Dave Kindred's recent columns in The Post on George Allen have been less than fair, but typical of Kindred's treatment of Allen. You never have to go beyond Kindred's byline to know that he will be rushing into print at the top of his voice to ascribe every evil that afflicts the Redskins, since they moved here from Boston, to Allen.
If he was indeed equitable, Kindred would have rushed into print to laud Coach Allen after that tremendous victory against San Diego on Dec. 7. After all, it was achieved with the same personnel who have performed for the Redskins all season, the results of whose performance have been blamed on Allen.
With poetic license and the freedom to give flight to a vindictive nature, Kindred can not only embellish the truth, but so distort that tormented virtue as to make it virtually unrecognizable -- all in the guise of literary creation. Character assassination, even of the victim's professional reputation, which otherwise might land you in hot water, is another occupational perk which can be used to twist the knife.
Witness the frequency with which Mr. Kindred invokes the name of former President Nixon to link with Allen in a technique characteristic of the late Senator Joe McCarthy, that master of distortion and smear: "He is Nixon with a whistle." Nothing vicious, of course, like the heinous crime (illegal) he accuses Allen of perpetrating when he refers in his column to a play that occurred in 1973. Just healthy paranoia that in the columnist's case is an incurable disease.
It must be a big relief to Kindred not to be back in those bad old days when our whole city was alive with the pride and excitement of not just winning, but being part of a thrilling experience. When one watches the Houston Oiler fans in their ridiculous pandemonium of blue-and-white mania, and their "LUV YA BLUE," we can be thankful that era is gone for us. That is, if we buy the importance Kindred attaches to winning.
Then we can turn the clock back to those good old days of the Otto Graham era when winning was not nearly as important as the shared camaraderie with the opponents who stomped us.
Thankfully, Jack Kent Cooke is not going to let that happen, in my opinion, no matter the influence of the Kindreds in our city. Mr. Cooke is a winner and he knows that winning requires pride, concentration, absence of mistakes, and even the commitment of a Ken Houston or a Billy Kilmer.
In his obsession with destroying Coach Allen's reputation, Kindred fantasizes, contrives the facts and the innuendo to fit a scenario that exists only in his mind.
For instance, those draft choices that Kindred loves to describe in terms of how Allen destroyed the future. Perhaps some day someone will put the lie to the great draft choice deception. Suffice it to say that, typically, in his column, Kindred does not even mention the Philadelphia Eagles and how Dick Vermeil has built a winner, but that probably just slipped his mind. Nor does he state what Dave Butz's presence in that defensive line means, for the price of a couple of (first-round) draft choices. Probably even more devastating would be a litany of most forgettable names who represent the choices Allen traded away to get instant starters, several of whom are still with this team.
You would think that just once, in his repetition about draft choices traded away, Kindred would describe that dismal atmosphere of gloom and defeat that permeated Washington when Allen came here under a mandate, not to build in five or six years, but to produce now. And produce he did. Certainly, he traded five players to get Houston. Does anyone really want to undo that trade, or the draft choices for Butz, or Kilmer, Theismann, McDole, Talbert and Dusek, etc., etc.?
Is it really just a journalistic mistake when Kindred characterized Harold McLinton's action in trying to tip the football when the center passes it back as "illegal"? Come now, Mr. Kindred, Illegal? You mean illegal, like --
Quarterbacks changing their cadence to draw the other team offside?
Defensive linemen moving so as to try to make the offensive team move? Or even, heaven forbid, make the center or holder mess up on a kick?
Mark Murphy and Kenny Houston hitting as only they can at the point of reception to let the receiver know they've been there and to deliberately -- horrors -- cough up the ball.
Concealment of offenses and defenses to confuse and trap the opponent?
Perhaps Dan Reeves, a one-time owner of the Rams, did say that "It was more fun losing, than it was winning with George." But for those few, like Kindred, who prefer losing, there are 100,000 who prefer winning and I am betting that Jack Kent Cooke is in the winning class.
Long after Kindred is only a memory, George Allen will be remembered with affection for what he brought to Washington: pride, unity, excitement and winning. May that time return again regardless of who is the coach.