Knowing so many people like me, who grew up in Tampa Bay, have special memories of the Rowdies in their heyday, I thought I'd put an APB out on Facebook for memories of Tampa's great soccer team of yesteryear.
The question on Facebook, posed in the wee hours last week:
Hey, all you nocturnal beasties. Anyone have special memories of Rowdies games they'd like to share?
Kelly Becker Everyone running out onto the field! Wearing green and yellow. So much spirit at those games, I have such great memories of going to them with my dad and brother.
April 18 at 3:29am
Amy Jean Smith i have the ULTIMATE Rowdies game memory !!! This tale begins many many years ago. I was just a little girl. It was Fathers Day. ( Ed Smith) My Mom, Pops, & little Sis thought we'd celebrate by going to a Rowdies game...back when the Rowdies were a kick in the grass! (i remember the song) Anyway...the halftime break arrives. It was a contest — sold out stadium and only SIX Dad's names were called.... Ed Smith! Wait , no way, such a common name. Sure enough, it was my Dad. Dad's were instructed to grab a kid (just one) and head down to the field. My Dad chose me — I was SO nervous. Down on the field, i'm the only girl! Teamed up against 5 other Dads were there sons. We were tied together (3-legged race style) and had to perform many one field shenanigans as a team resulting in only one winner. Prize pack of a cruise, Busch Gardens tix, etc.... the winner was chosen by the first team to make it down the field and score a goal (with a beach ball of course) WE WON!!! BEST ROWDIES GAME EVER!! I can remember that day like it was yesterday. Wow some 25? years ago ♥
April 18 at 3:34am
Craig Jennings In 1979 I was in 9th grade. I was getting my lerner's permit at the DMV. Back then you had to wait forever in line. No numbers, no appointments, just get there and hope that you somehow managed to get into the fast lane. I looked behind me and I couldn't believe it! My hero, Iron Mike Connell was standing behind me. He was my favorite player! I had totally tried to develop my style by watching what he did in games. It didn't matter where the ball was. Throughout the game, I would have my eye on Mike Connell. I introduced myself as a fellow soccer player and chatted his ear off for what must have been an hour. He was so nice to me! We discussed the best way to defend against Giorgio Chinaglia, the league's top scorer. What kind of cleats he preferred. If he had always worn shin guards... I'll always remember that. It was so cool that he took that time with me.
April 18 at 5:57am
Matthew Martin My memory of some of my younger days is fussy but when my brother was in the hospital with kidney problems the team came in to visit the kids. They talked to us about soccer and made us feel like stars. They even asked for my brother's autograph.
April 18 at 8:53am via mobile
Martin Clear Once the Times sent me to game to stand at a gate and count the number of people coming in because the rowdies were padding their attendance figures. Never watched any of the game though.
April 18 at 9:04am
Michelle Baker Fred Stolz [from Tampa punk band Flat Stanley] played for the Rowdies.
April 18 at 9:38am
Robb Blankenship In 1978, Rodney [Marsh] scoring in the shoot out vs Ft lauderdale to send them to the Soccer Bowl
April 18 at 11:18am
Georgia Kabougeris My favorite Rowdies game memories were when Dr. Paul Bearer when ride the sidelines in his convertible hearse. I would beg my Dad to let me go down and wave at him.
April 18 at 1:08pm
Brian Murphy I remember during the 4th of July holiday weekends, they would allow the fans to come unto the field. Then they would have a laser light show, followed by fireworks.
April 18 at 10:36pm