I didn’t plan to write about everyone’s favorite man with a lower back tattoo, but the coverage has been significantly more intense than I expected.
Last night the Beckham family arrived at LAX to much fanfare, as I found out watching the news as I went to bed. There were so many people and reporters that they actually had to erect a barrier. To most folks, that probably sounds like standard fare at the “Airport to the Stars,” but I assure it is not the case. When asked about it, an airport representative called it “very rare” (Channel 11 News). The setup of the airport is not very media friendly, but they squeezed in there to welcome Beckham to America. I hope they realize that Becks has actually been to America before.
As I drove to work this morning I flipped on ESPN Radio and lo and behold, it was Beckham’s introduction/press conference. Rarely do press conferences make the radio and rightfully so. They are excruciatingly boring to listen to without the visuals and this one didn’t even involve actual questions from the media. The last one I can remember was the TO suicide drama press conference (Remember that? Was that not an insanely interesting sports moment?). I decided to listen anyway for two reasons: 1) Beckham’s voice, which will never stop being funny to me and 2) Alexi Lalas is a lock to say something ridiculous. Needless to say, it didn’t disappoint.
Some British guy spoke, sounded like an owner or something, and then passed the mic to Alexi Lalas. Sadly, nothing too crazy from Lalas. Then Beckham spoke briefly, which is always worth a good laugh. He managed to throw around a few cliches and called the sport soccer which will probably cause The Daily Mail to print a special edition tomorrow morning. But my favorite moment came from recently disgraced LA Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. When he was introduced, he was booed vehemently. Easily the strongest reaction of the day (LA fans catching on?). And his speech for the rally? Getting the crowd fired up for Beckham. I couldn’t have written it any better. If you like unintentional comedy, girly British accents, and a disgraced mayor trying to fire up the crowd booing him, you’ll need to find a way to listen/watch this one. If anyone has a link to any audio or video, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put it up.
So Beckham-ania is at a fever pitch today in the City of Angels, but how long will it last? And more importantly, will his impact be for soccer or celebrity?
Sources: Channel 11 News, Signal to Noise