City Paper is not for tourists
A bummer of a Where Are They Now? update: Anthony Allen, the guy with the greatest single-game receiving performance in Redskins history, is at the center of one of those there-better-be-more-to-the-story stories in his native Seattle.
Allen resigned Friday as head football coach of Garfield High School in King County, Wash., after it was reported that his team used some academically ineligble players in one game earlier this season. Allen’s top assistant was also canned, and the school’s athletic director “was placed on administrative leave and he was asked to give back his school keys,” according to the Seattle Times. Garfield was immediately placed on two-years probation. Those are pretty stiff penalties, and they were handed down with odd swiftness, considering the allegations that have been made public so far and the prominence of the coach, who attended and played for Garfield as a kid.
In happier times for Allen, back in 1987, he caught eight passes for 255 yards and three TDS for the Redskins in a game against the then-St. Louis Cardinals at RFK Stadium. Allen’s amazing stats came in just three quarters worth of work.
Allen’s yardage total is still on the team’s record books —-and without the asterisk that some folks think should be there. Allen’s big day, you see, came during the NFL players strike, when teams of replacement players who weren’t deemed good enough to make any rosters the old-fashioned way played each other. (Though the Redskins do count Allen’s stats and all players’ stats accrued during the Cardinals game, Dan Snyder DOES NOT recognize the attendance figures for that day; there were tens of thousands of returned tickets, making it the only non-sellout game in the final three decades of RFK Stadium.)
The so-called ScabSkins team put together by Bobby Beathard went 3-0 during the strike, including a win against a Dallas Cowboys squad full of big name strikebreakers (Danny White, Randy White, Tony Dorsett, etc.). Allen was asked to stay with the team when the regular players came back after the strike, but he never had another notable game as a pro, and was cut by the Redskins following the 1988 season. He did, however, stick around long enough to get a Super Bowl ring for being under contract when the Skins crushed the Denver Broncos, 35-10.
I called Allen up out in Washington state a few years ago, on the 20th anniversary of his record-breaking day with the Redskins. He told me that he once had a videotape of the Cardinals game, which he used to prove to naysayers that he indeed was the greatest one-day receiver the Redskins ever had. But then, he said, he “messed up and recorded General Hospital over it” a few years ago.
“But I remember that day really well,” he said. “Really well.”