Tuesday, 19 June 2007

The New York Cosmos

While I'm on sabbatical from mundane office work, I've been taking this opportunity to research and write a book on Scottish footballers. As part of my research I purchased a couple of DVDs of the legendary New York Cosmos.

One of the discs was the complete coverage of a game against Tampa Bay Rowdies in 1976. It's amusing for several reasons. For it looks like a cross between a game in the park and the biggest sporting event in the country. The match was played at Yankee Stadium, home to the baseball giants the New York Yankees. The pitch therefore was still marked with a baseball diamond and a flattened down pitcher's mound. So around a quarter of the pitch was basically dirt.

As this is a game from 30 years ago TV coverage of soccer was in its infancy. There are no captions on screen for the score etc, and no close-ups. The commentary too is unusual in that the two guys haven't the best grip on what's going on, unsure of the score at one stage. Whenever the ball reached the baseball diamond the commentators would then refer to baseball terminology. "The ball played in to the shortstop." Commentary also routinely stopped for the commentator to read out sponsors' messages.

"Pele and Marsh are having a real contest in the centre of the field...throughout July get free air conditioning with every purchase over $50 at Joe's Tyre Yard...Smith swings a cross over..."

There are some stills from the DVD below.

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