Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Rudi Mayer returned to the team and was named as the second best player in the league at the Sepp Herberger Awards. But by 1977 it was becoming obvious that Green White's accomodations didn't quite live up to some of their competitors. While Schwaben AC had a lush grass field, cluhouse, and banquet hall in Buffalo Grove, Green White was still making do with their north side Chicago clubhouse and the field at Welles Park.
Many of the original Green White members had since moved out to the suburbs and they continued to make the trek into the city, but it was becoming more and more of a burden. But that was nothing compared to what the players had to deal with playing on that soccer field.
“When we played at Welles Park," Klaus Kilian remembers, "we were right across from a church, and the priest would come out there and complain because we were playing on Sundays, and he didn’t like us interrupting his service. ‘Could you guys keep it down!’”
The park district was having a very hard maintaining the fields, and soccer clearly wasn't a priority for them.
"We played on fields that had everything on them except green grass," Hans Metzinger Jr. remembers. "It was not uncommon for both teams to line up together, single file, and clear the field of all debris left from the previous night."
"I never forget those pregame field trash collections at Welles Park," current over-40 coach John Dunkas concurs. "But don't forget the indoor fields. I remember getting a tetanus shot after playing at the Chicago Armory because the field was shared by a stable of horses."
As the 1970s were winding down, so was Green White's time in the neighborhood. It would be another five years before they found new fields, but the rumbling had surely begun.
Green White Youth
1977 marked the beginning of Helmut Filian's youth coaching career with Green White. He was the coach of the Midget A team, a team that he probably didn't quite realize at the time had the makings of greatness.
The Junior team was led by Konrad Meschbach. His oldest son Robert was now a mainstay on the first team, but his younger son Richard was a member of the Junior team.
Green White Off The Field
The Green White Board was led by president Hans Metzinger, but he was joined by the veritable who's who of Green White history. Among the other names that year, Martin Schneider, Franz Fernbach, Franz Stadler, Horst Melcher, Fritz Becker, and Josef Schuster.
Miss Green White in 1977 was Marianne Schmidt.
Green White Babies
Future Green White player Sean Connor was born in 1977. Don't ask what his first word was.
In Pop Culture
~The number one song in the country was "Tonight's the Night" by Rod Stewart.
~"Annie Hall" won the Academy Award for best picture.
~The top rated television show in America was "Laverne & Shirley"
Elswhere in 1977
~Gary Gilmore was executed by a firing squad in Utah, marking the first execution in America since the death penalty had been reinstated.
~Roots was a cultural phenomenon after airing for the first time on ABC.
~"Star Wars" was released and becomes the highest grossing film of all-time (at that time).
~Elvis Presley died in his home in Memphis at the age of 42. Groucho Marx died three days later at the age of 86. Three members of Lynyrd Synryd died in a plane crash a few months later.
~The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was released to coincide with the release of the movie, and it became the then biggest selling album of all time.
Coming next month: 1978.
As always, if you have any thing to add or correct in this month’s installment, please drop me a line at email@example.com. 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.