I am writing to correct a historical error in Dave McKenna’s Cheap Seats column about former Redskin Ray Schoenke (“Political Football,” 6/26). It was incorrectly stated that President Richard Nixon gave Redskins coach George Allen a play to use in their Super Bowl VII appearance on Jan. 24, 1973. It was actually a year earlier, on Dec. 26, 1971, that the Redskins used a play recommended by Nixon in a playoff game versus the San Francisco 49ers. Nixon suggested a wide receiver reverse by all-pro Roy Jefferson. The Redskins used this play at a crucial juncture in the game, and it failed miserably, losing 13 yards. The Redskins lost this playoff game by a score of 24-20.
President Nixon did suggest a play for Dolphins coach Don Shula to use in Super Bowl VI vs. the Dallas Cowboys in January 1972. Nixon wanted to see the Dolphins try a down-and-in pass play from quarterback Bob Griese to wide receiver Paul Warfield. The Cowboys were able to shut down the Dolphins that day by a score of 24-3, regardless of Nixon’s play suggestion. Nixon was unquestionably the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable football fan ever to occupy the Oval Office. But after the debacle in San Francisco, there were no more play calls for the Redskins.