Dips Fan Day

Dips Fan Day

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What's With All the Yelling?

Today, there are plenty of places to get advice about dealing with an irritating co-worker. Most of us have had to attend a group discussion/workshop on proper behavior in the workplace. This was not the case in decades past. What if the person creating a "hostile work environment," as it is called today, was one of the most recognized persons in the world in your particular field?

This seems to have been the case with some of Johan Cruyff's NASL teammates. Ian Plenderleith, in his book, Rock 'N' Roll Soccer, The Short Life and Fast Times of the North American Soccer League, noted that, "wherever Cruyff went...dressing-room discontent was sure to follow." Gordon Bradley's son once rhetorically asked, "He was never wrong, was he?"

Ken Mokgojoa in action against the Sting, 1980.
One of the first articles to address this scenario during JC's 1980 stint with the Dips was printed in The Washington Post on April 17, 1980, just three games into the season. Under the headline "Mokgojoa Confused Dip, Unnerved by 'Yelling'," writer Donald Huff explained the new atmosphere some veteran Dips observed.

"I don't like people telling me what to do, yelling at me," said Ken Mokgojoa, who was in his third year with the club. Nicknamed "The Horse" because of his imposing stature, he was by nature a "shy, quiet, unassuming type" who only wanted to "fit in and be a part of the team."

He admitted to feeling confused and nervous since some of the new personnel had joined the team for the 1980 season. Don Droege remembers that Cruyff "pissed a lot of players off."

No one seemed exempt from JC's abrasive tongue. Three days after the a fore mentioned article the Dips played the Dallas Tornado at RFK Stadium. During the match, John Feinstein focused on Cruyff's demeanor.

Annoyed, yet again.

"On the field, Cruyff talks to everyone. He talks to teammates. He talks to opponents. He talks to his bench. He talks to the officials."

"At one point, his teammates did not rotate as he wanted and he let them know he was not pleased. Once when defender Nick Mijatovic passed elsewhere than to Cruyff when he thought he was open, Cruyff stopped, threw his arms up in the air and yelled, "For God's sake, Nick."

"Moments later, when another play failed to develop, Cruyff stopped dead in his tracks. 'Come on, people,' he implored. 'Somebody please move.' "

"Throughout the second half he kept looking at Coach Gordon Bradley as if to say, 'Do something.' Bradley only smiled each time Cruyff waved his arms in disgust."

"That's Johan's way," Bradley said. "If he ever stopped waving his arms and yelling I would wonder what was wrong with him."

Wednesday, September 9, 2015