Any one who ever filled out an expense account knows how George Allen feels.
Allen bought a pair of pajamas last summer and put them on his Redskins' expense account.
He then was the team's coach, general manager and vice president.
Later, though, he was fired by Edward Bennett Williams, the Redskins' president.
And now Williams wants Allen to pay him back those pajamas. They were an unjustified expense, Williams says. So were a lot of other things apparently, because the Redskins say Allen owes them $14,047.94.
Allen has hinted he will sue before paying that money.
Good for him.
Someone has to stand up for the little guy. Allen was paid only $125,000 a year.
"I was a slave, a literal slave," Allen said the other day.
And the plantation master now wants the NFL's Kunta Kinte to pay for his own pajamas.
Some people may think $125,000 is enough to buy a pair of pajamas. But, as Allen also pointed out, inflation has been terrible.
"When I signed, I got a good salary," Allen said. "But as inflation came along my deal began to look smaller, especially in view of what other coaches were starting to make."
Anyway, Allen's ability to buy his own jammies is not the point here.
As anyone who ever filled out an expense account knows, the company pays for meals, hotels, travel, taxis - whatever it takes to do the job properly.
So the Redskins were obligated to foot the bill for Allen's necessary expenses.
Such as a limousine.
And a chauffer.
And a team photographer.
Everyone knows that you cannot win in the NFL without these necessary expenditures.
George Allen told us so.
And now we know you cannot win without pajamas.
Until today, details of Pajamagate have been scanty. We knew only that Allen bought the pajamas at training camp in Carlisle, Pa. But dogged investigation has enabled us to get to the bottom of things.
On July 27 of last summer, George Allen walked into Carlisle's only department store.
He said to the sales clerk, "Would you like to help the Redskins win?"
The old lady blushed, "But I'm 56," she said.
"So's Billy Kilmer," Allen said with that sly chuckle of his. "That's not why I'm here, ma'am. I'm here to help the Redskins win."
"Are you playing a game in our store?"
"I'm looking for some pajamas," Allen said. He peeked over his shoulder toward the hardware counter. He thought he'd seen someone hiding behind the hammer display. Tom Landry has spies everywhere.
"Pajamas for your players?" the woman said.
"Are their uniforms dirty?"
No, ma'am, these pajamas are for me. Everything I do is to help the Redskins win. For years, I've looked for a way to put idle time to use. The time spent sleeping has been time lost. That's why I'm in your store."
The old lady stared at Allen.
"When I go to sleep at night, I want the Redskins close to me. Do you have anything in a burgundy and gold? Perhaps with a number '1' on the back?"
Struck mute in the presence of such thinking, the old lady shook her head no.
"Well, then, what do you have that would help the Redskins win?"
So it happened that George Allen bought a pair of pajamas from the boys' department. The pajamas were decorated with indians on the warpath.
"Beating the Cowboys," the coach said happily to the old lady, adding, "send the bill to Ed Williams, please."