116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Friday, July 13, 2007

Embracing Beckham

I am honestly excited by all of it. I can't wait for the hoopla, the impossible to fulfill expectations, the mocking and guffawing, the eventual backlash from the anti-soccer dolts, the eventual Spice Girls reunion, the eventual Landon Donovan beeyotch session where he cries about not being the center of LA's galaxy, the curling free kicks, and even the hairstyles. I am positively ready for the David Beckham experience to land right here in the USA, where hype truly belongs, because at the end of the day, the Mancs and Madridistas can't do it quite the way we can. This is high drama here, people, the kind that we soccer fans eat up in spades.
A refresher: Beckham's biggest challenges to date have been (1997) snagging Victoria away from pretty-boy teammate Ryan Giggs; (1998) convincing the English public not to hate him, it's not entirely his fault that Diego Simeone is a flopping actor who played his part in getting Beckham sent off; (2003) escaping Sir Alex Ferguson's warpath of anger to flee to Madrid, then somehow supplanting Luis Figo as Real's main man on the right; and (2007) making himself indispensable to Real and England squads that had totally rejected him. Now, he is faced with the most Sisyphean of all his challenges to date, making soccer relevant in the USA, and there is no question that we won't succeed in this endeavor.
That's right, it's a lost cause. David Beckham will not cause the American public to care about soccer anymore than it already does. In this regard, his endeavor is hopeless. There is, however, a very fine line between caring about something and noticing something, and people will pay attention, whether it's to the free kicks or the hair or Posh's implants. The sportswriters will notice enough to slam soccer once again, but the difference this time will be that it is not a World Cup year and there is otherwise no reason to even discuss the game in this country. So while David Beckham won't get anyone to care, his arrival takes us once step closer to the day when other factors do convince the public to invest their time, emotions and interest in the sport.
With all of that being said, this is going to be fun, which is why I don't quite get all of the sarcasm associated with his arrival. Sometimes I feel as if American soccer fans want to be closed off to everyone, as if we're some super-cool club no one gets invited into. Maybe Beckham's arrival is exposing us as the band geeks we are, but so what? We get it, we get him, we get the circus. It's been going on for years, now it's just in our back yard. I say we go ride the Ferris wheel and down some funnel cakes. It's David Beckham, you know what I'm saying? This is a guy with an uncanny sense of the dramatic, a true professional, a guy who just made the hot female factor at MLS games increase by about 5000%. Now is not the time to be loathsome or irritable, it's time to make some friends. David Beckham is here. He's not the Messiah, but he's a start. Let's show him some love.


Anonymous bc said...

After all of the hoopla from today's Beckham media blitz, here is the
reality of this situation:

Beckham has ONE meaningful prize still unclaimed: The World Cup.

He can coast in that MLS league and no one will notice- and he will
remain a star- thus saving himself for England call-ups.

And the MLS Fans won't even notice Beckham playing at half-pace, as
they seem to embrace mediocrity anyway.

And the FA isn't stupid... they KNOW this is what he will be doing.
It's all being handled with a nod and a wink.

Like him or not, Beckham's a winner. He proved it this srping with

And in LA, he has no one nearly like a Capello or a Sir Alex breathing
down his neck.

His wife will be happy here, as I am sure the Brits are all sick of
her by now.

This really was a brilliant move for him.

He could very well get that one elusive prize, if England can finally
get their act together (and it looks like they are) for 2010.

5:49 PM  

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