If you come to this space today for the usual Answers & Revelations, please feel free to ask at the door for your nickel back. No. A&R today. The A&R man is on the injured list. Torn medial collateral ligaments in the frontal lobe. Nothing serious. It happens all the time, especially after Christmas shopping with his wife.
What we have, instead, are Plenty of Dumb Questions.
DQ 1: Should Washington give George Allen asylum or leave him out there, a Flying Dutchman on the NFL?
George, poor George. He's looking for something he lost. Every weekend he's in town. If the Touchdown Club isn't honoring the old coach and his old, old players for something they did in the Pleistocene period, then it's the Pigskin Club or seven guys who passed the hat to put in a long-distance call to Allen's palace-in-exile in California.
It's been almost two years now since the Rams fired Allen after two exhibition games of the 1978 season. That, of course, was only six or seven months after the Redskins fired him. Everyone assumed Allen would, by now, be back licking his thumb on national TV. He was seen coaching Charo, who moves better (differently for sure) than Ron McDole ever did, but that was in a made-for-TV comedy special.
No, George Allen has become the shah of pro football. Nobody wants him. While no one accuses Allen of making off with $37 billion (one wonders: did the shah take it in small bills?), he does suffer today from the shah-like desire for plain ol' omnipotence. George wants to be general manager and coach both, and owners, who want to play with their toys, aren't giving up that much play to one man anymore.
Meanwhile, George keeps the airlines busy bringing him back to Washington for nostalgia fixes, if nothing else.
Maybe he should see if Henry Kissinger has any influence in the NFL.
DQ 2: Is Bowie Kuhn necessary?
Let's boo Red Auerbach here. Forty years ago, Red coached high school basketball in Washington and he told this tall, skinny kid to get away from his gym, he could't play. Well, the tall, skinny, couldn't-chew-gum-and-walk-at-the-same-time kid turned into a tall, meaty, doesn't-know-to-wear-his-coat-in-wintertime baseball commissioner.
If only Red had made Kuhn into a basketball player. Maybe baseball would now have Larry O'Brien. But nooooo. Baseball has Bowie Kuhn, who once promised his hometown he'd get a baseball team back here but now is telling us we ought to go steal half of Baltimore's team.
When Mayor Barry and 11 businessmen went to see Kuhn in New York last week, Kuhn said Washington's best shot at baseball was to share the Orioles. He was urging the Orioles' new owner, Edward Bennett Williams, to build a stadium between the cities. Where Williams would get the money (a loan from the shah?), no one knows.
Nor did anyone challenge Kuhn as to why he now is backing down from the promise he made.
DQ 3: If this column includes 850 words, does that mean I 850-worded it?
John Buren is the new sports guy on WRC-TV. I liked the old one, Nick Charles, who for giving you news and commentary was the best in town, unless you didn't like the way he flipped the script at the end (I loved it). Besides knowing something, Charles had another good thing about him. He spoke English.
Buren prefers another language. If a team wins a game by three points, Buren is likely to say, "And the Steamrollers three-pointed the Redskins today."
Every time I hear Buren say somebody six-pointed somebody, it reminds me of the football coach, Bobby Bowden, who explained his team's success this way:
"The difference is on defense. Last spring, we had three knee operations. Now they're all back playing real well."
I get this wonderfully horrible sci-fi picture of zippered knees, just disembodied knees with cleated feet and hairy calves, frolicking on the gridiron in hot pursuit of Earl Campbell.
DQ 4: Don't you feel sorry for the women basketball players who didn't get paid by the women's pro team in town?
DQ 5: You cad, why not?
You have to learn, sooner or later, that the tooth fairy is really your mommy.
DQ 6: is it true that Muhammad Ali will be paid $5 million for his next movie?
That's what Ali says, which is not the same thing, of course, as fact. As we remember, he predicted his movie, "The Greatest," would make more money than "Jaws" and break the Godfather's heart with envy. "The Greatest" made more money than a woman pro basketball player, but not by much.
It has been written that Ali was paid $1 million for the TV movie, "Freedom Road," which, if true, is the most money ever paid an actor on a dollar-to-emotion-demonstrated basis.
Like the shah and George Allen, Ali is looking for ways to kill time these days.He says he was paid $500,000 for hawking Toyotas in Saudi Arabia, and he says he commands $75,000 per lecture on the banquet circuit, but his silly grabs at the public's attention lately (shilling for toothpaste at the Washington Monument, offering himself in exchange for the Tehran hostages) seem the stuff of a man who lost his place when he quit as heavyweight champion.
His stuff isn't funny now. It's a mouth, all by itself, floating in a space, saying, "I could six-round Holmes tomorrow."
DQ 7: Did Joe Theismann get a money-back guarantee on those singing lessons?
Theismann and Elvin Hayes sing in a TV commercial for another paper in town. Their singing makes you want to read. Anything. Just quit singing, guys.
"I used the money for singing lessons on lessons on how to throw the football," Theismann said.
No one argued that.