Happy Residents Day!

Wait, don't tell me John McCain and Dick Cheney voted against THIS federal holiday, too?

Sadly, David Beckham, his life-threatening hamstring injury, and the ongoing hostage negotiations between Milan and AEG is still pretty much the most fascinating story going on. Here's a handy reminder on how to interpret the situation:


Read that again. Everybody lies.

Here are the three things that Milan, AEG and Beckham should not have said.

Carlo Ancelotti should not have said "At the moment, Beckham is an indispensable player for Milan." Had Milan beaten Inter, then Ancelotti would have put his bosses in a very difficult position.

If Beckham had been legitimately injured (hint: he's not), then Milan would have looked very canny in waiting, but kind of heartless. Still, there are ways to deal with "Okay, here's your damaged goods back." Insurance companies exist for this sort of thing, and I'm sure injury was contemplated in the loan deal.

While Milan is out of the title race, they're still in the UEFA Cup...wait, no one gives a crap about the UEFA Cup. Although having Beckham around to sell tickets to it would help - think of the UEFA Cup as a New Zealand tour during the season.

The real mission is to finish fourth in Serie A. Beckham isn't that much less indispensable than he was on Friday. Missing the Champions League is the real fate worse than death for Milan.

It probably wasn't a huge compliment to the other egomaniacal millionaires gracing Milan's bench to hear that the T-shirt salesman is suddenly the linchpin of their hopes and dreams. But this isn't the first time Milan has had to deal with egos.

It probably won't cheer up Team Beckham to hear "indispensable" turn into "meh" if a deal isn't completed.

AC fans will forgive, unless they finish fifth. That's really the only way "indispensable" truly backfires on Ancelotti. Of course, if Milan does keep Beckham, and he continues to stink it up, AND Milan finishes fifth in Serie A...well, that wouldn't look good, either.

There was no real upside to this for Milan, except to repay the compliment Beckham was giving them. The downside was that, far from scaring off AEG and MLS, it only emboldened them.

Tim Leiweke should not have said, regarding Beckham ponying up some of his own money:

Tim...you're winning. You have an amount in mind that would justify selling Beckham, otherwise the whole "deadline" farce wouldn't have even come up. Where the money actually comes from is irrelevant.

The sponsors you're attempting to mollify will settle for money. So will the other MLS teams who are anticipating a Beckham payday that will not actually come. There's a certain amount of satisfaction in making the bastard crawl, but give him an out if you get what you want.

Beckham should not have said....word one. He should have been absolutely sure that Milan would have paid whatever it took to free him, or he should have been willing to pay whatever it took to free him from MLS. We all know he has the money. Playing the game in the press, where he thought he had the advantage, only showed that he underestimated his opponents. If AEG hired soccer players the way the hire lawyers, the Galaxy would have been unbeaten, untied and unscored on.

But he really, really, really shouldn't have said "At the moment, Milan is more important than money. I want to think about football before everything else. I said in a clear manner what I think, I want to stay at Milan because I've rediscovered myself as a football player....This would give me the best possibility of securing a place with the England national team."

I don't see him twisting out of that one. If he shows up in LA, he's turning his back on England and giving up on football, because of money. Anyone blaming AEG for forcing Beckham down that road would be terminally gullible. I realize at this point that description encompasses 99% of the Beckham fanbase, but still. Beckham is, in the words of Laura Kightlinger, the otter of his own fat.

Unless he took the jersey sales from the past year and invested in Lehman Brothers.

Or did a Baldrick and bought a $300 million turnip.