So what's the latest on Dave and Vicky?
Not much of anything at all, but I really wanted to post that picture, which accompanies an article on THE WRAP (from whom I blatently lifted it) which tries to make the point that the real problem with the Beckham move was not soccer, per se, but rather that the Sales and Marketing division of Beckham Inc. wasn't seeing much return on their investment.
However that may be, I found THE LAMENT OF THE PAPPARAZZI both amusing (is there a lower form of life, besides politicians?) and instructive; if indeed, as they say, the only photogs trailing the Beckhams around LA were 20 guys from British newspapers because the American media wouldn't buy their pictures (can it be true that a picture of Zac Ephron pays "100 to 1000 times more" than a photo of our hero? Ouch. Not what they had in mind at all) then the whole deal really IS a failure, and it's not surprising that they want to go back to where SIMPLY SHOWING HIS FACE can generate a "huge crowd".
That same article contains an interesting quote, and one which he clearly didn't vet with his handlers, to wit: "When I arrived, they told me that I was coming to Milan for publicity.
Now hold on a bloody minute here; I thought it was only the Galaxy who wanted the guy as a commercial proposition. Milan says the reason they can't pay more than $3 million for the guy is that they only look at artistic value while the moneygrubbers in LA only want the guy around to sell stuff.
Yet here we have Becks himself admitting that selling shirts with Beckham across the back was Milan's main purpose, just like everyone said.
And if the team doesn't want to admit it, well, they really don't need to, since Milan's vendors did it for them:
That's roughly "order now the new Beckham shirt", which started appearing before he ever got there.
Then again, at least he's not being asked to purr about THE SECRET WEAPON WITH WHICH I CAN SATISFY VICTORIA, but that's another story.
Hats off to THE TIMBERS ARMY for keeping themselves in the news, a la the Sons of Ben. SOB created a useful blueprint by presenting a story that the media liked talking about, and while it's difficult to say just how much influence they had on the process, it helps put a perception in people's minds by painting a picture which all the dry, dusty Official Presentations and committee reports and feasibility studies simply can't.
Here, courtesy of the video kings at The Offside Rules, is a clip that's noteworthy not so much for what it says but because it provides the media with something other than some guy in a suit lying to the camera about all the jobs that will be created:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8cQUnVE_rs"]YouTube - TimbersMarch[/ame]
It occurs to me that all the people who were so excited about Montreal getting an MLS team so that Toronto would have a "great rivalry" don't seem to be quite so revved up about Portland, even though the bad blood between them and Seattle runs deep and wide.
Of course, there's the counter-argument, which I've made on a number of occasions: Seattle is selling tickets like hotcakes, just like Toronto. What is it, exactly, that a "rivalry" does for them, besides get the people who already have seats a little more fired up? I mean, it's nice and all but it's not going to add much to the till if you were sold out anyway.
Madrid Superstar Raul is telling people that HE'LL EITHER GO SIT IN A ROCKING CHAIR OR COME PLAY IN MLS in two years.
He leaves the impression that the two are pretty much the same to him, a good thing for MLS teams to keep in mind in 2011 when his agent comes sniffing around for money.
Steven Goff had an INTERESTING QUOTE FROM SIGI SCHMID the other day.
Seems that the FieldTurf he always bitched about in Toronto isn't anywhere near as good as the exact same stuff in Seattle.
Now it's true that Qwest replaced their surface in 2008 while it was put into BMO in 2007, but I'm thinking Tarkett, Inc. didn't have some massive technical breakthroughs in the 10 months between the two installations.
It's interesting that FIFA'S OWN WEBSITE acknowledges that Frankie Hejduk got a girly-swat from a Mexican Team Official.
Maybe they could send that news on to someone on the Disciplinary Committee.
Speaking of FIFA, the IFAB decided against the penalty box (they insist on calling it a "sin bin") idea on Saturday, but did approve a further exploration of the TWO EXTRA OFFICIALS PLAN.
Various reports are suggesting that, in addition to France and Italy (they would use it in their lower divisions), another league under consideration for the program is MLS. A decision is due in June.
As noted, today is the Roster-and-Salary Cap Compliance date for MLS, and while several teams won't have to make any moves, most will.
Also notable is that MLS will conduct a waiver draft sometime tomorrow so that teams can grab some of the recently unemployed, and unlike the post-season waiver draft, which usually amounts to 14 teams passing, it's possible that some guys are going to get a second chance.
Maybe a few of them would like to take a shot at doing reality TV, since ONE SHOT DREAM is coming back for a second year.
Tryouts will be held in Irvine CA in June. They'll charge you $150, but if you make it you'll be off to Europe to fool around on the producer's dime:
In this reality series, twenty-three hopefuls will live out their dream as professional soccer players in Europe, hitting the road on a 14-day glimpse into soccer madness, fame, and European attractions. The team will be led by their hard-nosed former professional coach turned ultimate fighter, preparing the players for harsh realities when they play six showcase matches against top European teams in search of a professional contract.
Between games the team will tour Europe on their two story bus adorned with International Soccer Star artwork, compete in street soccer games in historic European cities, mingle with the hard core soccer hooligans, dine on authentic European cuisine, and travel the Adriatic Sea by yacht.
Not a half-bad way to spend the summer.