Gail Rongen, wife of Dips alum Thomas Rongen, is in need of a kidney. Please help spread the word. Thank you.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
title, the Dips were still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship with the Madison Square Garden Corporation (MSG), their new owners. The money that MSG was willing to spend to make the Diplomats a contender was far more than the franchise had ever had in their operating budget.
"Since the new owners took over, we've been looking at a different class of player," Coach Gordon Bradley stated to the Washington Post on November 8, 1978. "At this point, there is no reason for us to sign a player unless he's going to be 50 or 60 or 70 times percent better than the player we have at that position now. I know if I go to the Madison Square Garden people and tell them I want a player and he's going to make a big difference to our team, they'll give me the money I need."
In a January 23, 1979, article titled "Diplomats, Keegan Reach Agreement," the Post reported that the club had reached a verbal agreement with 1978 European Player of the Year Kevin Keegan for the upcoming season (unfortunately, this never came to be http://washingtondiplomats.blogspot.com/2010/07/kevin-keegan-diplomat.html). The final two paragraphs of the article publicly confirmed for the first time that the Diplomats were also in negotiations with Argentine World Cup Team Captain Daniel Passarella. An undisclosed source was quoted as stating the Dips were, "90 percent of the way" to finalizing a deal.
About a week later, a small byline in The Washington Star read "Dips Reach Financial Impasse on Passarella." Little information was provided except for a quote from a team spokesman stating, "At this point it is doubtful we will sign him this year. Negotiations have not terminated but they have reached an impasse."
On February 8, The Post reported the disappointing news that the two parties had broken off negotiations. Reports from Argentine news sources stated that the Dips had offered a multi-year $1.8 million deal. General Manager John Carbray told the Post that the deal broke down when the Diplomats and River Plate, Passarella's club in Argentina, could not agree on exhibition games in America, "and other secondary parts of the agreement."