Posted by TheYank at 7/20/2009 12:45 PM EDT
I have to admit I'm somewhat bemused by the reaction to David Beckham out in Los Angeles. The fans there seem none too pleased with the way the English star has gone about his business playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy. The New York Times says that last night Beckham "was booed more than cheered during introductions"and booed when the Galaxy's match with AC Milan got underway. One fan even held up a sign that said, "Go Home Fraud." Fraud? And this is in Los Angeles, the "fake" capital of the world? The same city that is cheering Manny Ramirez to the hilt these past few weeks?
So, what exactly is bothering the Galaxy's fans? Well, apparently the Los Angeles fans are annoyed because Beckham now wants to play in Milan rather than LA. Well, duh! What did they think was going to happen? Why did they think Beckham signed to play in Los Angeles at all?
Beckham was never a great player. In fact - and I'm no soccer expert - I think you could safely say that Beckham was never more than 5th or 6th best player on team when he was with Manchester United. He was a decent player on the biggest and best club in Europe, but one that was led by an Irishman and had very few English stars, something the English media didn't care for. Beckham was probably not even the best English player at United (I think Paul Scholes was far better), but he was glamorous and had that rare talent for performing better than anyone those tasks that take place in the most obvious media moments: free kicks.
He wasn't the guy you built a team around, let alone a league. The way the American press talked about him when he first signed with the Galaxy you'd have sworn that he was Pele II (a Hollywood sequel).
Beckham went to Los Angeles because he was always more show business than sportsman. He went to make money while he could. I can't believe that any sports fan could have seen it otherwise. Now he obviously figures that he's milked that for all it's worth he'd like to come back to Europe and maybe rebuild his name and sell some more AC Milan shirts to those who are more fans of stardom than soccer. That the people of Los Angeles are calling Beckham a fraud is more an indication that they never realized what the move to America was all about in the first place.