Friday, October 19, 2007

Bothered by Beckham

A number of the press at last night's game had come specifically to cover Beckham's return to the squad and were not happy that he wasn't made available to the media at all. After Beckham's first matches with the squad, he would do post-game interviews. Locker room interviews with Beckham have always been denied.

Beckham hasn't done post-training interviews, either. So basically, the story many reporters had come to get was completely shut down.

It's not the first time an MLS player has avoided media. I'm not based in New York, but I hear that Amado Guevara, while he played there, boycotted interviews with English media for about a year because he was unhappy with an article written by one reporter.

When Landon Donovan first returned from Germany to play in MLS in 2005, the media attention on him was pretty intense. The Galaxy instituted a rule for a while that Landon wouldn't do any interviews on Fridays.

This was really a pain for me, because at the time, Fridays were the only days I could come to trainings to conduct interviews.

At various points, players have shaken their heads "no" when I've asked for interviews, or just given that quick smile and ignored the pleas to answer questions. Giovanni Dos Santos, at the Mexico Guatemala friendly, tortured the press by smiling and chatting with some cousins of his right in front of the barrier holding back at least fifty reporters begging him to say a few words to them. He ignored them all.

With regards to Beckham, however, here's someone who was supposed to be an ambassador for the sport in the U.S., and now he's been coy and hard to get for days, even though he's back playing. I don't know if he's making a concerted effort to avoid being a distraction to the team while they push for the playoffs, but it's leaving a lot of disgruntled reporters grousing in the press box. It's tough when you promise an editor a Beckham story and can't get a single word from the man.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you all will get an interview when it's decided if they make the playoffs or not.

patience - write about Cobi Jones instead until then - he deserves it.


charlton heston said...

I saw it as a smart move. The guy hasn't been around in over a month and a half and didn't want to steal all the thunder from his teammates who have gone unbeaten in the last six matches.

I took it as an act of humility.

Anonymous said...

You know, now that you mention it, I kinda miss the annual Amado Guevara temper tantrum. Guess I'm getting soft in my older age...

Nathan said...

So, Ives ruined access to Guevara for everyone?

Not bad for one column's work.

L.B. said...

Ives didn't ruin anything. Amado overreacted. Old wolfie should have had some thicker skin, and someone should have done something about his unwillingness to talk.

Diane said...

Beckham looked pretty miserable last night. Maybe I'm projecting because it was so clear that he's still injured. He's protecting his ankle more now than he did in August (smart but best done off the pitch), and there were problems with his form that just don't come from a lay-off. He looked frustrated with himself during the match and unhappy after.

Unless that rumored injury cover-up is in full swing, Beckham may not know why the hell his ankle is still so crocked, and be pretty down about not being able to help either of his teams move ahead this week. He hasn't shirked press responsibilities in his other jobs so hopefully he'll pull it together (or get clearance if its not his decision) to talk to you guys soon.

(I like the comment from fc uptown, on your "Gimpy ankle again" post, which provides a fine and detailed list of medical questions that no one's likely to get many answers to!)

Anonymous said...

Just make something up or offer some opinions based on pure speculation not facts. That seems to be working for you on the WNT story.

JT (Chicago) said...

Luis Arroyave in his Chicago Tribune blog is reporting that Beckham, Blanco, Yallop, & Osorio will be at a press conference Saturday afternoon.

The Fire usually makes press conferences available through their podcasts (at iTunes) for anyone interested.

A.C. said...

A press conference in Chicago doesn't help any of the writers who came out to LA for interviews.

It's not as if many of these writers control what sells. Reporters can't just write a Cobi article for an outlet that wants a Beckham article. A writer either fulfills an assignment, or often loses the assignment entirely.

JT (Chicago) said...

Maybe not AC but it probably illustrates the way the Galaxy & MLS are taking the hometown media for granted while continuing to have the circus atmosphere for away matches.

Amongst all the other things, MLS needs to understand that the media has needs too - not just to publicize what MLS has on its agenda.