Movie of the Day – Once in a Lifetime

Now this isn’t about the Talking Heads song by the same name, this is about a documentary that was on my radar and then fell off for some reason.  Probably lost track of it since it didn’t come to a theater near me so I just plain forgot about it.  Well thanks to Netflix for the recommendation as I saw it on the UI dashboard and immediately watched it.  Once in a Lifetime is about this “weird” time in America when Soccer was the biggest thing around.  As much as Americans love to deride Soccer and how boring and lame it is, there was a time during the 70s when it was the sport to be watching.  The phenomenon all started from one team and one superstar that changed the landscape of sports and how we viewed the game of Soccer.

The documentary chronicles the early rough start of the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League.  Needing to rejuvenate the league, the Cosmos work on recruiting international soccer player Pele to the team and slowly but surely, the league starts to get popular.  The film then shifts to the ultimate rise of the sport with Pele leading the charge and now Soccer is becoming one of the most watched sports in America.  The soccer players are shown as superstars, hell even more popular than movie stars.  Their fame and game were at the highest peak, all before the inevitable crash and greed that took over the sport.

The documentary is wonderful to watch with excellent narration by Matt Dillon and interviews with most of the players of the New York Cosmos except for Pele.  It gives you this unique insight into a sport that almost became the national past time in some instances.  The rise and fall of the league was the most interesting aspect of it as they succeeded in getting one of the biggest stars in Soccer to come over and play in the American League.

This is kind of one of those fairy tales that we hear so much about.  I mean could Americans now ever have the same fever for Soccer that it did in the 70s?  I was floored when I saw the amount of support that the Men’s and Women’s USA team was getting in the World Cup.  But why all of a sudden?  Was it because we were winning and America only like winners?  Was there this contigent of Soccer fans that it only comes out during World Cup play?  I scratch my head and think why isn’t there any praise and fan craze going on year round.  It makes you think that if the New York Cosmos and the league ended up getting their act together, if Soccer would be at a pinnacle fever.  I mean just watching the archival game footage just showed how truly big it got here in America.

If you are a sports fan or just enjoy a solid documentary, give this a look.  The interviews are fascinating and the mix between archival footage and narration is great.  An entertaining and insightful documentary all around.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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