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Bruce Allen and the D.C. bond


George Allen, in my favorite Skins photo ever.


The last time the Redskins held a big introductory press conference at Redskins Park (well, at least before the Brian Orakpo and Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall and Virginia Scratchers ones), Jim Zorn was the man on stage, hair all spiky, face all giddy with enthusiasm. I was listening in my car, with my daughter asleep in the back seat. And then Zorn waded into a chromatic disaster, talking about how his family would soon be outfitted in maroon and black and yellow.

Thursday's press conference with Bruce Allen--son of George, former burgundy and gold sideline heckler, new GM--was a bit different.

"Bubba Tyer's in the house! Hello Bubba!" Allen said at one point, in mid-answer, when he spotted the longtime trainer in the Redskins Park auditorium. I don't know about you, but his approval rating went up about 700 points in my office at that moment. And then he said this:

"We have these two NFC East teams coming up, and performance in the NFC East is gonna be key for our organization."

Now, maybe Daniel Snyder had just given him talking points, because we all know how much Snyder loves talking about the NFC East. But somehow I doubt it. You figure a guy who cried after the Super Bowl loss to the Dolphins, a guy who used to pump gas out on Route 7 near Tysons wouldn't need prompting to talk up the NFC East. That, folks, also helps his approval rating a tiny bit.


Bruce Allen, after the SB loss to Miami.

"If you told me 35 years ago I'd be standing here in new Redskins Park, I don't think I would have bet on that," he joked at the beginning of his remarks. "But it's exciting because of the history, the tradition, the comfort about coming home....What makes it a good fit is I want to be in a place with tradition. The fact that I can recite most of the media guide to you probably made it even more exciting. The dedication and the passion of the ownership here to win, I embrace. I like urgency. I like doing things sooner than later, and that made it the most attractive position that could have possibly been available."

Obviously, fans want, more than anything else, for their teams to win games. But I think understanding what the local teams mean, their history, their quirks isn't a bad thing either. If Stan Kasten had gone to Langley High, there's no chance he would have gone on Philly sports radio to invite Phillies fans to invade Nats Park. Your GM isn't just a decision-maker, he's also the face of your franchise. Personnel track record aside, that makes this all somewhat reassuring to me.

"The players that he accumulated, the staff that he had here, it was a special bond of people all fighting for one common goal," Allen said, when asked what he remembers from his dad's years in D.C. "Other than the great friendships that remain, I still see all the guys and talk to all the guys in the offseasons. It's all those bonds with the people [that matter]."

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 17, 2009; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Good bye to Vinny, part II

Comments

Agreed. One thing that I've noticed the last couple years is it never seemed that most of the Redskins really cared or noticed all that much whether they were playing the Cowboys or the Buccaneers (yeah, it meant a lot to Snyder and a few players would talk about it, but not like in the old days.) Maybe that's just the modern NFL, where so many players change teams so often, but it seemed a marked contrast to what we've seen out of other Washington teams in the past few years. It's obvious that just about everybody involved with the Caps just hate the Penguins (and Boudreau loves to stoke the flames--and in the rivalry with the Flyers too), and the same goes for the Wizards with the Cavs.

Maybe Allen can bring some of that feeling back to Redskins Park.

Posted by: TheFingerman | December 17, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the memories. Dan the Fan has just hired another primo homeboy, and this one actually knows what he's doing. It gets better and better and better. Here's hoping the next coach (Russ Grimm, maybe?) retains Buges, that Mr. Snyder (on this day, he's entitled to the honorific) will sell part of the franchise to St. Joe Gibbs and that all of us who have clung to hope the way the survivors of the Titanic clung to deck chairs may rejoice in the possible triumphs that a principled evocation of this team's legacy may inspire.

Posted by: boothintexas | December 17, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Echoing "boothintexas," did FanBoy1 just hire FanBoy2? Goodness. At least FB2 has the resume. Lets see if that translates to results.

Nonetheless, let's not forget that just Cerrato's resignation alone was a reason to rejoice and be glad in it this holiday season.

Go Skins!

Posted by: ryaneades | December 17, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@ryaneades

On the resignation of Cerrato, one of my co-workers bought some donuts into the office in order to celebrate the occasion.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 17, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

1) Where can I get that pic? Classic.
2) Of all the great guys that could do the job, Dan chose the BEST for the Skins. Credit needs to be given. (we don't have to like him yet, but this is a huge step.)
3) If the Skins think looking at names from yesteryear will correct the ship, we are in for rough times. Hire the BEST, draft the BEST, let them work and BE THE BEST.

I'm still on Cloud 9 and will be 'til Training Camp.

Posted by: DCV1 | December 18, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

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