Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Galaxy "Hardcore" Should Get Over Themselves
Sometimes you pass through the turnstile into an altogether more unpleasant life, and Beckham's return to MLS has been very unpleasant indeed. The release of Grant Wahl's book, which I turned down an offer to review due to a lifelong passion for not reading anything with the word "Beckham" in the title, has been perfectly timed with Beckham's contractual obligation tour, i.e. playing for the LA Galaxy exactly as long as it takes to negotiate a move back to Milan (at least according to the Guardian).
Needless to say, the "hardcore" Galaxy support section, that noxious, conflicted anglophile element de rigeur in any MLS club, felt the need to shout out loud what was already obvious to everyone for the last two years: that Beckham is a very rich man playing for a substandard club in a middling overseas league, largely for self-interested reasons. If they were stupid enough not to know it when he signed, they know it now.
Anyway, it seems during a recent Milan-Galaxy friendly, some Galaxy fans made their anger known by saying very rude things about Beckham's family. The Guardian quotes Galaxy fan Ricardo Vigil, 28, from Los Angeles: "So Beckham comes over here, he starts saying, 'Come down here, come down here', so our guy went down there. He called out one of our guys. He instigated that. We boo a lot of players – they don't come out and challenge our guys. We're just here as fans." Fellow fan Eric Lewis adds this unconvincing note of support: "He shouldn't have done that, it was dumb. The guy was inebriated, Beckham should have known that. For a player to call out a fan is ridiculous."
Ah yes, the fan immunity card. Apparently Becks just wanted a handshake and for the man to "calm down," not "come down"-oh those funny English accents!-but it doesn't matter, the "hardcore" fans have spoken. Heap your abuse, hooligan-lite "Riot Squad", but you were duped first when some of you swallowed this snake oil two years ago. So why not stop the "you don't love us" naivete and see this for what it is: the introduction of a talented midfielder at a time in the season when the Galaxy are only five points off top spot in the Western division? That the man is an empty, celebrity shill hasn't seemed to have prevented him from sending in a decent cross or two in the past. Why would it now?