Dips Fan Day

Dips Fan Day

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Space Limitations

Watching the Nats Steve Lombardozzi this past summer, or rather his name on the back of his jersey, brought back memories of Ane Mihailovich in the summer of 1978. So, how to go from a four syllable name into four letters? By the start of the 1979 season the Dips found the answer.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Man Who Bill Replaced

This summer Bill shared his story about becoming the Dips Man in the Stands. He replaced "Big Mike" Ayers, who is pictured.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Politics Lears It's Ugly Head

As we enter the homestretch of the 2012 election season one issue concerning many is immigration. The 1977 Diplomats suffered with this plight in the form of bureaucracy from the Feds long before there were any watch lists from DOHS (right click and select "Open link in new window" for easier reading).

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Greatest (Dips Fan's) Story Ever Told

The true magic of the NASL was that it made big time professional sports accessible on a level most other leagues had long since outgrown. I met Gary Darrell at the JC Penny's in Congressional Plaza on Rockville Pike and played penny soccer with Paul Cannell at Bloomingdale's in White Flint Mall. The thought of the Redskins or Bullets sending out players to make personal appearances such as these would have been laughable.

Perhaps the best tale of a young fan and the local heros comes from Bill Judd:
     “I was just a fan, like many, that began to follow the team at RFK when my cousin scored free tickets to the Dips-St. Louis Stars game (1977) from the Advertiser coupon publication he delivered in Silver Spring, MD. My uncle took three of us to the game, and we were all instantly hooked. I also got my first look at Big Mike Ayers, who beat his drum, and got the small crowd to cheer ''Let's Go Dips'', as he paraded around the stadium.

     I wasn't able to go to too many games (being a junior high student, I had to get lucky enough to be included for a game by my uncle, who would go to some games on the weekends). I did continue to follow the team during the seasons, and even went to some of the indoor games at the DC Armory.

     Then it happened. Big Mike Ayers disappeared. I think this was in '79, and the lack of his presence really took something away from the game day experience at RFK. So, I borrowed my cousin's tambourine that had a drum head on it, and beat it from my seat at one of the games. To my amazement, many fans around us joined right in, and I was encouraged to get up and move around (actually, I think some were hoping to get some relief from the drum beats I was pounding close to them).

     After a few games of this, I was approached by Steve Markowitz, a marketing staffer with the Dips (I loved that round soccer ball business card he gave me when he introduced himself), who asked to meet me and discuss joining the team as a cheerleader. I was floored. I told him I'd call, and I then ran right to my uncle Milton Rowland with this news, and he told me, ''You made it''. A few days later, my uncle drove me to the Dips offices at the stadium, and we met with Steve, and Diana Mergen of the Dips, and I was offered a position with the team for game day. I never drew pay, but I was given free tickets to games, and was also given a Dips shirt with a white collar. My uncle took me shopping for a Remo RotoTom drum with the best drum head - just like Big Mike had used (the Dips reimbursed my uncle for the drum).

     I enjoyed beating that drum, and made many friends during the time I led cheers for the team. My best memory was from the Dips-Cosmos game that drew 53,000 to RFK, and I did my best to get the upper and lower decks to cheer for the team.

     I would return twice more to beat that drum for Team America, and finally the second Diplomats (that moved to DC for one season from Detroit (Express). After they folded, that was the end of the NASL in DC.”

Judd was good enough to be recognized twice in the local press, once in The Washington Post. Thanks for sharing your experience, Bill!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kenneth "Unbelieveable" Mokgojoa

Kenneth Mokgojoa was already a legend in his native South Africa when he joined the Dips for the 1978 season. In 1977, he scored 88 goals for Benoni United, earning South African POY honors.

His impact with the Dips was immediate as he set a club record by scoring in six straight games during his first year in the NASL. Mokgojoa made a major impression on Minnesota Kicks forward Ricardo Alonso during a 1979 match, stating Gordon Bradley, "loco if he not play him more."

Currently, Mr. Mokgojoa is sharing his vast talents at Monash University in Johannesburg.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Nice Win

Diplomats vs Cosmos, June 27, 1976, W.T. Woodson HS Stadium

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Now That's A Comeback!

On August 5, 1979, the Dips stunned the Toronto Blizzard. The only thing more improbable than their rally was the fact that seven days later they were the victim of the same circumstance by the same score to the reviled Cosmos.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Paul Cannell Memoir Forthcoming

Paul Cannell is back in the States gathering information and rekindling memories for a retrospective of his soccer career, F'n Hell, It's Paul Cannell.
Steven Goff caught up with the former Dip in a DC bar...who would have thunk it.

Cannell being cheeky, 1978

Courtesy Inside Soccer, by Steven Goff

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bobby Stokes

For four years, Bobby Stokes provided consistent and steady play for the Dips. Often overshadowed by teammates like Paul Cannell, Alan Green and Johan Cruyff, he nonetheless found himself in the spotlight in the summer of 1979 &
1980. Ever humble, "The Rat" took it all in stride.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Kingdom For Your Dips Jerseys

This beauty was on ebay. How I missed it I'll never know. I am always interested
in buying Dips game used jerseys, not matter what condition. If you have something
and can use a little scratch, let me know.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bob Stetler

The frustration was taking a toll on Bob Stetler early in the 1979 campaign. He clearly had the talent to play regularly in the NASL, but he could not seem to find his way to the top of the depth chart. He would soom depart for a better life in Memphis with the Rouges. Sadly, Stetler died in a 1990 motorcycle accident in Hawaii.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Revisiting Hair Influences

One of the first posts on this blog noted how Sonny Askew had influenced Robert Reed's choice of hair style, or vice versa. New evidence has come to light in the form of the middle photo of Paul Cannell in 1979 that demonstrates this hair do (really a hair don't) appealed to Yanks and Brits alike.