November 24, 2016
A blast from the past: soccer is featured in the Newsday 1940 Thanksgiving Day edition
By Michael Lewis
Props to Newsday for including a special Thanksgiving insert -- its Nov. 21, 1940 edition on Thanksgiving Day. The 28-page section was the 58th newspapers published by the Long Island newspaper.
Its back page had an interesting headline across the top:
SEA CLIFF WINS SOCCER TITLE;
3 SCHOOL GRID BATTLES TODAY
Yes, that's right, soccer led off the back page.
The "sports section" was all of two pages -- on pages 10 and 11.
Not surprisingly, the sports section was dominated by high school football games that were going to be played that day. But there was a five-paragraph story on Sea Cliff's triumph.
This was the story:
Manhasset -- Sea Cliff high school annexed the scholastic soccer championship of Nassau County here at the high school field yesterday in the final seconds of play to tie and then defeat Garden City, the defending champions, 2-1, in a playoff match for the crown
With seconds to go in the ball game, Tommy Burns booted in the tying goal and forced play into overtime periods.
Sea Cliff quickly took the offensive in the first extra period with Ellis Ecklekamp tallying single-handed on a 33-yard dribble through the entire Garden City team.
Garden City tried vainly to get back in the last few remaining minutes of play, but the Sea Cliff defense proved too well knitted for last year's titleholders.
The early Garden City goal was booted by Dick Behrer.
A photo, the only one in the section, showed a picked of Ecklekamp booting the ball down field. No, it wasn't a picture of the winning goal.
Hmmm. Wait a minute! I got the Nassau edition. I live in Suffolk County. Think I should call and ask why I did not get the Suffolk edition?
Seriously, it was a great blast from the past and fantastic to see soccer get its due during a time when it was not exactly anywhere close to the spotlight.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!