Bruce Allen's childhood nicknames
Former U.S. Senator George Allen is in the midst of a media tour to promote his book, "What Washington Can Learn From the World of Sports." The answer, as you'll read below, is that poor people are like the Detroit Lions, while rich people are like the Pittsburgh Steelers. But anyhow, this has given occasion for Allen to discuss his brother Bruce's Redskins ascension -- including his offseason moves -- and also to spill the dirt on Bruce's childhood nicknames.
"It really is something," George Allen told Larry Michael on Redskins Nation, when asked about Bruce running the Redskins. "I could see it happening, but then it's actually happening, and sinking in, and it feels great. In fact, I was driving my mother...to the stadium [last year], and they're playing the Cowboys, and she says Isn't this something? I wonder what daddy is thinking [about] Bruce, Pruney, Brucie, Booey, whatever they may want to call him, all of these things, all of his nicknames.
"Anyway, she's saying I wonder what daddy is thinking. Here we're going to a Redskins-Cowboys game, and Bruce is general manager. It's wonderful. I think it's wonderful for the Redskins, their fans, and for our family....It really is great on every level...."
"Bruce was always so very loyal to every team that my father was coaching, whether it was the Redskins, whether it was the Rams, whether it was the Bears. And when he was a little pup, we'd always call him Bear Boy Bruce, because he was just such a passionate supporter of whatever the team was."
I guess I like Pruney the best, if I'm spelling that right, followed closely by Bear Boy Bruce. Booey makes me think of Howard Stern.
Michael then asked George Allen for any favorite Bruce stories, and he unearthed this one.
"My father's coaching the Rams, and there's a picture of Bruce as a water boy. Well, Richard Nixon as a candidate came to a game, a preseason game where the Rams were playing the Kansas City Chiefs. My father heard that Nixon was up in the stands ,and said, 'Well, bring him a cup of water and a program.'
"So Bruce went up there and Nixon asked him to sit down with him. And so Bruce is watching the game with President Nixon, and Len Dawson moves into a shotgun formation, steps back from center. And Bruce stands up yelling shotgun! shotgun!, he's thinking he's still on the sidelines. And all the Secret Service guys get all worried, looking around everywhere. And Nixon says, 'Steady boys, he's talking football.' "
There's much more to this interview on Redskins.com; Allen will also appear on Thursday's Washington Post Live to talk about the book and the Skins. But if you want to know what Washington can learn from the world of sports, here's one example.
"I thought of how I grew up, and the meritocracy of sports. You don't care about someone's religion, or where they're from, or their race. All you care about is can they block, can they help the team win, can they pass, can they catch, whatever it may be. There is that level playing field, it's opportunity for all, which is a meritocracy that we should aspire to as a society.
"Then you look at government. The government, if somebody's successful, they want to redistribute success to others. It'd be like taking a Steelers' Super Bowl trophy and saying, 'Well, let's give it to the poor Detroit Lions, they've never won the Super Bowl.' Well, that would be outrageous in the world of sports....
"You'd never want to punt on first down, that's conceding failure, you have not matriculated the ball downfield. Well, we've been punting on first down since the 1970s on energy policy."
And so on. When asked by Michael about re-entering the political sphere, Allen declined to describe his plans, saying "a lot of folks have been encouraging [wife] Susan and me to get back into it. And as long as I'm breathing I'm going to be advocating ideas that are positive and constructive to improve our country. And I may get back into it in the future.
"All I know, and I have this in my book, is that whatever I may do in the future, I want to do it with Billy Kilmeresque gusto. Risky, Furnace Face and all that. Billy Kilmer is a real inspiration. He sometimes didn't do everything exactly right, but he was a great leader, and he did things with a great deal of gusto. And so whatever I may do, I want to do it with that Billy Kilmeresque gusto."
June 3, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
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