July 16, 2009

Casual fan v. Internet fan

This is the man who is dividing soccer fans across America.

Those of us who read and write blogs, follow the message boards, and use the internet to keep up with our soccer are a different breed than the casual fan. It's easy to forget and think that our voice is the most important, but we're outnumbered.

Watch the mainstream media coverage of Mr. Beckham's return and you'll see it. Matt Lauer gave our boy Dave one of the all time greatest tongue baths I've ever seen on TV yesterday. I almost threw up watching Headline News later, it was even more disgusting. I thought the anchorwoman was going to get graphic. Meanwhile, if you read the hardcores on the internet, you'd think Beckham had broke in their house, ate their food, and kicked their dog.

I'll be very interested to see how this huge difference of opinion plays out. The more play Grant Wahl's book gets in the mainstream, the more change we'll see. I think this book could be the best thing to happen to American soccer.

Too many people look at soccer in the US as a diversion, something nice and nonthreatening, safe and easy. MLS hasn't really had any mainstream controversy over the years. You haven't seen a steroid scandal, players having affairs with pop stars, offseason troubles, no one's made it rain at a strip club, etc.

Sadly, I think some think MLS is small time because of this.

Finally, we have a little controversy, a little bit of a soap opera for people to sink their teeth into. It gives people something to talk about, and more importantly, something to watch for. Will Beckham come out and perform? Will he show a greater level of commitment? Or, will he and Landon Donovan start kicking each other?

I'll be curious to see where this goes...

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