Steele press

Steele press


May 12, 2007|By DAVID STEELE

Wow. You get caught up in other projects, get a little busy, and suddenly you wake up and they changed the blog name on you.

Just kidding. This has been in the works for a while. The online powers-that-be suggested a few months ago that it was time for this blog to have a distinct name and a distinct identity, something a little more creative than just my name slapped on top of it. Everyone else's blog does, and always has, from Roch Around the Clock to Medium Well to O, by the Way.

I agreed. I just had a problem nailing something down, partly because the new name would have to truly capture what this blog was all about, and partly because I couldn't live with a corny, unimaginative play on my last name.

But "Steele Press" fits. For one, outdated as the term is, I'm still a member of the press. For another, this has become a gathering place for the hidden, silent not-quite-minority of basketball fans, especially NBA fans, especially rabid NBA playoff watchers, thus the full-court press allusion. For one more, I can't help it, I try to bring a full-court-press approach to everything I write for this news organization, print or online.

But I start out under my new name with more of a half-court press. This morning's big takeout on the international influence on American sports, and vice versa, includes a timeline led off by Pele's arrival in the U.S. to play for the Cosmos. How's that for timing? Last night, I finally watched the outstanding documentary Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos.

The title explains it: The rise of the Cosmos in the 1970s generated the one real, true soccer boom in this country. It's also a glimpse of this country, and New York, in particular, in the 1970s. All the major characters of that time from the Cosmos and with the pro soccer league in which they played are represented, most of them representing themselves - the notable exception is Pele.

You watch it, and if you were around at the time, you realize how much you'd forgotten about how that team really did dominate the sports world in ways that it's unimaginable for any soccer team to do now. Yet the connection to the recognizable names and events in soccer today are made surprisingly clear, proving that it wasn't just a lightning-in-a-bottle moment.

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