1978 was the year of the old-timer at Green White. The first team had a fine season--they finished with a winning record--but the old timers (known as the Alte Herren) dominated. They were managed by Alex Gyurko (photo) and they only lost two games all year. At the time, old timers were defined generally as anyone over 30 years old, and while some were just barely over the threshold, others were not. A few of the best players (including Stefan Zimmer and Joe Laxgang) joined an all-star team of Alte Herren, and took that team back to Germany. America's Alte Herren and Germany's Alte Herren had a great time and made some lifelong friends.
Back in Chicago the Green White Juniors, led by Frank Speth (15 goals) had another good season, but they were eclipsed by the work of the Green White Juveniles managed by Martin Schneider (photo below). The Juveniles shredded their way through the league, making it all the way to the National League finals. They lost the title game to the Chicago Kickers, but considering this was their first season in the A division, it was considered a remarkable achievement.
Green White Off the Field
The executive board of Green White remained the same in 1978. In his year-end address to the board, Green White president Hans Metzinger said exactly the right words. Recording Secretary Franz Stadler captured his short and sweet speech nearly verbatim. "I'd like to thank everyone who worked hard for us this year--all the members, board members, and workers--but most importantly, I want to thank my wife Annie."
Miss Green White in 1978 was Linda Mehler, and she competeted for the crown of Miss Soccer at the Sepp Herberger Sport, Radio & Press Ball in November. It was a star studded event, featuring a couple of very special guests. If a fight had broken out no-one would have been surprised because the guests of honor that night were famous boxers; former heavyweight champ Max Schmeling (who was visiting from Germany), and former middleweight champ Tony Zale (who was visiting all the way from Gary, Indiana). The program book features a photo of Max Schmeling with another guest of honor that night; Chicago Sting soccer coach Willi Roy.
Green White Babies
*Born on 4/5/1978, future first team and reserve standout Robert Czop
Elsewhere in Soccer
The 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina, and the home team managed to make it to the finals against the runner up from 1974, Holland. (The Germans were knocked out early by the Austrians--probably their worst showing in World Cup history). When the final piece of confetti fell, the Argentinians were the champions for the very first time.
In Pop Culture
*The #1 song of 1978 was "Shadow Dancing" by Andy Gibb.
*The Academy Award for best picture was awarded to "The Deer Hunter"
*The top rated show on television was "Laverne and Shirley"
Elsewhere in 1978
~The Chicago Daily News, a fixture in Chicago since 1875, published it's final issue. Among the journalists who found themselves unemployed was Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Mike Royko. He moved to the Sun Times after the Daily News shut its doors.
~Velcro was put on the market for the first time.
~The comic strip Garfield debuted.
~Three Popes reigned in 1978. Pope Paul VI died in August. Pope John Paul I replaced him, but died only a few months later. He was replaced by the first Polish Pope, Pope John Paul II.
Coming next month: 1979.
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.