The big introduction ceremony today was pretty odd, although I guess it made for a good media event. From the LA mayor getting booed (take your pick on the reason, I've read about his extramarital affairs and I've read that he's a Chivas fan) to Alexi Lalas' hysterical comments (again take your pick, from the Gals being the "jewel" of MLS to his shilling of merchandise and tickets like an auctioneer), it was mostly just surreal. It was surreal for our little league of 12 years to have such a major worldwide event occur. I think it's almost time to share MLS with the masses.
For the best coverage of the day, check out Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post and his DC Sports Bog.
I haven't heard it, but supposedly Scott Van Pelt of ESPN said on Houston radio that LeBron James has been more successful than Beckham in his career. He didn't say that he was more popular, he said more successful. I guess LeBron's state high school titles trump Premiership and La Liga titles, FA Cups, and a Champions League title. Thanks for the lesson, Scott.
As much as I like Michael Wilbon, he just said that Giorgia Chinaglia was a much better player than Beckham. I disagree, but whatever. More importantly, Wilbon's credibility just went into the toilet when he actually believed Chinaglia was a credible source of information. Dan LeBatard then told me that Americans don't like soccer. Again, thanks for the lession Dan, I'll change my thinking right away.
Very few people are realizing that MLS is in a million times better shape financially for Beckham's arrival than the NASL was for Pele's. The comparison doesn't even really make sense because of that fact. Compare Beckham's introduction in front of hundreds of media members and thousands of fans to Pele's introduction at the 21 Club in New York City.
The foundation was built with the ethnic leagues of the pre-NASL days. Pele's solidified it and added to it. Numerous youth leagues were created because of the NASL, and they still thrive today. When the NASL died, the USISL and A-League squatted on the property. The 1994 World Cup rebuilt the house, and MLS moved in 2 years later. Bills are getting paid on time now. The arrival of Beckham could mean it's time to make some additions to the home.