Take a good look at that crest ladies and gentleman. We all remember it fondly as this was the most famous name in all of football during the era of the North American Soccer League (NASL). We remember the movie about the history of the New York Cosmos and how popular they were once famed Brazilian International Striker Pele came to these shores and created a major buzz over in Downing Stadium at Randalls Island (Which was torn down and rebuilt as Icahn Stadium), Hofstra University, the first Yankee Stadium and finally calling Giants Stadium home at the Meadowlands in the late 70’s thru the mid 80’s.
Twenty years have passed since their last competitive match of any form and the only time that famous shield was used was to advertise the soccer camps held by Pepe Pinton at Ramapo College. The former assistant to Giorgio Chinaglia was the head coach of the Men’s squad at Ramapo College when I attended the school as the play-by-play announcer for Ramapo College TV between 1995 thru 1997 & currently his son D.J. is the head coach at Ramapo which plays in the New Jersey Athletic Conference in Division III of the NCAA.
As I was on the Big Soccer boards I found the story from Jack Bell of the New York Times and he reported the story that was seen in the Daily Mail from England that a former officer of Tottenham Hotspur Paul Kemsley has reached an agreement with Pinton to purchase the rights to the Cosmos with the intention of rechristening the team as a traveling array of all-stars, playing matches around the world.
This is a travesty in my eyes. This is a bunch of balony that should never have happened at all. How could you make a team that was well known back in the days of the NASL and still holds the memories of so many football supporters back in the day that they hoped it would return back into MLS and now is considered the soccer version of the Harlem Globetrotters.
So many supporters that followed this terrible season of Red Bull NY have been screaming for this name of past glory to return as well as Red Bull selling the club to someone who wanted to bring that name back into existence. But if these same people are going to be supporting this version of the Cosmos with no home stadium, no home town & no appointments to make supporter appearances at the local pubs in the city. Those who are going against RBNY & Red Bull it’s self are a bunch of hypocrites that doesn’t deserve to support this club in MLS no matter how good, bad or ugly in past and current seasons have happened.
This is the worst thing that could happen as Mr. Kemsley doesn’t care about the history of that shield. All he wants to do is use that famous name in American Football for profit and that’s all. So many times I have either read or heard from people who stopped following the local club that was once known as MetroStars feel that Red Bull stole the club away and have been using it to advertise their products from their energy drink cans, their new soda cans and coming soon their energy shots. Well what Mr. Kemsley has done is the same thing. He is taking that famous name and using it to put money in his pockets with no shame. If he really cared about the Cosmos name, then he should’ve attempted to find some people to form an ownership group fly into New York City & make an attempt to start up an MLS side as the NY Cosmos. Try to find some land to build a stadium either in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn or Manhattan.
This MLS side playing at Giants Stadium either as Metro or RBNY has always been shunned by many. Either those refuses to go because they wanted to see the name of the Cosmos to return, the way that Meadowlands security has treated its supporters, or now the assumption that Red Bull has stolen the identity of this club & only cares about promoting their product. Let’s all be honest with ourselves here. The identity of this New York side, or NY/NJ side or whatever you want to call it has had one all along. Right now those who are against Red Bull assumes it’s been here when they took over, but honestly it’s been here since 1996 when it started as Metro. They are the loveable losers because no matter who is running this club, they will always assume either thru ego or trying to get rid of the shadow of the Cosmos a quick fix to get a title will always ruin the chance of stability and a solid core of strong veterans and good youth players as well as trying to have a proper stadium to call home, when Giants Stadium hasn’t.
All I have ever hoped and prayed for was to see this MLS club perform well and win a domestic or International Club Title with the right players, head coach and General Manager who are all on the same page. From Charlie Stillitano to Nick Sakewicz to Alexi Lalas, Marc deGrandpre & Jeff Agoos, these men have found ways to interfere with their head coaches and there are many who have had some success, but sadly alot of failure since their egos have clashed and refused to stop sticking their nose into business they shouldn’t have gotten involved with. The losers of this travesty of a club are the supporters who have spent their hard earned money to see more bad moments than good. But honestly we still care and want to see success.
Finally about the story of this new version of the Cosmos, it’s a sad thing to see Pepe Pinton sell whatever is left of this franchise to a man that honestly won’t bring any good to the name. Whatever selling price Pinton had offered, I’m assuming it was too high for anyone that wanted to get involved with him & at the same time those businessmen were laughing at him as well. Sadly professional sports is still a business and we who love this game have to understand that. But I have to say that unlike the New York Yankees in Baseball, the Boston Celtics & Los Angeles Lakers in Basketball, The Montreal Canadiens in Hockey & the Dallas Cowboy in the NFL, there was no stoppage of existance for these famous sports clubs and their respective leagues. MLS will reach fifthteen next year while Major League Baseball will be somewhere past 140 or more.
JACK BELL’S BLOG: http://goal.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/28/cosmos-to-be-reborn/