I nearly made a post on Thursday or Friday about what an insult it was to actual MLS fans that Beckham flew to China for a PR stunt rather than to Carson for a league game, friendly that week or no. I'm glad I didn't. What a stupid and childish thing that would have been to say. The Olympics wanted to give the world a free advertisement for David Beckham. By showing up, he did more for the league, just by the runoff of people asking "Who's that guy?", than he did actually doing what he's theoretically paid to do. He didn't even need to disguise himself as an elderly Chinese man, like Jimmy Page did.*
Actually seeing it on television in all its insanely anticlimactic glory was a revelation. They** flew him all the way from Tottenham to Tiananmen to show to the entire viewing world, representing a tournament he might never play in and a team that hasn't taken the field in a hundred years, and might not four years from now. His work consisted of maybe twenty seconds of screen time.
"But that's not very impressive," says the potential new American soccer customer.
"And yet, the world stopped to watch. That's how awesome he is," says MLS or AEG or Team Beckham or whoever. "Now, imagine what he's like when he actually breaks a sweat. Call 1-877-3-GALAXY to find out for yourself."
"What's the 3 for?"
"The 3 is for EXTRA AWESOME."
The implications of Beckham doing more for MLS by not playing than by playing are rather frightening. AEG already spent the past year or more flying Beckham from town to town like Sabu the Elephant Boy in John Prine's song, and now this happens. Next thing you know, the Galaxy will have a policy of signing players who can't play soccer at all, and that would be completely
...God, I hate the Galaxy.
*Male plastic surgery can be a tragic thing.
**You know, THEM.***
***Van Morrison's band.****
****Or the giant radioactive ants. Either one.
(I have to give the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, so I'll see you all in a couple of days.)