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January 01, 2002|Larry Stewart and \f7

What: "Lost Treasures of NFL Films--Vol. XVI: Three Cheers for the Redskins"

Where: ESPN Classic, Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Our society is intrigued by people who are different, who tend to be eccentric and quirky. A goofball, if you will. Maybe that explains the fascination with George Allen.

Sports Illustrated selected NFL Films' "Winning Is Living, Losing Is Dying: the George Allen Story" as the best documentary of 2001.

Now NFL Films is coming back with another George Allen show, and it's the early leader as best documentary of 2002.

For the original in 1971, NFL Films followed the Washington Redskins through their first season with Allen as their coach. They had a 9-4-1 record and made the playoffs for the first time since 1945.

The remake is part of NFL Films' "Lost Treasure" series. Several Redskin players were interviewed for the documentary.

At the top of the show, host Steve Sabol, NFL Films president, explains the original. "We went where no media outlet had ever gone before, deep inside a George Allen team. Allen was a secretive man and distrustful of the media. We were the only outsiders he felt he could trust. We were along for the whole ride. He even let us film in his office, which allowed us to see just what a quirky character he was."

But during the shooting, Allen grew weary of the NFL Films crew and at one point had them thrown out of a locker room.

There's one scene in particular that shows what Allen was all about. Receiver Roy Jefferson is stung by a bee in the locker room before a game and says he is allergic to bee stings and could die. Allen is upset because he believes Jefferson is thinking only about his own plight and has become a distraction to the team.

"That's a strange one," he says. "What's he doing, anyway? He's got 50 other guys to think about."

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