A traffic signal light mounted in front of the press box could work equally well in daytime or nighttime conditions and would be instantly understood: yellow (play under review), green (call stands), red (call reversed).
Best of all, this solution could be implemented immediately—right after Pete Rozelle reads this letter.
Instant replay officiating is a bad idea to begin with, but look at the photo of Jack Reader on page 35. The TV monitor is only five inches wide! Get the guy a bigger screen.
THE SOCCER DREAM
I was pleased to see Gerard Vandystadt's great picture of young soccer players in hot pursuit of the ball leading off your Oct. 27 issue. Their obvious enthusiasm for the game is the basis for the future success of the sport in the U.S.
I dispute the premise in Jaime Diaz's story (Alive But Barely Kicking) that the NASL in general and Pel� specifically contributed to the collapse of the outdoor game in the U.S. As an American, as the first soccer player ever to be featured on the cover of your magazine (Sept. 3, 1973) and as a 12-year veteran of the NASL, I feel that it was a fantastic learning experience to play with and against players such as Pel� George Best, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff, to name a few. I learned more soccer in practice games with third-and fourth-division players from England than I did from any American college coach. In fact many of the college coaches who complain about undeveloped American talent turn around and import players from every foreign country imaginable in order to be competitive.
I feel for players such as UCLA's Paul Caligiuri. But the real dark ages were in 1973, when 11 players from Philadelphia, 6 of us Americans, won the NASL championship (see left). Incidentally, I was paid $2,500 for that entire season. Soccer will survive.
Contrary to popular myth, the NASL did draw fairly well; its average gate ranked fifth or sixth among pro leagues in soccer-playing nations despite relatively high ticket prices. This promising situation was killed by idiotic management.
The ACC schools have shown that college soccer, if treated as a serious sport, can be a big success, yet schools like Illinois and Michigan don't even field varsity teams.
Many soccer experts agree that America's organizational ability, commercial resources, television technology, modern stadiums, attractiveness to visitors, and huge support for the 1984 Olympic soccer tournament make the U.S. the ideal venue for World Cup '94. They also agree that the U.S. has no chance to be chosen.
Soccer fans shouldn't give up though. There are more of us than many in the press like to believe.