Redskin Coach Jack Pardee must have overlooked the advertisement that appeared on page three of The Post sports section last Sunday. It read: PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL
Will call a maximum of four plays to be used by the team at critical points in the game during the remaining football season. Contract price requested is $21,000 plus expenses. If not satisfied, only expenses will be charged.
MR. FLICKINGER (913) 296-3391 The ad has gone unanswered and that, says its author, is typical of the cliched, conservative thinking that prevails in pro football today. "If I just could have had a couple days with the Redskins," Mr. Flickinger said by phone yesterday, "I know they would beat Dallas. If I'd instituted a couple new plays, I know they'd win."
Earl Flickinger is a 66-year-old chemical engineer from Topeka who works in a Kansas state agency that regulates utility prices. He has never played or coached football, but he does not think his lack of experience tarnishes his credentials as an expert.
"I went to a high school that never lost a football game," he is quick to point out. "I went to a junior college that never lost a game and I graduated from the University of Oklahoma. I've been a football fan since 1926 and I never miss a game on television."
Flickinger would be a typical rabid football fan, except that most fans register objections to coaching tactics by booing rather than taking out $100 display ads in The Washington Post.
Flickinger sees himself as a thoughtful, creative man -- he says he holds several patents in the field of chemical engineering -- and he is utterly infuriated by sloppy thinking on a football field.
"Last year," he said, "I saw a team behind by 13 points with the ball on their own 40, fourth down and six inches to go, and they kicked. I've seen teams fumble in sudden death when they could have kicked a field goal. Sometimes I just get disgusted."
This disgust led Flickinger to place his initial ad last May, offering his counsel for $25,000. When that one had no takers, he dropped his price by $4,000. "I know what they pay in players' salaries," he said. "If I could win one or two games for them, it would be worth it."
Although he is willing to work for any team, Flickinger thought he could be especially useful to the Redskin this week."For Washington to beat Dallas," he said, "they're going to have to break the Cowboys' concentration."
He was not going to let all of his $21,000 secrets out of the bag, but Flickinger did give a few hints of what he had in mind. "They could put in new formations and throw the Cowboys off with them. For instance, they could put the center on the line by himself, with a quarterback and running back behind him and all the players off to the side. There might be 15 yards from the center to the nearest lineman, and the end would be close to the sideline. One trick to that is that it makes the center passeligible. There are innumerable plays you could call off that formation." p
It's too late now for him to help with the Dallas game, Flickinger sighed, since he would need to work with the team for at least two days in practice. But if the Redskins' season extends beyond Sunday, Earl Flickinger is ready to fly from Topeka at a moment's notice and help guide the club to the Super Bowl.