If the New York Giants have doubts about hiring George Allen, Tim Temerario is ready to inform them that Allen is "the most misunderstood coach in America."
Temerario, who was Allen's executive assistant with the Redskins, said yesterday, "Allen would make a great coach for the Giants, but if I called Well (Wellington Mara, club president) to tell him that, it probably would be the kiss of death."
Temerario, who teaches school part time and has dabbled in representing players as an agent, would like Mara to know, "We (the Redskins) never spied on any team." He also said Allen was innocent of playing an ineligible Bill Malinchak against the Giants and got a $10,000 fine, plus a bad rap.
"A lot of people think Allen was almost dishonest. He's not that. That's as unfair as can be. But there's nothing to be done about it. He's not a crook; that just isn't so, but people malign him. People write about him eating ice cream as a put-down, like there's something wrong about it."
Temerario said he talked to Mara in Washington last fall and "I told Well -- if you ever think about hiring Allen I know more about him than anyone else. He never has called. I am just a little guy.
"In my seven years with Allen we never spied on the Cowboys. That's a bunch of baloney. We may have been devious, but not underhanded. I would have known. I lived next door to George at training camp. I intercepted every call to him. His telephone was in my room. He didn't answer it. I screened calls.
"We talked to a lot of players after they were cut (by other teams). I presume some other teams do, too. Teams call me now.
"There was a quarterback from Colgate, Steve Goebel, who had been in the Cowboys' training camp. He was going home; he had come to Dulles Airport. His father called me after the Cowboys dropped him. I wanted to take a look at him. We wanted a third quarterback. I was not overly impressed with him.
"I asked him for his impression of the Cowboys. We talked technical stuff, what the Cowboys do. I wondered how their quarterbacks keep straight where all the backs are moving.
"He said, 'Aw, hell, we never know where they are going to move until they get set just before the snap of the ball.' He said it was the same for Roger Staubach and the other Cowboy quarterbacks. Now you look and you realize the quarterback can't know where all the other players are; his back is to them.
"The advantage to us (the Redskins) was that we knew we did not have to worry about the Cowboys moving around, just where they ended up before the snap. We just made a study of what they were likely to do in most situations."
Did the Pittsburgh Steelers discover the same tendency in winning two Super Bowl games against the Cowboys? he was asked. "I'm sure the Steelers and other teams know by now, but maybe they don't," he said.
Temerario was asked about Allen being called on the carpet by Commissioner Pete Rozelle for trading draft choices the Redskins did not have in 1972. (It was determined later that an NFL official had made a bookkeeping mistake in not catching one transaction.)
"Good Lord," Temerario said, "everybody has done that and been fined. But people made it appear that the Redskins were devious and crooked. Bud Grant, the great white father (coach) in Minnesota, didn't get called a crook when he worked out an illegal player."
In 1971, Malinchak was on the Redskins' two-player inactive list before Washington played the Giants in New York. To make Malinchak eligible, the Redskins would have had to notify the referee 60 minutes before kickoff. This was not done, but Malinchak played.
Temerario said, "Allen knew nothing about it. Allen got blamed, blasted all over the country, and fined $10,000. He knew nothing."
Temerario said he also knew the Giants wanted to hire Joe Paterno of Penn State, but when he turned down the job they could not find many other suitable candidates.
"It takes a lot of self-discipline and starch," Temerario said "You have to stand up to people; you can't be weakkneed or get pushed around, or you're not going to win
"George is going to get his way, one way or another. If he wants a player, he's going to get him. He has excellent judgment where players are concerned."
And judgment about drafting college players?
"He has to have a lot of help there. I take some pride in that in my seven years. You give him the facts about a player and he makes the decision. If you put the information out there, he'd say, 'What would you do?'
"Well Mara's got a little problem; he's got a bunch of fans who want Allen as coach. A newspaper poll showed the fans favoring him over others four to one.
"He's got about 75,000 seats to sell. He does (sell them) now, but if the Giants continue to lose they will lose fans.When Otto Graham did not win as coach of the Redskins, the fans would give away their seats near the end of the season. Then they brought in Vince Lombardi. The fans became disgruntled when Bill Austin failed to win, too."