Marilyn Lang stands for the pink Porsche 911, which earned her the title of “Playmate of the Year 1975”.Build: Playboy Companies
January 14, 1976: Brazilian soccer god Pele was the number one in the NASL North American Soccer League. However, the competition from New York Cosmos spared no effort to grab the headlines.
14.01.2022, 00:0513.01.2022, 21:50
Football in the United States experienced its heyday in the 1970s. In the North American Football League (NASL), world stars such as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer or George Best are ending their careers. Johan Cruyff and Gerd Muller are among the many big names making a lot of bucks with teams like the New York Cosmos, the Los Angeles Aztecs or the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
FCZ legend Fritz Konsley is also drawn to the United States. The Bon Vivant got a golden nose at the San Diego Soccer and the Houston Hurricanes. The striker enjoys the sun and being out, and thanks to the Glarner Pâtés sale in a mall, they even get a few green notes.
Konsley died in 2019, and married model Monica Kaelen. Who knows if his “Möneli”, a star in Swiss show business, could also have made a career in NASL. After all, in May 1980 it was named “Pet of the Month” in “Penthouse” magazine. One of Kaelin’s fellow pros was drafted by the NASL team.
“We loved what we saw”
Marilyn Lange on the cover in June 1975.Build: Playboy Companies
At the time, Lange lived in Hawaii and also played soccer at Surfers’ Paradise. We liked what we saw. says Jim Walker, general manager of Sting. Did he tell his testimony about sports alone? “Marilyn has a history in football, she loves this sport”, Walker confirmed it to the “Chicago Tribune.” More and more women will participate in professional sports.
“We’ll sit down and discuss things with each other, and then we’ll see how everything develops,” Walker says of the upcoming contract negotiations. Because the draft alone doesn’t mean Marilyn Lang will actually play in the NFL.
Hooligans follow suit
In the end, that will never happen. “I don’t want to play against the boys there”, Lange explains, “They are very cruel.” So the Playmate’s commitment remains nothing more than a PR calm by the Chicago Sting.
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Just like the Tampa Bay guys who follow suit in the same draft and also pick a woman: Betty Jo Woodward. “I’ve never played football before, but they showed me some tricks”, The former college basketball player says, “I learned to play football very quickly.” After a few weeks of training with the hooligans, the fun is over, Woodward receives a souvenir T-shirt to see them off, and he has also never appeared in the AFC Champions League.
212 points in 30 matches
Verbs like these two fit the league because they’re in NASL Show is just as important as sport. In this way, the creators want to impress their fellow Americans with “boring” football. It starts with the hour, which counts the time descending to zero instead of incrementing from the first minute to the ninetieth minute. There is no offside as usual from the midfield but only from the 35 yard line in front of goal. And in the event of a tie, the winner of a penalty shoot-out will, traditionally initially, be decided later with the shooter running as in ice hockey.
The point system is really wild. If there were two points to win and one point to a tie in Europe at that time, NASL is both revolutionary and generous. To win there are up to six points, depending on the season, plus bonus points for goals scored. so come The New York Cosmos in the 1978 season In 30 games of the regular season with an incredible 212 points.
In front of 74,901 fans at Giants Stadium, the New York Cosmos won the 1978 Football Championship against the Tampa Bay Rhodes.Photo: IMAGO / Colorsport
But not all offers are enough to establish football permanently in the United States. Although New York Cosmos sometimes attracts over 40,000 spectators, the level of public interest remains manageable. This is how the story of NASL ends in 1984.
After the 1994 World Cup in the United States, the sport there experienced a revival once again. Major League Soccer, which has long established itself, begins in 1996. It’s not as popular internationally as the major European leagues and probably never will be – but MLS doesn’t rely on cheap PR tricks with playmates.
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