Hey, speaking of Beckham. It's starting to look like fears that he would simply ditch MLS in January, or even June, were a little premature. I've heard from my own sources that AEG covered its bases with Medium Dave after all:
Boy, it's starting to look like we might have to take Beckham at his oft-stated, public word.
Or not. The Graunaid's been handing out the heart murmurs regarding Beckham over the past week, haven't they just. The long interview with Tim Leiweke provided grist for just about everyone, present company obviously included.
Knowing Leiweke, he probably said all that in one breath. The reason I say that, and the reason I quoted such a long chunk, is that one tiny part of that formed the basis of an entire article by Andrea Canales.*
That's one conclusion. (Although absent some pretty convincing evidence, frequent public statements from both Beckham and AEG would at least lead one to an educated guess on his future preferences. England first, then unfinished business in MLS.) But Leiweke might simply be losing sleep at the thought of Beckham getting himself re-re-injured.
Andrea? Making a big deal out of nothing? That's not like her.
If Canales was going to use a Leiweke quote from the Guardian to raise concerns, there was a much better example.
Leiweke's lack of sleep is causing him to go insane.
First of all, Cardiff City and Swansea. Secondly, Monaco. Thirdly, Derry City.
Fourth, you don't just "put" a team on different soil, not in Europe. Great Britain nearly had a general strike over Wimbledon moving to Milton Keynes. A Premiership team moving to the United States would cause Albion to sink like Atlantis. A rich team in lower divisions wouldn't need to take the risk, a poor team couldn't afford the travel.
Fifthly, we can pretty much rule out American sports doing it, and for reasons that Leiweke should know perfectly well.
If baseball is going to give it another go outside the United States, they will go to Mexico or the Caribbean. Once Raul Castro finally goes, the rivalry between the Marlins and the Goodings (or whatever they're called) will be just awe-inspiring. Asia is a possibility, although the travel would be completely cringe-inducing. The only possible upside would be the establishment of a UK-based BigRounders.com with thread after thread about "It's BASEBALL, not ROUNDERS" and demanding that Major League Rounders get rid of promotion and relegation.
The NFL is still smarting from the collapse of the World League, and it's a little tough to picture gridiron in London but not Los Angeles. The NFL is arrogant enough to try it, but again, Mexico is probably a better choice. As with baseball, there's next to no native talent in Europe - in comparison, American soccer players in the 1970's were world-class.
Which leaves basketball and hockey, sports Leiweke knows very, very well. It isn't that Europe wouldn't be potentially good markets for those sports - they're great games, and something needs to compete with football. Teams move with disappointing regularity in the NBA and NHL, too. Why not?
Well, the NHL might want to retrench in Canada before trying to take on Europe (and opening the can of worms about whether European teams get to compete for Lord Stanley's Cup). Winnipeg, Seattle, and Cleveland are on the table there, and I'd almost give Hartford another chance before risking it all on London's attention span.
The NBA is about saturated in the United States, too - there's Seattle, of course.
Oh, and Kansas City, whose up-to-date Sprint Center was built on spec by a company who...well, I don't want to give it away, but their initials are AEG. Kansas City has neither an NBA team nor an NHL team, and AEG has been fighting very hard for at least one, preferably both. Meanwhile, here's Tim Leiweke, talking about starting a European version of the Nashville Predators.
If Leiweke is talking up London BC or London HC, while leaving Kansas City to the Cheetah Girls, David Beckham is the least of his problems. Get some sleep, Tim.
*Of course, if you can't find the article on Goal.com, you can just use the Goal.com search function, or click on her name. Ah, comedy. (Sorry, Kyle.)