let you stick a knife in me and draw all my blood,” the late, great Redskins coach George Allen once told his players before a game.

The phrase “We’re winning off the field” would have choked George Allen. He would have never uttered those words, even to a group of reporters.

That may be the only thing the son has in common with the father — contempt for the media.

How else can you explain that bizarre performance by Bruce Allen — after keeping silent during a 4-12 season — on New Year’s Eve, when he took every arrow reporters shot his way and responded as if the 4-12 season never existed?

“He’s not the first coach in the history of this NFL to have a losing season in his first year and we are not the first team to have back-to-back losing seasons in the NFL,” Allen said. “And it will happen again [in the NFL].”

Allen would know about team’s having back-to-back losing seasons in the NFL. He had back-to-back losing seasons in his first two years here in Washington as the team’s general manager.

Oh, wait a minute, that’s right — he was the general manager then, but he wasn’t really responsible. That was Mike Shanahan.

At the end of those four years, after a 24-40 record, Allen declared after Shanahan was fired, “The control will be mine.”

The last thing it seemed that Allen had when he spoke to reporters on New Year’s Eve is control of anything.

“The attitude and the core of the people is good and it’s healthy,” Allen said. “We understand 4-12 is not acceptable to our great fans and it’s not acceptable to anyone in this building. I feel awfully responsible for it. We’re going to make sure we hold everyone accountable for everything that happened.”

So what does that mean? What does accountability mean without consequences?

Did Allen simply say, “Oops, My bad?”

Here’s what his father, George, once said about accountability and responsibility: “If you can accept defeat and open your pay envelope without feeling guilty, you’re stealing.”

Bruce Allen hardly seemed guilty on New Year’s Eve — a little giddy, maybe — but not guilty.

“The good news really is that we have plenty of cap room for this offseason and for the first time since I can remember we have all of our draft choices,” he said. “Last year’s draft actually produced some pretty good players, and that’s another good thing about this year: A lot of our young players got a chance to play.”

Draft picks? Look, it’s great that this franchise has woken up to the value of draft picks. But they also serve as job security for a general manager — young players who take, three, four or five years before they fail.

And while George Allen is often ridiculed for his disdain of draft choices and young players, often citing this quote, “The future is now,” the entire quote in context says something different:

“The future? This team hasn’t been to the playoffs in over two decades and you’re worried about the future? The future is now.”

The father knew how hollow future promise was after a long history of failure past.

Then again, the father would have never given his team a pat on the back for winning two games and trying.

“I was pleased that the team fought together, and winning the Philadelphia game, although it was just one win, it was an important win, it’s a division win,” Bruce Allen said. “The previous year we didn’t win a division game. Our team was competitive in our division games and the Dallas win and the Philly game, although only two, is a step in the right direction and our players fought in the division games. So I do trust that the players were trying.”


“Every time you win, you’re reborn,” George Allen said. “When you lose, you die a little.”

Redskins fans have been dying a slow, painful death. George Allen would have understood that.

Bruce Allen is one of the grave diggers.

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