Thursday, August 16, 2007

Atta Boy, Beckham!

Last night, David Beckham started his first match for his new team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, of Major League Soccer (MLS). He had appeared previously, but because of a nagging ankle injury picked-up in Madrid earlier in the year, he had yet to start a match.

I am a fan of David Beckham, Becks, David Spice, Spice Boy, whatever you want to call him. He is a real star. He is good at what he does, he makes himself available to his fans, he's enthusiastic about his craft, and he's on top of his game from every angle. He's sort of the David Bowie of sports. Always on.

Beckham endeared himself to me even more deeply in the eighteenth minute of last night's match when he committed a hard foul against DC United's Jaime Moreno, the polar opposite of Beckham, a loathsome, self-serving athlete who deserves (and generally gets) no accolades. Atta boy, Beckham! Keep after that pile of shit and take him out at every opportunity!

Vitoria Beckham (née Adams), also known professionally as Posh Spice, was present, of course. She is the perfect star's wife: famous herself, very stylish, funny, accessible to the media, and just aloof enough to keep us guessing. Hardly the Iman of sports, but entertaining and appropriate nonetheless. (Is Iman technically Iman Bowie? I think not. But she is another perfect superstar-wife.)

The L.A. Galaxy have been plagued by injuries this season and the team is filled with athletes too awful to watch on a regular basis, including (but not limited to) Landon Donovan and Cobi Jones. I find each of those men so dislike-able that it is difficult to watch the team play. But, watch them I must because they play my team, Red Bull New York, at least twice a year.

And I am such a soccer slut that I watch at least two other MLS matches on television each week in which my team is not participating. And since ESPN is so heavily involved in the Beckham Comes To America fleece-job, er promotion, the Galaxy seem to be featured in the game of the week every week now.

So, I see more of Landycakes and Cobi than I care to admit.

Beckham also scored his first goal as a member of the Galaxy last night, a perfect 26-yard free kick to put the Galaxy up 1-0. There was not as much pandemonium from the 17,223 spectators as I expected.

The Galaxy went on to beat the DC Scum, 2-0. Thank you, LA.

Beckham's return to play means quite a bit to me, because the Galaxy visit New York this weekend, well, technically they visit New Jersey to play my team. Over fifty-five thousand tickets have been sold. At inflated prices (double). His first start for the Galaxy is a good indication that Beckham will play against the Red Bulls.

The inflated ticket-prices have been a source of discussion in the media, because Beckham's failure to appear in previous matches has left a bad taste in the mouths of many consumers who bought expensive tickets to watch the Galaxy in other cities, only to have Beckham sit on the bench. Because I am a Red Bulls season-ticket holder, I did not have to pay extra for my seats. Whew! My seats aren't worth $60.00 apiece, anyhow, and that is what the front office charged for seats in my section for this match.

I have seen Beckham play once before, on the England national team, and I am excited about the prospect of seeing him play again. He is a joy to watch. And this time, I get an added bonus: I get to boo him!

That's right! David Beckham plays for LA, a team I hate almost as much as I hate DC and New England. LA has to lose this match. I am a New York supporter, and I will boo all the Galaxy players, no matter how famous or pretty.

The supporters club at the stadium creates chants for everyone to sing during the match. My favorite one for this Saturday will be used if Beckham sits on the bench. It is sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques":

David Beckham, David Beckham.
Can you play? Can you play?
What a shame you're sitting
You might as well be knitting!
That a girl! That a girl!

That chant has everything sports needs: derision of the opposing player and/or team and slightly misogynist overtones deriding the sex and/or sexual orientation of the opponent. Nothing terribly offensive, just a bit of a laugh!

I will applaud for him when he arrives on the field, and I will applaud for all the players when the match is completed. But every time that Galaxy wanker touches the ball, I will boo. I do not wish him any ill, I just hope he fails to score and I hope his team loses.

Is that wishing him ill? Maybe it is.

I will be nice to his wife though! I wouldn't boo her!

Congratulations Becks on your first start and your first goal! Here's to many more of both!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Bend It Like Beckham
Imran Ali, Ameet Chana

David Beckham


Liz said...

I have to say, I'm no fan of booing without a specific reason. If a player puts one of yours out of the game? Ok to boo. If the ref is useless? Ok to boo. If a player dives? Ok to boo.

But if none of those things has happened I think your lungs are better spent cheering on your own team to victory rather than booing the opposition. It doesn't work anyway. How many times have you seen booed players score winners? It fires them up. It's counter-productive. Ronaldo was booed worse than I've ever heard any player booed last season. He scored in virtually every game. In the end the booing stopped because the fans realised how much it was actually helping him!

It does look like Becks will play and I say, yay for you! So glad you get to see him.

DM said...

Well, then maybe I will only boo Beckham's first touch. Landycakes, I have to boo the entire match, though; just because, well, it's Landon Donovan. No other reason needed.

The SuperLiga match last night was quite good.

Anonymous said...

I saw an article on that over 60,000 seats have been sold. I too purchased my tickets as part of a package for much less than that what they are selling for today. I will be cheering for the Red Bulls and I am looking forward to seeing a game with some electricity in the stands. I hope this is a sign of things to come