Best Football History to Learn

The George Allen–Era Redskins
Even Dan Snyder knows that the good times in all of his enterprises came pre-Dan Snyder. So the Redskins owner’s all about selling retrospection. He brought back Joe Gibbs to follow the Steve Spurrier debacle. He brought back Mr. Six as the Six Flags mascot, just as he was running the company into bankruptcy. And hours after burying Vinny Cerrato, Snyder hired Bruce Allen as general manager—he would have brought back his father, the late George Allen, if he could. In fact, the marketing slogan Snyder is using on all his marketing paraphernalia these days is “The Future Is Now.” That was George Allen’s catchphrase. Speaking to the Washington Post’s Ken Denlinger in January 1971, the coach addressed his draft strategy: “I’m concerned about now. The future is now,” Allen told Denlinger. Allen lived by his words in personnel matters, trading young men for old men and draft picks for more old men throughout his Skins tenure. He gave up four of the Skins’ top five draft picks in that 1971 draft for veterans—including Billy Kilmer, Jack Pardee, and Diron Talbert, who would become cornerstones of his famed “Over the Hill Gang.” A year later, writers William Gildea and Kenneth Turan titled their Allen biography “The Future is Now,” and the Skins were in the franchise’s first Super Bowl. All these decades later, the adage still resonates with Skins fans of a certain age, giving Snyder something else to suck the goodwill out of.