Clearly, Bruce Allen, the coach of the new professional football team in Los Angeles, is not his father's son. He doesn't have a "game face." He thinks losing is no worse than "a critical injury."

"He's going to avenge George yet," Etty Allen said of "my son the coach; I thought he was smarter."

Bruce, 23, has taken one small step, from coaching the Occidental College team in Pasadena, Calif., to the nearby Rose Bowl. He has gone from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to the professional California Football League after a 2-6-1 record in his first year as a college head coach.

The new franchise has a sedate nickname no one ever would associate with George Allen -- the Thunderbolts, with a suitably muted logo of a streak of lightning and a subdued color scheme for the uniforms, silver, royal blue, and burnt orange.

"The offense is going to be more exciting than my father's, a combination of his at Washington, mine at Arizona State when I coached the quarterbacks there is 1978 and his at Los Angeles his first time there," Bruce Allen said. "He didn't get time to put in more than three plays his second time with the Rams."

Will Bruce have a quarterback controversy?

"Got to," he said. "Maybe between Bill Kilmer and Roman Gabriel. I'd love to have Billy play for us. Gabe coached a J.C. team here last season -- The College of The Desert, near Palm Springs. The more players I can get who worked for my father, the better. I have two former Rams coaching for me -- Charlie Cowan (offensive line) and Jack Snow (receivers)."

Bruce said his father attended a tryout camp and recommended signing two players who tried out for the Rams "during his short, short venture with them."

"I want my father to coach."


"Me . . . No, seriously, the defense."

Bruce noted that his brother Greg is studying for a doctorate in psychology at the University of California in the fall. "In a family with two football coaches, we need that," Bruce said.

It was mentioned that he reflected his mother's vivacious personality much more than his father's and he observed, "Well, humor helped John McKay for a while. You get a lot funnier when you win a lot of games.

"Call me if we win our first game; I'll be better than Don Rickles. We open in the Rose Bowl on June 21 against San Jose, which has lost one game in three years.

"I'd love to have Bill Kilmer; he knows my father's system."

As quarterback or a coach?

"Well, I'm not going to try to coach him. Nobody ever did; he knew what to do. But I would like to have him as a coach or quarterback."

The average Thunderbolt player earns $500 a week for a 15-game season, but General Manager Steve Marlis says the quarterback may earn $25,000.

Bruce Allen remarked that the Thunderbolts already have signed two quarterbacks who had tryouts in the National Football League -- David Mays, who once played for Cleveland against the Redskins, and Keith Myers, once with Green Bay.

How did Allen account for a 2-6-1 record at Occidental, and why did he leave?

"I didn't plan to leave. We had recruited an outstanding crop and were picked to win the conference title next season. The offensive line will be bigger than the one we had at Arizona State when I was there.

"We searched the bushes for guys with averages above 3.5. We talked them into not going to Division I colleges.

"We told them they would get a better education at a Division III school, and though we had no athletic scholarships they could get financial aid from the state."

How did he manage that?

"I told them I was a super guy.

"But my first love is pro football, because winning is so important to me.

"I don't believe it should be that way in college; education should come first. A student shouldn't be asked to give 100 percent in football; 70 percent should go to studies.

"It's too easy to get wrapped up in football," said former University of Richmond punter who had a brief tryout with the Baltimore Colts.

Besides Los Angeles and San Jose, the teams in the 6-year-old California Football League are Orange County, Long Beach, San Diego, Ventura, Sacramento, Napa, Twin Cities and Stockton.

General Manager Marlis said, "We wouldn't have started up (paying $50,000 for the franchise and getting a firm to bankroll it for $500,000) if the Rams weren't moving and there weren't a major league stadium available -- the Rose Bowl. We don't think the Raiders are coming to Los Angeles.

"The Rams will be 40 to 45 miles south. They left a void. We are a pro team, not semipro. Semipros pay players' expenses; we pay salaries. We expect to draw crowds of 15,000 to 20,000. We won't have high salaries of exorbitant travel; the longest trip is 500 miles.

"We never intend to be a World Football League or contend with the NFL. But we will have the same size squads. NFL Properties designed our uniforms and logo. We will play on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons and already have been approached by three cable television networks. We have 3,600 stockholders.

"The stock was issued six months ago at 20 cents a share and is now worth three dollars; that's a 1,500 percent increase in value."

It is the new "summer game," running from June 21 to Sept. 27, holding out the hope for "almosters" that "there is life after the NFL." And before, for those not drafted.