Once in a Lifetime: The Incredible Story of the New York Cosmos (英語)
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In 1971, Warner Brothers bought a local football team, the New York Cosmos. In 1975 the club signed a three-year deal with Pele, the greatest player the game had ever known. More big name signings would follow: the German superstar Franz Beckenbauer, the charismatic Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia and Brazil's 1970 World Cup winning captain, Carlos Alberto. Almost overnight, the Cosmos became the hottest ticket in town. Celebrities like Robert Redford, Mick Jagger, Barbara Streisand and Steven Spielberg attended games. Cosmos players were mainstays of the hedonistic club scene at Studio 54. Set against the backdrop of a city on the edge, Once In A Lifetime is much more than a football book. It is a vivid evocation of the mania that surrounded the Cosmos at the height of their powers in 1977 and the explosion in new forms of popular culture, the debauchery of Studio 54 and the razzmatazz and conspicuous expenditure that surrounded them. It is a story that embraces millionaires, superstars, gangsters, groupies, glamour, power struggles, alcoholic excess, drugs, and full-on fistfights. It also has some of the greatest football players ever to grace the game. --このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。
GAVIN NEWSHAM is a sportswriter and journalist who has written for the Guardian, The Sunday Times and the Observer Sport Monthly magazine; he is also the associate editor of Golf Punk magazine. Newsham was awarded the National Sporting Club Best New Writer in 2004 for his first book, Letting the Big Dog Eat. Once In A Lifetime was published by Atlantic Books in 2006. Gavin lives in Brighton with his wife and two children. --このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。
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So just to give you an example of misinterpretation the author goes on about the "impromptu parties and BBQs" at the big 77,691 in attendance FtL Strikers game vs. the Cosmos. What he refers to is actually tailgating and that was already well established at American sporting events esp. football (NY Giants and NY Jets games to get local on that score) but also at Cosmos games. I mean, it can't really be impromptu if you haul a BBQ set in your car to the game, can it?
Factually (and I'll probably bore some of you with this), here are just a few examples where he got it all wrong. Claimed Dallas folded in 1981 (p. 201) but it was actually in '82 which he does mention 13 pages later. So there's a weird contradiction. Also, there were 21 (not 20) teams in '81 (4 folded and one new one, the Calgary Boomers, was added).
Another part, he went on about Cosmos' defender Jeff Durgan stopping vaunted Dallas striker Klaus Toppmuller (well, he was no Karl-Heinz Granitza with only 7 goals all season).
The stuff on Steve Ross and Warner Bros. involvement, the players' off-field activities, the intrigue signing Pele, etc., are spot on. I have no idea why he devoted time to Cruyff playing three exhibition games with the Cosmos as it seems only Europeans find that of interest. Loads of "stars" drop in and play exhibition games over here. It barely registered really among NASL fans.
Also, hate to tell the guy but Edmonton is not in "America" (p. 252).
The prologue mentioning the famous 1-0 win by the USA over England is completely irrelevant to the growth of the NASL and the Cosmos. I would think a story on the impact of televising the 1966 World Cup into the U.S. market would have better served his chapter on the 1967 pro soccer league startups in the U.S.
There's so much left out. Although the USSF could not snag the right to host the 1986 World Cup, he fails to mention Canada qualifying for those Finals had a lot to do with the NASL. The Cosmos, in fact, had quite a few Canadians throughout the years. Some of who he mentions but not in specific connection with the development of domestic North American players.
The background given to the time period is relevant when focused on New York events like the Son Of Sam killings, city budget crisis, etc., but not so much on Elvis dying or President Gerald Ford's trouble.
The book is sort of like the Cosmos themselves--greatness and complete misses in equal measure.
What I would have liked to see was more on Cosmos players like the Carlos Alberto spitting incident vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps, a mention of the good Iranian defender Andranik Eskandarian (after all the hilarious Turkish goalkeeper Erol Yasin got a few mentions) whose US-born son Alecko is now an MLS star and just a more insightful look into a few more players of note.