FC Dallas might be setting a bad precedent. David Beckham was nowhere near Frisco, Texas, on Tuesday as FC Dallas hosted the L.A. Galaxy in a SuperLiga match. He was injured, unable to play and as such stayed home.
Three days after the Beckham-less sellout game, FC Dallas is trying to appease angry fans who did not get to see Beckham play in person. FC Dallas and the Galaxy announced a charity game to be played sometime in 2008. The game will be played in the preseason and "will include the presence of Galaxy midfielder David Beckham."
Like any other club that over-hypes Beckham's arrival, FC Dallas was left with egg on their face after Beckham did not play or even travel to the game. Understandably, fans were upset because Beckham did not play. If I go see a movie that's presented as a Will Ferrell movie and then Will Ferrell isn't even in it, I'd be upset as well. But it was FC Dallas' fault, not the Galaxy's and certainly not Beckham's, that they had billboards proclaiming Beckham's arrival in the Lone Star State.
So what was FC Dallas' solution? A charity game. What happens then if Beckham does not play against Toronto on Sunday? Do their fans demand a charity game as well? Does their front office figure out some way to get Beckham back to Toronto so their fans can ooh and aah at Beckham?
The Galaxy has already had a taste of this and already has done some scrambling over similar issues. Way back in April, the club offered The Beckham Pack so fans could have purchased a ticket to the April 12 opener against FC Dallas as well a ticket to the Aug. 23 game against Chivas USA in what the team billed as "the only way to guarantee yourself the chance to see David Beckham at The Home Depot Center in a Galaxy uniform." Turns out England is playing Germany at Wembley on Aug. 22 and Beckham was called back up to England and welcomed back with open arms and may indeed be with England for that match.
Nothing is set yet; Beckham might be hobbling around still on Aug. 22 and 23, he may be in London or he may be in Carson but to guarantee something like a player's appearance is ludicrous. The Galaxy learned that lesson, though, and later offered a similar Beckham package to another match but had the caveat "David Beckham scheduled but not guaranteed to play."
Now that the Beckham Tour is underway, it'll be interesting to see what happens if Beckham comes and goes without having played any minutes. Will fans be upset if he plays but doesn't go the full 90?
Will fans be upset if he plays 90 minutes but doesn't score a goal? Will an MLS team set up a David Beckham Shooting Display where fans can watch David Beckham score goals in some charity event next year? I know, it sounds lame. But so does a knee-jerk reaction that results in a 2008 preseason charity game.