Thursday, January 11, 2007

When Old Men Get Desperate

David Beckham is an impressive man. Not many athletes could parlay a couple of disappointing, underachieving seasons in one of soccer's most prestigious clubs, as well as being not-too-subtly kicked off the national team he used to captain by the new coach into a 250 million dollar, five year contract. But David Beckham can. David Beckham did.

Making use of the MLS's newly made, and oh-so-convenient Beckham Rule, the Los Angeles Galaxy dumped a few cement trucks full of money on Becks' front lawn, and then promised him a couple more, if he would just cross the pond and come play in the U.S' ever-nascent major soccer league. As if he had to think about that.

Beckham, quickly becoming a joke, and an unfunny one at that, over in Old Europe, hardly needed another reason to leave, especially 250 million other ones. David Beckham is 31, a depressing age for soccer players, but jerseys with his name splayed on the back still seem to sell like soiled panties in Japan. Go figure.

We want to make fun of Beckham for being a washed up bum, after all, what kind of goober looser chooses to play soccer in America when they could be playing football on the continent? But seriously, this guy makes more than Alex Rodriguez, and he is married to a Spice Girl. Anything we say now will just look like sour grapes.

But let's remember the last time big time soccer stars tried to milk their retirement from European soccer by playing in the US. Remember when Pele and Beckenbauer spent more time partying than playing, and remember how the Cosmos and the rest of the NASL went bankrupt trying to out do each other in their rush to sign over the hill players who had long ago past their best before date? We're just saying... Does the MLS really have the fan support, the media attention, or the big bankrolls to try their own arms race?

It is kind of cool that with Becks stateside, we actually have a chance to see him do his thing, that is, bend it, right here in Toronto. If Toronto FC ever gets around to playing, you can be sure David Beckham will sell a few tickets for the new BMO Field.

And we can hardly wait until other tired stars wanting a fat paycheque for minimal effort start landing in the MLS. Zidane unretires for Washington? Larsson in Columbus? Dare we say it, Ronaldo in Toronto? Oh yes, the MLS is just getting started.


1 comment:

walkinvisible said...

i was all for beckham headin' to the states at first; y'know, show those yankee bastards that the best sport in the world isn't baseball. but now that i realize beckam in LA means him evermore calling the sport "soccer," i hate it. dudes with british accents should ALWAYS refer to it as football. period. no exceptions.