Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Beckham build-down

The brunt of the Beckham backlash, ie, (he's too old, he's coming to MLS to play in movies, he won't matter at all to an American public, he's given up hope of ever playing for England) took place immediately after the Galaxy signed Beckham, but espn pundit Gene Wojo is just jumping on that bandwagon now.

Admitting he doesn't even know enough about soccer to properly bash the sport, (why write an article on something he admits he's too bored to watch?) Gene turns to the LA Times' Christine Daniels for info.
While helping Real Madrid win La Liga and winning a place back in the England squad hushed up many previous Beckham-to-Galaxy skeptics, Daniels isn't one of them.

It's not that I don't think her criticisms are valid - but I have to chuckle at the list of things Daniels gives that David Beckham can't do coming so shortly after he proved so many previous list-makers wrong.
I know I'm not saying he can't play center midfield in Major League Soccer until I've seen him do it.

In general, I hate dealing with hypotheticals, which is why her characterization of MLS as Triple-A ball bothers me as well. It's not baseball, and the level of MLS is evolving too much for it to be safely tagged and bagged into the "oh, if it's like Triple-A, it's meaningless, and I shouldn't have to pay attention to it" reaction that a label like that implies.
When I'm asked the question about what level MLS is at, I readily admit that it's not at the highest level of the leagues in Europe, but it's improving, and it's sprinkled with a few players who have the talent to play almost anywhere, and it's so enormously competitive, top to bottom, that you'll have a hard time making picks in any game, because the team that gets beaten 4-0 in one match will beat the conference leaders in their next game. I tell them they'd have to watch some games to really assess the level of the league, and that their impressions could change radically based on which team is playing, at what time of day, and in what stadium situation.


Anonymous said...

I stopped reading when it says he doesn't know anything about the sport.

Why give people like this any plugs?

Plus he's a bald fatso.

A.C. said...

You missed the informative parts, then.

Gene is usually pretty clever, but this won't rank as one of his best pieces by a long shot.

It's on the front page of, though. It'll get a ton of hits, and my plug here on this blog doesn't make much a difference to that.

L.B. said...

I like reading Gene's college football stuff, but I don't give a ratatouille's ass what he has to say about Becks.

Beax Speax said...

I guess Geno needed something to write about until it's time to discuss the "Brewing QB controversy at Purdue or Michigan State".

Also, I never felt that Mike Penner/Christine Daniel's soccer coverage too insightful...fairly knowledgeable, but bland.

A.C. said...

Maybe Christine watches a lot of MLS on television, but I've never seen her (or him, for that matter) in the HDC press box for an MLS game.

Granted, I've only covered the Galaxy myself since 2005.

Elliott said...

Good points, A.C.

I don't really have a problem with ESPN giving a story like this to someone who has no knowledge of the game. Beckham is a player who transcends his sport, so no worries there.

But as you said, the real problem is that this article has been given front-page prominence. I wish Gene would have asked a real LA/MLS writer, like you or Bueno!

Anonymous said...

Don't guys like this get it? The fact that he had to write about it validates it's relevance, the fact that it makes the front page validates it's importance.

L.B. said...

Anon, right on the mark.

I never understood that sort of thinking: "It's not important, but I'll go write about it anyway."

If it's not important, don't write about it.