Like most people, I couldn't care less about professional soccer, but the U.S. in the 1970s is a wholly different story. Hell, from the exhorbitant length of the title of Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos alone you can tell that this particular era in soccer history really resonated.

And kudos to Once in a Lifetime for jogging my memory about one of the most peculiar eras in pro sports. For a few short years, pro soccer teams were selling out some of the largest venues in America: 75,000 would turn out to watch the New York Cosmos (with superstar Pelé at the helm) kick a little white ball around on a giant field of grass. By comparison, the most popular team in baseball, the New York Yankees, currently draw about 52,000 people to see each game.

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