Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter egg hunt

At the FanFest event yesterday, the Galaxy won their scrimmage versus the San Fernando Valley Quakes 3-1. The match was a short one - two thirty-minute halves. All the Galaxy goals were scored in the first half as Carlos Ruiz, Michael Gavin and Landon Donovan notched goals. Willie Sims scored late in the second half for the Quakes. Yes, that Willie Sims.

David Beckham subbed out of the match late and was later on stage with the team for introductions. Donovan was already headed to LAX to join the U.S. national team roster - he left immediately after the scrimmage. GM Alexi Lalas also gave an address to Galaxy season ticket holders.

Still, the most interesting part of the FanFest was what happened afterwards. I joined Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports and Galaxy media dude Justin Pearson for a drink at a local sports bar (where we watched Stanford and UCLA cut their wins so close).

On the way there, Martin, who still retains many media contacts in his native England, got a call asking about Beckham's "injury". Apparently, a photographer had sent to his agency a photo of Beckham stretching after the scrimmage with a caption about how he was subbed out of the match due to a groin injury. The deadline to go to press in England was rapidly approaching, and a number of papers wanted to run the image. They needed a quote or an official "no comment" from the Galaxy. While I sat bemused in the backseat, Martin was on the phone to London, saying that he thinks Beckham is fine, but he's working on getting an official quote, while Justin was trying to drive while also on his phone, calling Lalas, and then the team trainer, Armando Rivas, to get the official quote "Beckham is fine" on a frenzied timeline. Then both phones started to run low on battery and there was much "Can you hear me?" going on. Later, Martin told me that a photographer could make thousands of dollars off such a picture, and just defend himself against distortion by saying he described what he thought was going on. Martin figured some papers would run the photo anyway, but I haven't found one online yet.

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