116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Friday, November 17, 2006

The 116th Street Beckham Rule Wishlist

Quick show of hands: who ever heard of XanGo before yesterday? On the strength of that alone, their four year, $4-5 million shirt sponsorship deal with Real Salt Lake has already started paying dividends. So let's all take a moment to celebrate the league's first shirt sponsor with a nice big gulp of "the Power of Xanthones from the Whole Mangosteen Fruit" (apparently, one sip of XanGo, and you get your very own Battle Cat).
But XanGo, shirt sponsorships and the Masters of the Universe are not what I am here to talk about today; we here on 116th Street are way too busy doing a happy-dance over the passage of the Beckham Rule to even begin to try to figure out what Xanthones are. Why are we so happy, you ask? Doesn't the passage of the Designated Player rule divert funds from the further development of young American players? Yeah, it probably does, but if I had billions of dollars to spend on soccer, I'd try to spend it on both (why not?). This is why I'm not bent out of shape over the rule; the NASL isn't coming back, and to me this is a sign of the league's actual health.
But I'm also not here to give speeches: I have demands. There are ten players I want to see in this league, and I will do everything in my power to make sure they arrive (and by "everything," I mean, "write a single blog post"). So with all fanfare removed, I present the 2006 116th Street Beckham Rule Wishlist:

10. Lee Bowyer.
If there is one thing this league is sorely missing, it is a nutjob crazy enough to brawl with his own teammates on the pitch, or even throw a drunken tirade, late night, at McDonald's. Add a guy like Lee Bowyer, however, and just sit back and watch the amusing social deviance run its course! We need you, Lee, we need you (and yes, there will, unequivocally, be a "Gangstas of Football" post on Lee Bowyer in the near future).

9. David Beckham.
He would bring instant (albeit short-term) marketability, credibility, sex-appeal and professionalism to the league. He would be the league's first crossover superstar, his face would be on magazines throughout the country, and, if he gets knighted, we'd all have to call him "Sir David." He can still pass it with the best of them, and would destroy MLS opponents in dead-ball situations. On the downside, Galaxy fans, be prepared for an endless siege of ill-advised long balls.

8. Ronaldo.
I know, I know, he's gained weight/out of shape/fat/lost a step/doesn't take the game seriously enough/spends too much time trying to date models/another Lothar Matthaeus situation in the making, but guess what? He is still a very effective striker, who still scores a ton of goals, and he would be quite an addition to any team in this league. Furthermore, unlike Matthaeus, he is well-known (even here) and charismatic, a true icon of the game. If he ends up becoming the toast of New York, don't be surprised.

7. Manuel Rui Costa.
One of the most underrated magicians of recent times, he unselfishly gave way to Kaka at AC Milan when he still had plenty of game left in him. Most Americans might have never heard of him, but he would dazzle MLS crowds with his skills. As an added bonus, he probably wouldn't cost as much as some of his more well-known European brethren. Who doesn't want to see Rui Costa?

6. Robinho.
Just wanted to make sure you were all still paying attention.

5. Dennis Bergkamp.
In all honesty, we're just curious to see how he'd get here, and what he'd do when it's time to take that cross-country to Salt Lake City.

4. Oliver Kahn.
That's right, America, we know what you want. Just admit it, you are tantalized at the possibility of seeing a goalkeeper who looks like he should have been a Roger Moore-era Bond henchman, on a weekly basis.

3. Alessandro Del Piero.
A lion's mane, a goalscorer's touch, exquisite ball control, and expert free-kick taker; how could he not be a hit over here? Plus, he bears a strong resemblance to our favorite Entourage character of all time, Billy Walsh.

2. Luis Figo.
Who is cooler than Figo? He's got that special dribbling style, where he's just flashy enough for you to notice, yet not too flashy; he'll be setting up goals at age 50; everybody seems to like him; he's always dressed for the occasion; have we mentioned dude's wife? We could picture him suited up for the Fire, being the damn man about town in Chicago. Figo is so good, he would well be our favorite player, if only it weren't for...

1. Zinedine Zidane.
I know he isn't coming, you know he isn't coming, we all know he isn't coming; but let's all just take a moment and dare to dream, shall we? Visions of turns, perfect passes, otherworldly dribbling and the mostly impossible dance in our head...


Anonymous McCrum said...

If you're going to mention Xango, go all the way, talk about "next–generation phytonutrients" and "*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."

Whatever it is, I'm sure as hell not drinking it.

That said, Rui Costa! I'm so down with that.

12:52 PM  

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