Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Green White celebrated their 20th anniversary in 1976. The First Team was led by team manager Steve Zimmer, and a few mainstays that played virtually every game in 1976. Hans Marx played in 51 of the 55 (!) games that season, followed closely by goal scoring leader Peter Berger and defensive stopper Hans Metzinger Jr. (Both Berger and Marx were honored at the Sepp Herberger Awards--coming in 2nd and 4th respectively in Player of the Year balloting)
Green White played in no fewer than ten tournaments during the nation's Bicentennial year. They finished in 3rd place in the Memorial Day tournament in Minnesota, won the Real F.C. and Schwaben tournaments in July, and finished in second place to the Fichte Rams in June's Sepp Herberger tournament and August's Fichte Rams tournament.
The First Team was much younger than it had been in previous years as long-time stalwart Joe Laxgang began to wind down his playing days after reaching his 800th game milestone, John Woolfe cut his playing time a bit too, and even Rudi Mayer stepped back from Green White to concentrate on playing for the Chicago Sting. Because of all the tournaments Green White played, names like Willer, Kilian, Zimmer, and Polaretzki (who hit his 400 game milestone in 1976) occasionally graced the lineup sheet, but Green White fans were just as likely to see young pups like Meschbach, Filian, Schmalz, and Mansfield.
Green White Youth
The Junior team finished in second place in the state of Illinois, but they probably remember 1976 for something even more exciting. They went to Europe and played exhibition games in Austria and Germany. Joe Filian, Robert Meschbach, the Speth brothers, Frank Schmalz, and Richard Schneider were among the lucky players who went overseas to show Europe that American boys knew how to play a little soccer too.
Green White Off The Field
On October 16th, 1976, Green White celebrated their 20th anniversary with a big party at the Heim Der Donauschwaben (4219 N. Lincoln Avenue). Team president Hans Metzinger welcomed the attendees with a thank you for everything club members had done, and a plea for their continued use of the Green White clubhouse as the center of their social lives.
He must have been proud to crown Miss Green White that year, his own daughter, Marillac High School Senior Christine Metzinger. Christine was a figure skater (Schlitschuhlauferin).
The Green White board in 1976 featured names that had been a part of the club since the very beginning; Hans Metzinger, Martin Schneider (first VP), Franz Fernbach (second VP), Fritz Becker, Alex Jordan, Peter Berger, Horst Melcher, Toni Kirschner, Heinrich Bischoff, Franz Stadler, Eckhard Kaempfer (in abstentia), Heinrich Wittje, Joseph Schuster, Maria Blass, Maria Zimmer, and Adam Harjung.
Green White Babies
*Future Green White player and Senior Board member Jon Duddles was born in 1976.
Elsewhere in Soccer
The 1976 European Cup was held in Communist Yugolavia. The defending World Cup Champion West German team beat the host nation in the semi-finals before facing Czechoslovakia in the finals. After falling behind 2-0, the West Germans came back to tie the game. At the end of extra time the score was still tied 2-2.
The game went to penalty kicks. Both teams made their first three shots. The Czechs added a fourth. German midfielder Uli Hoeneß stepped up to take the fourth penalty kick for the West Germans, and in a moment that has not been forgotten by his countrymen, kicked it over the goal. The Czechs put in their final shot and won the European Championship.
In Pop Culture
~The number one hit of the year was "Silly Love Songs" by Wings.
~The Academy Award for 1976's Best Picture went to "Rocky"
~The #1 rated show on television was "Happy Days"
Elsewhere in 1976
~If you liked the colors red, white & blue, 1976 was a great year, because the nation celebrated it's bicentennial by painting nearly everything red, white and blue. In Washington, D.C. a huge celebration was presided over by President Ford and televised nationally. His guest that night was Queen Elizabeth. Walter Cronkite hosted a sixteen hour special on July 4th, which featured a large international fleet of tall-masted sailing ships gathering in New York City.
~Because of the bicentennial, every major sports league's All Star Game was held in Philadelphia.
~In the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Nadia Comaneci scored a perfect 10.
~In November Jimmy Carter was elected the 39th President of the United States.
~And in the Chicago area, television's Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta) appeared with WLS disc jockey John Records Landecker at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. Organizers expected 3000 fans. More than 30,000 screaming teenage girls flooded the mall. Travolta wowed the girls with his catch phrases: "What?" "Why?" "Where?"
Coming next month: 1977.
As always, if you have any thing to add or correct in this month’s installment, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I consider this a group project, and a work in progress, so we can add and subtract until we get it all exactly correct. If you have photos you’d like to contribute, please do.