There's a rumor floating around that the only way President Nixon will resign is if he's offered a coaching job with the Washington Redskins. It just may be the only way to move him out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
I don't see why he'd object so much. He could still call the plays. He could keep the press out of the locker room. He could work up intricate line maneuvers to conceal his offenses.
Nixon has been thinking about football a lot in the last year. And it's not just because he's looking for something to keep his mind off Watergate. He still remembers those two plays he sent to Dolphin coach Don Shula and Redskin boss George Allen, respectively, that bombed out when put into action. A lot of things have been working out like that for Nixon lately.
He really wouldn't be unhappy with the Redskins. He and Allen, the 'Skins revivalist leader, would hit it off fine. And the 'Skins are Nixon's kind of people. Allen's Redskins are a composite of rejects, over-the-hillers, and rejuvenated hacks. Just like Nixon's White House squad. Allen's Redskins cheer themselves and pat themselves on the back when they succeed. Just like Nixon's men. Allen's Redskins sulk when they lose. Just like Nixon's men. Allen, the human re-tread wizard, has made a career of reviving worn-out careers. Nixon has been through it all before.
It would be an easy adjustment for Nixon. Especially the way he thinks. Throughout his career he has thought in football terms. When he lost in California in 1962, he carped, "You won't have the same old Nixon to kick around." When he outlines policy, he talks of game plans. He fancies himself the quarterback of a nation.
Allen has been holding up negotiations for Nixon's switch to the Redskins, trying to figure if he can get some mileage out of the old model Nixon. So the White House has tried to sweeten the deal by throwing in some extra performers. First the White House offered Pat as a cheerleader. ("She's got wonderful rhythm," Nixon enthuses. "Just look how she keeps time when I play piano.") But Allen wants no part of a 60-year-old hand clapper.
The latest White House offer has Nixon and Billy Graham joining the 'Skins staff. Nixon says that Graham would be just the man to give the pre-game prayers. "He's such a moving speaker," Nixon says. "Why before my energy speech he had me speaking in tongues," a statement many who heard the Nixon speech have confirmed.
By last reports Allen was mulling over the Graham offer. He'd like to have Ole Billy in his lineup. But until the 'Skins coach gives the go-ahead, Nixon will remain at president. He refuses to budget until he hears from Allen. The country awaits.