We’ve already got a ton of Chicago Sting programs posted on FWIL, but I’ll throw another one on here just as an excuse to add a new George Best game day mag to the archive. Best, playing his final season in U.S. in 1981, is pictured on the cover of the afternoon’s match program as a member of the San Jose Earthquakes, the last of the three NASL clubs he played for during his five-year American adventure.
Best and the rest of the ‘Quakes were hundreds of miles from Chicago’s Wrigley Field on this Mother’s Day afternoon and that was to their immense good fortune. Wind, rain and temperatures in the 30’s left Sting officials eager to re-schedule the match, despite the opportunity to curb stomp what was easily the worst side in the NASL in 1981: Lamar Hunt’s Dallas Tornado. The Tornado were the last remaining active club from the NASL’s first season back in 1968, but were suffering through a miserable 5-27 campaign that would ultimately end with the club’s closure in September 1981.
The shivering assembly of 1,861 souls at Wrigley may have been smallest NASL crowd of the post-Pele era. (Anybody know for sure? Comment below). On the plus side, no one had to rush the gates early to claim one of the 1,000 daisies set aside for Mother’s Day or the 5,000 t-shirts sponsored by R.C. Cola. The weather was so nasty (and the pre-sale presumably so grim) that Sting executive Charles Evranian called Tornado General Manager Kent Kramer three hours before kickoff to suggest postponing the match until the next day. Kramer dismissed the proposal, but his players seemed to feel differently. Although the match went off as scheduled, the Tornado never seemed to get off the bus.
Rudy Glenn, the second-year American midfielder from Indiana University, was the offensive hero for Chicago. Glenn scored the first and last goals for Chicago in a 5-0 blowout. It was the first multi-goal performance of Glenn’s outdoor career. It’s not clear if he ever did it again – the Oklahoma native scored just 13 more goals in his 130-game NASL career. Glenn would, however, score the decisive penalty kick to win Soccer Bowl ’81 for the Sting over the New York Cosmos four months later in September 1981.