12 Richard Nixon Pro Football Moments as Ol' No. 12's Boosters Hawk Kurt Warner Pigskins

Categories: Politics, Sports
Thumbnail image for Richard-Nixon_football-no12.jpg
Richard Nixon rode the pine for the junior varsity team at Fullerton Union High School and the second team for Whittier College in the early 1930s. The photo of No. 12 at right is identified online as being from Whittier College, but there is another shot of him in a better No. 23 uniform that is also said to be from his days with the Poets. As the Richard Nixon Foundation's online store announced it is selling NFL footballs signed by quarterback Kurt Warner for $125 ("get them before they're gone"), here's 12 Trickie Dickie pro football moments.

George Allen and Jack Snow on the Los Angeles Rams sidelines.
Nixon, then a California congressman, met George Allen, who'd just coached Whittier College to a championship, at a 1951 NCAA banquet. They remained friends for life, and when Allen coached the Los Angeles Rams in the mid-1960s, then-Republican presidential candidate Nixon attended a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Coliseum. Allen sent his son, the team's water boy, up the stands to take Nixon a roster card and Coke. As Jennifer Allen, the coach's daughter, would later write for ESPN's Page 2, her brother Bruce stuck around to talk game strategy with Nixon. When Chiefs QB Len Dawson lined up a few steps behind the center, Bruce Allen sprang up and shouted, "SHOTGUN!" This prompted Secret Service agents to spring into action before Nixon assured them, "Easy, this boy is talking football."

Nixon saw at least two future Hall of Famers: Sonny Jurgensen (left) and Vince Lombardi.
The first U.S. president attended a regular season NFL game on Nov. 16, 1969, when Nixon sat in the RFK Stadium stands for the Washington Redskins' 41-28 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Nixon made an unannounced visit to the Washington Redskins practice facility in Virginia on Nov. 23, 1970, two days after the RFK Stadium crowd booed the team on the way to a 13-0 loss to Dallas. "A great majority of people in this town back the team," Nixon told the players. "You have been good for this city."

President Nixon visited the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on July 30, 1971, to kick off the annual Enshrinement Festival. He took particular interest in a display on the evolution of football gear and uniforms. The Hall quickly removed the guest registry from that day for its archives.

George Allen makes news.
The then-president fed his old friend George Allen what became known as "Nixon's Play" during the Washington Redskins' Dec. 26, 1971, NFC playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. In the final minute of the first half, with the 'Skins on the 8-yard line and poised to score while already leading 10-3, the team ran a wide receiver reverse that resulted in a 13-yard loss. "That must have been a play Richard Nixon called in to George Allen," a TV broadcaster quipped. It changed the momentum of the game, which the Redskins lost, 24-20. A player in the post-game locker room claimed an "executive order" led to the play being called, something Allen never confirmed nor denied. Washington reporters would blame Nixon for the team's defeat, and columnist Art Buchwald would write, "If George Allen doesn't accept any more plays from Richard Nixon, he may go down in history as one of pro football's greatest coaches."

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