On the list of people you're embarrassed to admit you share a species with, alleged human Kim Jong Il, North Korea's Lunatic-in-Chief, is certainly way up there.
When the Dear Leader is not busy kidnapping actresses or SCORING FIVE HOLES IN ONE whenever he plays golf, or building nuclear weapons while millions of his countrymen quite literally starve to death, Kim seems to be something of a football fan.
North Korea's recent qualification for South Africa 2010 was greatly satisfying to the North Korean leader, who has reportedly promised princely rewards to his players - possibly including regular meals - for winning the Cup, although for some reason, most likely plutocratic arrogance, some observers seem to doubt whether that's likely.
Now, however, Kim has a goal that's well within his player's abilities: he wants David Beckham trashed.
It seems that a photo turned up showing Beckham posing with the two dangerous, bloodthirsty American "spies" that Kim had tossed into prison and whom Bill Clinton was able to talk him into letting go.
Reportedly, the Eternal President "hit the roof" when he saw the picture and in addition to promising his players big piles of money and canned goods for beating England he's now offering them the “party to end all parties” at his private seven story palace in Pyongyang and a “joyride” on his personal, 21-carriage presidential train.
One can only speculate on what "the party to end all parties" entails when the host personally owns 20 million slaves, but one thing is clear: he wants results.
Now of course the likelihood of the North Koreans beating England (assuming they meet at all) have to be considered, shall we say, slim at best. On the other hand, as one "intelligence expert" has opined “(Kim is) willing to offer his team almost anything to wipe the smile off Beckham’s face."
And therein lies the problem.
If it comes down to the end of a match where England is safely ahead, what would a North Korean player rather do: disappoint a man who can toss your entire family into a re-education camp for a few years or take out Beckham's knees?
Of course FIFA, an organization that regularly handed Uday Hussein Iraq's share of World Cup proceeds knowing full well that he was beating crap out of his players when they lost, isn't terribly likely to make note of something like this.
But while it's easy to laugh at a pathological lunatic like Kim from 10,000 miles away, laughing is the last thing North Korea's players can afford to do when the Sociopath-in-Chief's ire is raised.
Here's hoping FIFA can find a way to keep these teams apart.
Of more immediate concern to Beckham - and MLS Commissioner Don "Big G" Garber - is the somewhat ugly scrum (and "scrum" seemed to be the main theme this weekend) at the end of the Galaxy's smackdown at the hands of Dallas FC.
Herewith the photo making it's way around the blogosphere, which may or may not be as ugly as it looks:
The trouble started when Landon Donovan gave Dallas middie David Ferreira a "slap". Hernandez ran up and shoved Donovan, at which point DBecks attempted his neck-area Heimlich maneuver.
After the coaches separated the participants, it was left to Bruce Arena to put the scuffle into focus:
"It was nice to see that we had a little bit of fight in us at the end of the game.
'It would have been nice if we saw some of that in the 90 minutes before that incident.'
However, since Beckham was just coming off a one game suspension for that nasty tackle vs. the Sounders, this has the potential to cost the Beckhams some dough. Not that they'll notice.