Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Portent of Things to Come

The 1978 Dips brought a 3-0 record into a Sunday, April 23, matinee against the Minnesota Kicks at RFK Stadium. The previous Sunday, they had thrashed the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, 4-1, before 11,322 fans and the TVS Television Network. With quarter page advertisements in The Washington Post Sports section, the organization hoped to compete with the Cosmos and Rowdies in generating large home crowds.

When only 13,226 paying customers took advantage, however, Diplomats Coach Gordon Bradley spent a good deal of his post game press conference publicly expressing his bewilderment at the lack of support the team was receiving from the greater Washington, DC area. So much so, in fact, that an entire article was devoted to the subject in The Post.

It would have further bewildered Bradley that the 1979 Diplomats Media Guide listed this very game as the tenth largest home crowd in team history. The Dips won the match, 1-0, in a shootout, to raise their record to 4-0. The season's attendance average would be 10, 783. Following the 1979 season, their first as majority owners of the franchise, Madison Square Garden Corp. would express the same disappointment and bewilderment.


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