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Tampa Bay Rowdies v New York Cosmos, 1976: Video

With all of the recent discussion about the NASL being reformed in the United States, I thought I’d share a very interesting video with you which is the first ten minutes of the 1976 NASL game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and New York Cosmos.

The above video is interesting for several different reasons, some of which include:

  • How commentator Mario Machado and co-commentator Paul Gardner went to extra lengths to explain basic rules of the game such as throw-ins and corner kicks,
  • It seems the game was shown live on CBS Sports. One unnerving point in the video is near the end where Machado shouts “We’ll be back” hinting that the coverage was going to break for a commercial, which then didn’t happen,
  • The sheer noise from the Tampa Bay crowd before the game began and whenever Pele had a good opportunity to score,
  • The slow tempo of the game, which was probably more to do with the heat than tactics,
  • And lastly, the pass backs to the goalkeeper which look so out-of-place these days.

What jumped out for you as interesting? Click the comments link below and share your feedback.

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  1. tom

    December 8, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Another difference between then and today is that Rodney Marsh did not appear to be wearing shin guards, which were optional.

  2. Charles

    December 8, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Well it was a big deal when an American made a team, was a star on a team. The Sounders were mostly British, but as the team evolved, there were many stars that were US which was very exciting at the time.
    Different era, as very few grew up playing soccer.

  3. james

    December 8, 2009 at 9:01 am

    I grew up a Rowdies fan and was at the game as a 7-year-old.
    I loved the Rowdies. Still a huge fan of the World’s game.
    Anyone notice the referee’s?
    The assistant on the far side is running left? Different than modern referee’s.

  4. Kasey

    December 8, 2009 at 6:18 am

    I noticed how the commentators kept popping in “Player X, who’s an American”…are they trying to reinforce to th tv audience that the game they are watching won’t turn them into Commies just by watching, reds under the bed folks!!!

  5. dan

    December 7, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    i was born in 1983 so i was far away from being around.

  6. Davidge Partelwarl

    December 7, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    The NASL is not “reforming”. It’s a completely new league that is appropriating names of defunct NASL 1 teams who’s copy rights have defaulted. Sigh……

    • The Gaffer

      December 7, 2009 at 8:23 pm

      Davidge, the name is being reformed, but I realize it’s a completely different can of worms.

      The Gaffer

      • This One Guy In Detroit

        December 8, 2009 at 9:36 am

        Yes, but it’s the ostensible reason for these posts with NASL videos — the idea that there’s some kind of link. And beyond the fact that they show 22 guys on a field kicking a ball, there isn’t.

        The new “NASL” has about as much to do with the old one as a “CAT scan” has to do with the creature using the litter box in my basement.

        • usa2010

          December 8, 2009 at 7:47 pm

          No, that “ostensible reason” only exists in your head.

          Everyone knows there is no link between old and new leagues; these videos are posted for purposes of nostalgia and as a history lesson, they aren’t trying to create a link where there is none (apart from the name).

          Stop being such a pathetic nerd. No one cares about your strawman arguments.

          • This One Guy In Detroit

            December 8, 2009 at 9:32 pm

            “No, that ‘ostensible reason’ only exists in your head.”

            That’s weird. The opening sentence of this post explicitly says:

            “With all of the recent discussion about the NASL being reformed in the United States, I thought I’d share … the 1976 NASL game …”

            I was being generous by calling it the “ostensible” reason, since it’s actually stated outright.

            Look, I know it annoys you that a lot of people think dredging up the NASL name is dumb, ill-advised, even vaguely embarrassing. But your being annoyed, or worrying about nerds, doesn’t make you right — except for the part where you concede my very point (“they aren’t trying to create a link … apart from the name”).

            The videos are momentously, stupendously awesome, though.

    • Bobby Brandon

      December 9, 2009 at 12:51 am

      In the case of the Rowdies, the entire brand was purchased from the team’s original owner. You could make the argument that it is a continuation, I won’t, because I don’t care, but you could.

  7. Jeff C.

    December 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    I love the commenting–“that may have looked like a terrible pass from Pele, but really he’s just so much more brilliant than his teammates.” Which had a general truth, I suppose, but it still sounds funny.

    Cosmos-Rowdies was a phenomenal rivalry. Thirty years later, I still miss it.

  8. Charles

    December 7, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Rowdies and Cosmos, two the greatest nicknames in all of soccer. It’s sad.
    The choices MLS made for team names have been stupid. Seattle fans had to fight to get Sounders in place.

    Mid-70s, 40k. Granted Pele was playing.
    But now the US fans are NOT new to soccer, every kid grew up playing, outside of Seattle, 15k avg game ….Even more sad.

  9. mitch howard

    December 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    the concrete barrier is a little too close for comfort, but the charge! music adds some ambience. great nostalgic video .

  10. Rebecca Jill

    December 7, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    I was only 2 at the time, but I have family members who went to that game. And they still talk about it. I always enjoy seening our old Tampa Stadium. Loved the Tampa Bay Rowdies! 4th of July always was a Rowdies game followed by fireworks at Tampa Stadium growing up for a lot of years.

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