Not a Case of Sour Grapes
The protest of the Bethlehem Steel F. C. against a decision made in the Bethlehem Steel-New Bedford cup game when the latter won by the score of one goal to none, may be viewed by many as a case of sour grapes. According to details that have been gathered from various sources -- players, spectators and the opinion of several officials -- the local management was well justified in making the protest. In reviewing the campaign of the Bethlehem Steel team which dates back a good many years, it is believed that the protest is the first formally made to any organization and that apparently opposing clubs and league executives are taking advantage of the "willing to let things be as they are" attitude of the local management.
Sympathies always With Officials
Sympathies should always be with the official, no matter what branch of sport, but when the inefficiencies of an official are so flagrantly apparent as to deprive a club of an equal opportunity in the most important classic in that respective sport, it is time for action. Referee Lowry was seen in action in Bethlehem several weeks ago and his work was anything but satisfactory. Several weeks prior to his Bethlehem visit he was a last minute fill-in by Secretary Cahill at Newark in a game which Bethlehem won by the score of 5 to 1. Although victorious in that game, Bethlehem as well as Newark remarked about his inefficiency. And if not mistaken, Secretary Cahill witnessed that game and if sincere would be forced to confess that Lowry is not a big league referee. Would baseball stand for a sandlot umpire to set in and hold the indicator in the world's series? Well, that is about the comparison of the importance of the cup competition.
Did Not See the Foul
"I did not see the foul committed" is supposed to have been the remark made by the official after the game. That in itself is a confession of inefficiency, for the foul, as reported, was so flagrantly glaring that few if any of the spectators missed it. There are excuses for missing them when handling, etc., is committed within the penalty area in a scrimmage. But not when but two players are alone involved practically in the open, one heading the ball toward the net scarcely below the cross-bar and the other fisting high to knock it out. In justice to New Bedford, their lone tally was made without the taint of any dispute and due to a Bethlehem mistake. It may have been had Bethlehem been awarded the equalizing tally, a decision that would have been merited under the willful fisting with the ball virtually in the net, that in the extra periods to follow New Bedford might have scored the winning tally. As a matter of fact, so might Bethlehem.
Let the Good Ones Run Loose
Why Referee Lowry was assigned by the league executive to this important game is hard to conceive. Especially so when it is noted that no other game involving league clubs took place on Saturday afternoon and with such efficient referees as Danny Oates, Eddie McCabe and numerous others running loose. The New York, New England and Philadelphia districts are well provided with referees who surely would have been better qualified for this important tilt. It might be well if the soccer executives took a page from the book of major leagues and decide pennants and championships on the merits of the teams and not on the apparent inefficiencies of officials. Otherwise all the good that has been done in developing soccer will be torn down.
Habit of Protesting Referees
Why the league should cater to the whims of some of the New England teams and ignore all appeals from other quarters is another matter that should bear investigation. Early in the season a certain New England club protested against playing a dual weekend bill with two strong clubs and the schedule was rearranged accordingly. Then again in a recent game played in Bethlehem objection was registered to James Walders officiating in this city and as a result Walders was deprived of the assignment. When officials are assigned in major league baseball they act, protested or not, and the result is that the clubs have learned to respect the dictates of the big show officers. In the American Soccer League it seems as though the officials fall over themselves to adhere to the protests of some clubs in regard to referees and other matters. Again we say that the sooner the soccer moguls get a little backbone and stand pat on their dictates, the better for soccer.
Extol Praises for Referee McCabe
Eddie McCabe is regarded as more or less of an in and outer. By that is meant that he is apt to be identified in most any district and competition to officiate games at most any place. Personally he has not impressed us very much off the field, but in the game at least seems to have the courage of this convictions and we have yet to witness the game where he intentionally has rendered a partial verdict. He worked in the game between the two heated rivals - -Fall River and Bethlehem -- the week previous and his work was of such a satisfactory nature that Fall River scribes took special pains to give him a hand. There are other referees of the same caliber as McCabe, referees who are at least active enough to follow the play. Referee Lowry may be sincere enough, but apparently has passed out of the picture as a referee in present day football.
New Bedford, Not Boston, "Wonder Team"
on is about convinced that the title of "Wonder Team" bestowed to Boston at the start of the season has been misplaced and should be resting on the brow of the New Bedford clan. The newcomers to the circuit have succeeded in playing havoc with the aspirations of many of the clubs in the American League. Breaks or otherwise, New Bedford is a club not tot be estimated cheaply. This was evidenced in a recent visit to this city when although defeated by Bethlehem by the score of . . . goals to 1, the visitors gave one of the neatest displays of soccer witnessed here. Any club that can beat Bethlehem, Boston and Fall River in a league contest: take two games from Brooklyn on two successive weekends and then eliminate the Steelworkers in a cup game even if it was accomplished in a doubtful manner, is a dangerous opponent.
Still have a Chance for League Honors
Should the American League turn a deaf ear to the protest of the Bethlehem team, the Steel Workers still have a chance to break in for some of the soccer honors to be distributed before the close of the season. The goal for which the home clan will now point is the flag in the American Soccer League race and the chances in the loop will probably be determined in our own back yard on Saturday afternoon when Fall River comes here for the last league meeting of the season. In importance and play the contest should have all the earmarks of a cup affair. There will be no quarter shown and the survivor of the grueling grind anticipated will be proclaimed victor only after a hard and presumably thrilling struggle.