The Phoney Foul of '67 Revisited

Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by Joe Stoker, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. Joe Stoker

    Joe Stoker Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Came across a book by former AP sports editor Ted Smits, The Game of Soccer, published in 1968 (Prentice-Hall). He includes the most thorough take on the incident touched upon in the "Cosmos-loving" thread...

    I quote...

    The 1967 season of the NPSL was scarcely underway when an incident occurred which was seized on ferociously by detractors of the game but in the end served to clear the atmosphere.

    Peter Rhodes, one of England's outstanding referees and a man of unquestioned integrity, was reported in Toronto as saying that of twenty-one fouls he called in a televised game, eleven were "phonies" to permit C.B.S. to work in commercials.

    He promptly denied saying anything of the kind, but admitted with complete candor that he had held slightly injured players on the ground long enough to get in the desired commercial. In one particularly flagrant instance, Co Prins, the Pittsburgh captain and playing coach, slipped in the middle of the field. When he tried to jump to his feet, Rhodes pushed him down and the commercial went on.

    "I have a small radio receiver unit strapped on my back for televised games," Rhodes explained. "I get three beeps and I hear a producer saying, 'A commercial is coming up,' so I have to get play stopped.

    "But eleven false fouls is complete nionsense. I did not call any false fouls. It would violate the laws of the game and would be dishonest and unfair to the players. A foul means a free kick, which could land in the goal area."

    The book quotes commish Ken Macker prior to the season, as saying that refs would "prolong" stoppages to "one minute" for commercial insertion. After the incident at Varsity, Macker, rather than directly addressing the Prins incident, stated only that the league was continuing to experiment in methods of providing commercial time. No mention of any actions against the ref.

    The book's out of print, but pops up on eBay once in a while. Lots of behind-the-scenes stuff on the formation of the pro leagues during the period.

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