Allen: Christmas Is Not Christmas if You Lose

George Allen’s fanaticism about winning was legendary.

This was a man who once hired an official to watch Allen’s Ram offense against the defense in practice because he thought the offense was scoring too much.

This was a man who said he liked ice cream because you didn’t have to chew it, meaning you could spend less time eating and more time coaching.

This was a man who once said, “I call the opposing coach’s office at 10 o’clock Wednesday night. And if nobody answers, I know we’ll win.”


But a rookie reporter got a first-hand glimpse at the Allen creed in his first big league assignment.

In 1974, Allen’s Washington Redskins met the Rams at the Coliseum in a first-round playoff game on Christmas Eve.

The Rams won, 19-10, and the young reporter, nervous about talking to Allen, tried to break the ice with small talk.

“Are you guys flying home for Christmas?” asked the reporter, coming up to Allen from behind.


The coach turned, tears streaming from red eyes, and replied, “When you lose, there is no Christmas.”