N.F.L.’s Top Lawyer Had Cozy Relationship With Washington Team President

A year later, when the league penalized Washington and Dallas for violating league spending limits, Allen asked to speak with Pash. “Still talking internally about this,” Pash replied. “I am not making any promises as to an outcome. But I can assure you that I am not blowing you off.”

After Allen thanked him, Pash added: “We may not see this the same way. But that does not change my respect or affection for you. After all, nobody else has ever given me a Hooters VIP card.”

Sprinkled into the correspondence about league business are notes highlighting Allen and Pash’s close friendship. When Allen’s brother, George, ran for the U.S. Senate from Virginia in 2012, Pash donated $1,000 to his campaign. Pash was not shy about saying how much his wife and family loved the team, and Allen sent Pash the club’s fight song after rare Washington victories.

At Christmas and New Year’s, the pair exchanged heartfelt holiday greetings, with Pash emailing in January 2013 to congratulate Allen on making the playoffs. “Happy New Year — even though 2012 was not the easiest year in many respects, I continue to value our relationship and your advice,” Pash wrote.

Allen and Pash, who routinely referred to their apparently weekly phone calls as “rants,” were united in their disdain for the head of the N.F.L. Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, Pash’s adversary in the 2011 labor negotiations.

In September 2010, Allen told Pash that his decision not to give Smith a field pass to a Washington home game had angered Smith. “New sheriff in town,” Pash responded to Allen, who was in his first year with the club.

Allen told Pash that a union spokesman would call Snyder to complain. “That should be a short conversation,” Pash replied.

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