By David Hirshey
Special to ESPN.com
It's possible to leave your apartment and become an international idol by the time you get to the subway station.
I know, because I've done it.
It started in early May, when I was heading to work and a guy who had nursed a 30-year grudge against me for what he claimed was inappropriate behavior with his college girlfriend grabbed me in a half nelson on the street and bellowed, "Hirsh, I just saw you in a movie!"
"Are you sure it was me?" I said. "Maybe it was a young Omar Sharif."
"Yeah, you, larger than life. I wanted to ask for my money back, " he quipped.
"What movie?" I asked, still nonplussed as to what he was talking about.
"It had something to do with soccer. You always liked that crap." He was trying to be helpful.
And so it went. An all-but-forgotten interview I had done with a couple of British documentary filmmakers two years ago had reached the point that ... well, an Academy Award-nominated actor would later compliment me on my performance.
"Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos" hits theaters in New York this Friday and will be released nationwide July 14. The documentary film is presented by Miramax Films, GreeneStreet Films and ESPN Original Entertainment. It will air in October on ESPN.
I was standing in the lobby of a movie theater at New York's Tribeca Film Festival when Matt Dillon walked up to me and said sheepishly, "Nice job, man." Wow, Johnny Drama's real-life brother knew who I was! OK, so what if he was the narrator of the movie I was in, "Once In A Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos." I didn't see him going up to any of the other featured players and kissing their asses.
Then again maybe Dillon just wanted to get up close to the Gisele Bundchen doppelganger who was whispering in my ear as I scribbled my name on her program. Or perhaps he had overheard her opening line to me "I've heard so much about you, I always wanted to meet you." I'm just glad Dillon had moved on before the Brazilian bombshell uttered her next line: "My mother was Pelé's longtime assistant. I wasn't born when you were doing your book with him."
Following my lifelong policy of always being gracious to 19-year-old, thong-wearing daughters of old friends, I said, "I remember your mother, " as memories of 1977 began dancing in my head like a Pelé stepover. I realized my love of soccer was an easy pass to a life I would have never otherwise known.
How a game 'for Commie pansies' captivated New York's beautiful people
To enter the high temple of disco, drag queens and drug-fueled sex known as Studio 54, you had to make your way past the club's bouncers, whose approving nod could not be bought. Of the hundreds who massed behind the fabled velvet ropes, perhaps a third were granted access, while the rest were left to choke on the exhaust fumes from the limousines that pulled up to deliver the next load of beautiful people. They were the anointed, the uber-celebrities who didn't need a last name.
Actually, I didn't even need a first name. All I had to say were four magic words: "I'm with the Cosmos."
The Cosmos. The name alone conjures up a galaxy of stars. Or, as some would have it, galacticos. Yet 30 years before Real Madrid and Chelsea bestrode the world with their collection of celestial talent, the Cosmos conquered the last outpost of soccer indifference, the United States, and changed the nature of sport forever. It was an extraordinary moment in time, when "I'm with the Cosmos" carried as much weight as "I'm with the Rolling Stones" perhaps more, since even Mick Jagger wanted to be sprinkled with the stardust of New York's soccer demigods and its one Supreme Being.kick back hair affair your fashion haven car trend lifestyle 18 fashion now and then game on science science magazine 12 trends what science am i doing fashion 10 d and m coffee we coffee starship enterprise store lifestyle software maroon dress summer coffee book coffee water fashion full steve astronomy photo haircut trending songs hip hop does science and fashion work in astronomy big dipper bear constellation social position art trends astrologist jobs science by doing basic outfits polyvore game of fashion linda hair san diego simply divine hair supercuts women's haircut science diet recall list fashion that building three coffee email lifestyle should of most awesome winter outfit ideas green lifestyle kids astronomy lifestyle business champagne dreams caviar dreams over trend change lifestyle hair salon kitsilano out of trend celebrity street style 2018 summer the scientific way share trend most trends image haircut global lifestyle what is science school coffee outrageous coffee shops in washington coffee cake recipes easy me coffee scientific method for kids make a plan science and technology science daily chemistry news in science fashion how to le haircut hair salon near me cheap lifestyle 28 lane astronomy lifestyle king will's coffee no 1 haircut science so what car trends all the coffee astronomy year lifestyle cycles stars in the sky map coffee quotes all you need is love and coffee what to wear to a wedding solar astronomy can't tell young thug budget astronomy study of space and planets how to be in fashion astronomy mp3 science - wikipedia pictures of scientific methods ladies hair near me trends world all about fashion what is your fashion brotherhood of steel meme haircut china scientific method steps in order abc haircut room coffee triangle aquila new to astronomy astronomy basics beginners what's the fashion lifestyle experience great lifestyle time and science it's just coffee art museums in london list trends event inside of star fashion only poppy hair salon club haircut lifestyles of the rich and famous video lifestyle audio negative feedback in cellular respiration lulus dresses ma in science video coffee charlie at work coffee the game of lifestyle modern edge hair studio lifestyle choice how science down trend science diet recall dog food hair 2017 official scientific method astronomy park lifestyle horoscope yahoo 9 haircut coffee out i am coffee coffee tables ikea haircut hours good hashtags on instagram elegant touch hair salon history of astronomy pdf stars in the sky tonight before coffee fashion nova astronomy class lifestyle search bad lifestyle lifestyle gift thrust fault lifestyle home lifestyle press haircut help before after coffee astronomy series lifestyles of the rich and famous tv show intro la lifestyle cute women outfits 2018 haircut kids can of coffee the scientific method webpage job is a lifestyle coffee shops houston trend emma's salon astronomy school london lifestyle plato scientific method artistic hair designers starshipsofa coffee bean and tea leaf austin fashion august 2018 us astronomy love haircut trend company coffee grinder reviews coffee quotes for teachers street fashion outfits coffee meme thursday how many carbon atoms in pyruvate trending hashtags pronouns red trend she is in fashion where can i buy cute tops haircut 500 astrology typeface coffee uk astronomy picture of the day calendar what is on fashion now car lifestyle lifestyles unlimited expo 2019 astronomy articles