EVERYBODY TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN JOB.—GEORGE ALLEN.
HIT HARD AND WATCH THE GOOD THINGS HAPPEN—GEORGE ALLEN.
IS WHAT I'M DOING OR ABOUT TO DO GETTING ME CLOSER TO OUR OBJECTIVE...WINNING?—GEORGE ALLEN.
Then there are the T-shirts: I PLAY TENACIOUS DEFENSE FOR GEORGE ALLEN.
Yet, this is not a case of ego run amok. Allen is one of the premier coaches in the history of the game, but he has never received his due. It's a joke that Allen is not one of the 13 coaches in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 12 years as an NFL coach, his record was 116-47-5, a winning percentage of .705, third only to John Madden's .750 and Vince Lombardi's .728. Guys like Earle (Greasy) Neale (.596), Sid Gillman (.550) and Weeb Ewbank (.502) are enshrined in Canton. Allen's road winning percentage of .679 (56-26-2) is better than the overall percentages of 10 Hall of Fame coaches.
Consider, too, that he achieved all this by taking over two poor teams. When Allen got the Ram job, in 1966, Los Angeles hadn't had a winning season in seven years. A year later L.A. was 11-1-2 and in the playoffs. When he took over the Redskins, in 1971, they hadn't been to the playoffs in 25 years. He immediately guided them to the playoffs, and the next year he had them in Super Bowl VII.
Allen was labeled a big spender while with Washington. You'll recall that team president Edward Bennett Williams said, "I gave him an unlimited budget, and he has exceeded it." Allen did spend about $500,000 buying land and putting up buildings for Redskin Park near Dulles Airport. It was the first team-owned training facility in the league. Williams hadn't counted on seeing that kind of money fly out the door. Today, the six-acre site is worth approximately $10 million, according to Capozzola.
Two games into the 1978 preseason, after having just been hired by the Rams for the second time (he had coached them from 1966 through 70), Allen was abruptly fired by owner Carroll Rosenbloom, who said, "George needs a rest." Some people took Rosenbloom's statement to mean that Allen had had some sort of mental crack-up. In any case, he never worked again in the NFL. Now Allen wants to redeem himself.
That means, among other things, he wants desperately to get a stadium built on the Long Beach State campus. He wants it to be his legacy—especially in case he never gets invited to join the Hall of Fame. Almost immediately upon arriving at the Beach, Allen asked McCray to authorize $24,000 worth of preliminary architect's plans for a stadium. McCray said, "George, we can't do that."
However, Allen is never deterred. If somebody says no to him, he considers it a definite maybe. "I want to accomplish big things here, major things," he says. No wonder that another of Allen's goals is to provide the football program with a $6 million endowment. The present endowment is zero.