Need a Judge Landis
Major league soccer is in dire need of a Judge Landis. An executive with backbone and one that does not cater to the whims of various managers of the clubs. Occurrences in American League soccer this season convince more than ever that if major league soccer is to enjoy the popularity and success of other major league sports the slipshod method in which the business affairs are conducted must be banished and the executives rule with a firm and determined hand. No other professional sport is as poorly handled as soccer and it surely needs no specialist to diagnose the ills. Among the remedies that could be well applied is a list of more efficient officials, executives who have the courage to stand by their guns once they make a decision and last but not least it would seem a chief executive impartial to the likes and dislikes of the clubs within that respective jurisdiction.
Referee Gets Sick; Game Must be Replayed
Another flagrant illustration of the methods in which major league soccer is conducted was witnessed at Providence on Sunday afternoon in which the Bethlehem Steel F. C. was a principal. Nothing less than ridiculous could be attributed to what occurred and again discloses the laxity in which the officials are handled and the apparent importance some of them seem to presume. Providence scored two goals in the first half of the game. After the restart Bethlehem Steel tied after about eighteen minutes of play. The Steel Workers were pressing when suddenly and quite unexpectedly Referee McCabe tooted a shrill blast of his whistle, waved his hands indicated that all play cease and then walked off the field, terminating the game then and there. When queried as to the purpose of his actions Referee McCabe made no other statement but that he was "sick." The sudden termination was as surprising to the two thousand or more fans as it was to the Bethlehem players. However, the game ended then and there and as a result must be replayed. It is to laugh that such conditions are tolerated.
Neutral Linesmen Were Officiating
The occurrence presents a peculiar situation. Naturally if taken suddenly ill sympathies are with the referee. However, one would imagine that before assuming the importance and authority of calling off the game there were some circumstances to be considered. First of all the fans who pay to witness the contest and if loyal enough to stand through two hours of rain to witness a game they were entitled to to see the fully ninety minutes of hostilities. Under such conditions one would assume that with neutral linesmen officiating team captains should have been consulted and an agreement reached on the selection of one of the two linesmen to handle the contest for the remainder of the game. From what is learned team captains nor anyone else as a matter of fact was consulted but McCabe simply tooted his whistle, waved his hands and then to the amazement of the fans and players walked off the field. Ninety minutes constitutes a game and as a result Bethlehem will probably have to make another journey to Providence to play off the affair.
Baseball Provides for Such an Emergency
The success of major league baseball can probably be attributed to the manner in which it is conducted. Baseball is a big business and executives are those capable of handling their duties. Soccer has gained greater popularity in the last two or three years than it has in all the years previous and also threatens to become a big business, providing it is nursed as such and conducted in a manner to satisfy the patrons what a howling mob of rabid fans if an umpire was taken ill in the fourth or fifth inning or in fact any other inning with the score tied and then walk off the field and call the game. Provision for such emergencies is made by which the consent of the contesting clubs if the official in charge is incapacitated from service by injury or illness the umpire can be changed. Formerly it was intimated that soccer would do well by taking from big league baseball in conducing their affairs. Now we suggest that they take several pages and see soccer thrive.
Hard Boiled Yeggs, According to Rival Accounts
Bethlehem fans did everything but murder Fall River on its recent visit to Bethlehem, according to accounts picturing the game for the home town rooters and the management of the local club and players were heartless in their conduct toward two players who happened to be injured in that contest. How anyone could distort those accounts in the manner published is beyond conception, particularly so when representatives of the team who no doubt described the details upon their return home were on the ground and witnessed the conflict. Particular reference is made to players McPherson and Clarke, the latter who is still confined in St. Luke's hospital undergoing treatment. McPherson was injured during a scrimmage in goal. When forced to leave the field he was accorded every consideration possible by the Bethlehem players. Later Clarke wrenched his knee. His injury was not considered serious until an examination in the club house when it was determined that a ligament had been torn. He likewise was given every consideration in being removed to the hospital and since, when informed of the "heartless treatment," accorded to the injured players, it is understood that Clark took exception and unsolicited wrote home immediately in hopes of correcting a false impression conveyed to the home town fans. Inspiring rivalry by such methods merely tends to incite some of the more rabid fans to a riotous attitude. Good clean sportsmanship will inspire its own rivalry and needs no one to mislead the people at home with false impressions.