Have Your Say : This Day in 1981

Another look back at 1981 courtesy of FireStingDoug:

After losing to the Sounders 1-0 on June 17, the Sting travelled to Portland to face the NASL’s version of the Timbers.  Powered by goals from Paul Hahn, Pato Margetic, Arno Steffenhagen, and Dave Huson the 4-2 victory ended the team’s three game losing streak. 

The game marked the second to the last time a first division club from Chicago would play in Portland until the Fire took the field there this season. 

In case you missed it, Episode 3 of Touchline TV includes an interview with Frank Klopas in which he lists listening to the Chicago Sting play in the 1981 Soccer Bowl on the radio as one of his favorite soccer memories. 


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  • The Sting would play one more time in Portland ... on June 23, 1982 they beat the Timers 2-1 in overtime on goals by Arno Steffenhagen and Hans Weiner.

  • In reply to Lewis26:

    That is right.

  • Nothing too memorable about the Portland game. About the only noteable was that around this time Willy Roy announced that he was likely only going to play the league minimum 3 North Americans for awhile - Fajkus, Glenn and Spalding (naturalized).

  • Any truth to the Pappa to Villareal or Newcastle rumors,
    would highly doubt Villareal who generally finish in the top
    5 in La Liga, and which probably is one of the best (efficiently) run teams in Europe.
    Haven't seen Pappa perform consistently to the level which Villareal plays.

  • Wow. Soccer on the radio. Great concept.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    The Sting had a radio station every year from 1980 to the end ,a major station like WIND had their outdoor games in 1983 and 1984

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Doug, an adjective that describes their market department is lackluster. Julian Posada should be on this 7 days a week (whatever it takes). He is not visible enough for his efforts for the fans. Top 5 US markets don't have a radio affiliate to broadcast their games is pathetic. If NIU womens basketball could get a hour show, why can't this team find airtime for Fire coverage?

  • if the show would cover both the mexican league and mls plus international i think there would be a market.. the dallas show seems to talk mexican league, mls, and the rest..

  • Did you say ESPN? Fred Huebner works for them.....he should have a hour show on that station talking Fire soccer.

  • We've come so far in TV coverage. With the Sting, every year it was the same thing ... would WGN-TV pick up 2, 3, 4 games? And if they carried them, would they be live or taped delayed? More often then not, they'd be tape delayed.

    Now look at the Fire TV schedule. Almost ever Fire game is available on TV.

    For radio, in 1981 all the Sting games were on WXFM-FM with many others also on WONX-AM. Between the two stations, every Sting game was broadcasted live on the radio.

    Now look at the Fire (English) radio schedule ... never mind.

    Why has radio covered lagged so?

  • In reply to Lewis26:

    I am going to have to check , but I am postive that WGN TV showed more than 4 games a year , I remember in 1980 they showed games in Minnesota, Tulsa , San diego, and Dallas.
    in 1981 games were shown from San Diego, Minnesota , New York , and Seattle and it may have been more. WGN only showed road games and I think they were out of it in 1982 but for sure by 1983.

  • In reply to Lewis26:

    The point is ... Sting games on regular TV, especially games shown live, were few an far between. In addition, in 1981 WGN-TV initially decided not to add more games to the Sting coverage once the MLB strike began instead adding minor league baseball games to their coverage. Even when the strike first began, WGN's plans were to still show the taped games on tape delay. As the Sting got on a roll WGN came around adding a few games, including a recap show of the June Sting-Cosmo 6-5 game, and switching to live telecasts.

  • In reply to Lewis26:

    Checked with a friend at WGN-TV about Sting coverage.

    The 1981 TV schedule was the biggest to date for WGN with five games scheduled for broadcast ... 5/8, 5/17, 5/20/ 6/7 and 6/17. WGN did hold an option for more games with the impending baseball strike. WGN also held an option to add playoff games. According to the WGN release my buddy discovered, WFLD did broadcast six games one season ... A far cry from the 1 games shown in 1975 on WTTW.

  • In reply to Lewis26:

    With all those mullets, it's just like hockey.

  • In reply to Lewis26:

    The TV/RADIO landscape has changed dramatically in the last 30 years - that's the simple explanation as to why FIRE games aren't readily available on radio.

    As for television, MLS mandates that every game be available on TV. The team front offices work hard every offseason to make that happen and we're so fortunate to have CSN and My50 as FIRE outlets (and the production talent/commitment that goes with it).

    Thirty years ago, radio stations deemed sports team coverage as something akin to a public service - and a way to make money and image a station by association.

    Now, many teams must pay radio stations to carry games. And airtime isn't cheap. To offset the expense, teams sell advertising within the broadcast...but many teams don't have a "Radio Sales Department" per se - so the radio advertising gets lumped-in as a bonus for a client that may be buying "In-stadium signage" for example.

    At the end of the year, the CFO looks at the line-item expense for purchasing 32 2-hour segments on radio station W---, but can't find a comparable radio revenue line to offset that expense. That just won't fly.

    In 2002-2004 we made it work for the FIRE thanks to the club's enthusiastic approach and a suburban news/talk station. I was always sorry it didn't continue.

    Hopefully the club can find a metro station(s) and sales support to bring english radio back.

  • I'm with you GR - keep-up the great work.

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