Grahame Jones takes his share of stick from We the People, but he killed it over the weekend. Nice article on Charlie Davies and his comeback, and a nice shot at David Beckham. They're both up at the LA Times soccer front page, and they're both worth reading.
Let's get the funny one out of the way. I'm sure you've all read this quote from Beckham by now:
Jones put that at the bottom of his article, after listing seven tabloid-friendly Beckham stories that had very little to do with him training.
And while I don't have a medical degree, neither does Beckham. And if anyone close to him has a medical license, it should have been revoked years ago. He continually tries to play without recovering from injury, and the result has been a missed World Cup and an MLS record that would disappoint someone who put Alan Gordon on their fantasy team. Another word for "holiday" is "off-season." He couldn't afford not to take a break. You'd think Beckham would employ someone who had heard the story of the golden goose.
Of course, at this stage of Beckham's career, maybe the holiday he couldn't afford was a break from making headlines.
And maybe it's just me, but I couldn't help but read that as a shot at Landon Donovan, who did take a nice, three-month holiday. I'm sure that was totally inadvertent. Besides, we all know what a lazy slug Donovan is.
I'd also add how insulting it is to say that jogging around in non-contact drills for Tottenham was more important than traning with the coaches and players he's actually going to be working with, but he's already re-integrating with his actual team more than I thought he would. According to the Galaxy, he will be showing up to that lemon pre-season game in San Diego on Wednesday.
If he does - good for him. If he is serious about the Galaxy for a change, this would be a very nice way to show it.
No, I would not be giving credit for this to any of the league's other four hundred players, but none of them have set the bar as low as Beckham has.
There was a complete change of mood for the Chivas USA story, which had nothing to do with CUSA and was all about their opponent's new striker.
Jones mentioned, but did not name, the woman who died in the accident. That's probably appropriate. The woman, unlike Davies, was not famous, was not a public figure, and did not have fans. That grief belongs to her family. So there's Davies talking about the accident in a completely individual, personal context - and that's fine. He's learned a lot, he's aged, he's matured, what he's gone through - "it's something that I've moved past" - all that seems on the surface ridiculously crass, but what can he do? Use someone else's tragedy to show his depth and caring to fans who didn't know the woman? Please tell me we don't need him to cry on cue for our benefit. They gave out those awards last night.
But that doesn't change the facts. If Davies tears up the league this year, and wins Comeback Player of the Year without having played in MLS before - don't get me wrong, that will be wonderful for Davies and DC United and I'll be proud of him. But whether Davies succeeds or fails, that woman isn't coming back. Her story is finished.
So I don't feel comfortable looking at Davies' return through the prism of him coming back from tragedy, as opposed to injury. He didn't get off easy, but he sure got off easier.
To sum this all up as "Don't stay out late, and if you do, call a cab" seems very trite, but that's a pretty unavoidable conclusion. Yeah, Davies should have known better. It's not fair that he paid such a high price to learn that, and it's really not fair that someone else paid the ultimate price. Hopefully impressionable fans will think of this if they're even in a similar situation.
Except I can't get to where someone says "Well, I was gonna get in the car with an impaired driver, but then I thought of Charlie Davies" and expects the freaking Distinguished Service Medal or something. Did anyone really need someone to die in order to understand this?
Nothing good came from this. Nothing good can come from this. I long for the day when Charlie Davies is just another player.