It's tough to be a KGB agent in Washington, D.C., mainly because the home office has no idea what you're talking about. I happened to be outside a public telephone booth the other morning when I heard a Soviet secret agent make a person-to-person call to Moscow. I know it's impolite to listen in when a secret agent is calling but I couldn't restrain myself.
"Anya, is Vladimir speaking from Public Telephone Booth 223. Are you ready for my report? . . . Good. Big news in Washington this week . . . George Allen, coach of Washington Redskins football team has been fired . . . What do you mean have I been drinking? Is true. All business in Washington has stopped until President Edward Bennett Williams finds new coach . . . No Anya. Carter is still president of the United States . . ,. Williams is president of Redskins, which some people in Washington think is more important job . . . I'm not making this up Anya. All the newspapers have been full of Alen. The TV stations have taken off regular programming to put on special stories about firing. No one in Washington is working because they're all talking about Redskins . . .
"Look, I know it sounds insane but do you want my report or don't you? . . . Listen to me Anya, I don't have much time. The firing of a coach in this town is considered a very serious step. To most people it's even worse than impeachment, is important that Politburo know all the facts because without football coach Washington is a weak and helpless giant . . .
"You want more? All right. George Allen had been coach of Redskins for seven years. He has new contract, yes? . . . But he won't sign new contract . . . Why won't he sign new contract? Because he wants to be coach of Los Angeles Rams - R-A-M-S . . . Yes Anya that is another football team in California . . . I do not know why Allen wants to be coach of Los Angeles Rams more than he wants to be coach of Washington Redskins . . . Is maybe something to do with Nixon . . . Hold it Anya I'll try to explain. Allen is great friend of Nixon. Nixon is great friend of Allen's. Nixon lives in California . . . Allen likes to tie a lot. Maybe he wants to be close to Nixon when he lies.
"All right. Now you have that straight . . . I have to hurry because I think the FBI has almost found the booth . . . So Allen is out of power and the second most powerful nation in the world has no one to coach its football team . . . But this is very important. President Williams plans to appoint one very fast so if we want to move, the best time is now when everybody in Washington is looking for new coach."
"You must believe me Anya, ever since the firing I haven't heard a word about the Middle East negotiations, the South Korean scandal in Congress, or the Panama Canal treaty . . . This town has priorities and no one will do a thing until they know who the new redskins leader will be.
"Why is this important to Kremlin? I'll tell you why . . . Because Allen has left behind a team of wounded football players and no draft choices . . . I said no draft choices . . .
"Anya, make sure you get this correctly . . . The Redskins have no draft choices until 1979.
"Wait, will you please wait! The U.S. Army does not have a draft. That is true Anya. But the National Football League still does. Allen gave up his draft choices because he said there was no tomorrow.
"Anya, don't hang up on me . . . Hello, operator I was cut off from KGB Headquarters in Soviet Union . . . Oh never mind . . . If people in U.S. don't understand what is happening in Washington, how can I explain it to Moscow?"