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David Beckham: I don't get it


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#1 of 105 Chris Lockwood

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Posted January 12 2007 - 03:16 PM

An LA soccer team just signed David Beckham for $250 million for 5 years.

OK, I get that he's very popular, maybe the most popular player in the world right now... but we're tallking soccer in America, not exactly the most cash-rich sport.

Someone please explain the economics of this to me. Soccer is not a major league sport here. The major pro team sports are football, baseball, basketball, & hockey, & as far as I know, no player in any of those sports makes that much per year... so how can this team afford to pay so much for this guy? I wouldn't think an entire team would make that much combined.

I hate the arguments about what athletes make vs. other people like teachers & am not talking about that... I just don't see how a minor league team can afford that kind of cash.

Do they think soccer is going to become popular here suddenly? I don't know any American sports fan that cares about soccer, except some mild interest in the World Cup... unless they are originally from another country.

Not bashing the sport here, just pointing out the reality that it's not that popular here. It's like reading that a pro bowler is going to get $50 million per year.

#2 of 105 RandyWebb

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Posted January 12 2007 - 03:35 PM

They can afford it,because from what I understand they really aren't paying for it. The bulk of the contract is paid by ADIDAS and AEG and has as much to do with endorsements as with his on-field play. The dollars don't seem as out of whack when compared with high dollar endorsement contracts paid to other athletes like Tiger and Lebron. Although not quite as big an icon in this country, Beckham's world wide appeal is incredible.

Set Beckham and Posh loose in LA (no accident) and the MLS will get more pub than soccer has since Pele's heyday. Soccer may never be huge in the States, but if it is going to have a chance, it has to get noticed and we are on a Home Theater Forum talking about it...sounds like it worked!

#3 of 105 Chris Lockwood

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Posted January 12 2007 - 03:40 PM

But I'm talking about how unpopular it is, not how great it is... and most non-fans aren't going to become fans from this. Those guys you mention play sports that are popular, not soccer.

#4 of 105 ThomasC

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Posted January 12 2007 - 03:41 PM

He's getting an annual salary in the single-digit millions from the Galaxy. That leaves more than $40 million per year in money from endorsements.

#5 of 105 RandyWebb

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Posted January 12 2007 - 03:58 PM

You're absolutely right. People who hate soccer will always hate soccer. I think it is a boring game. Too much running around with not enough excitement. Hell, you don't even know when the game actually ends.

But the Beckham signing will stir interest, people will check in out of curiosity and a few people will like it. Any audience would be an improvement.

#6 of 105 sp00n

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Posted January 12 2007 - 08:28 PM

is he still going out with that spice girl?
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#7 of 105 Christ Reynolds

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Posted January 12 2007 - 09:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sp00n
is he still going out with that spice girl?
a quick wikipedia search would have told you that they have been married for nearly 7 years.

CJ
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#8 of 105 Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 13 2007 - 12:37 AM

Personally, I doubt this will have much long term affect on the popularity of the sport in the U.S. I remember the North American Soccer League days, when international greats such as Pele, Beckenbauer and Trevor Francis came to the States (I personally attended games that Francis played for the Detroit Express in the Silverdome). The league folded a few years after all this infusion of name players. There have been attempts for almost 40 years to establish soccer as a major professional sport here. If it hasn't happened by now, it's not going to happen.

Personally, I played the sport in high school and was also a certified USSF referee, but I have little interest in watching Beckham and the MLS. I'll watch the World Cup every four years, but have little interest in following the sport locally on a consistent basis.

#9 of 105 andrew markworthy

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Posted January 13 2007 - 12:51 AM

Quote:
You're absolutely right. People who hate soccer will always hate soccer. I think it is a boring game. Too much running around with not enough excitement. Hell, you don't even know when the game actually ends.

Umm ... it ends when the final whistle blows. Posted Image And just for the record, most Brits have exactly the same sentiments about American football (though not me - I loathe soccer).

The Brit media have been full of the Beckham story for the last few days, as you might expect. As one of the Brit newspapers helpfully pointed out, Beckham will earn more in five minutes than a teacher, policeman or nurse earns in a month (things may be different in the USA, but in the UK these are taken as the benchmarks of jobs that 'deserve' a decent salary).

However, I await with interest the USA's reaction to Posh and Becks, as they are known in the UK media. If you think you've heard about them yet, just wait until you get the full-on onslaught we're subjected to. One of them has only to sneeze for it to be front page news. They also divide opinion in the UK. I think it's fair to say that the two principal opinions are:

(1) footballing genius and pop icon who are the epitome of aspirational taste, and demonstrate what can be done if you try really hard

(2) a couple of dim-witted, irredeemably vulgar parvenues, who no matter what their talents are obscenely overpaid.

I leave it to you to form your own opinions. Posted Image

#10 of 105 Bruce Hedtke

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Posted January 13 2007 - 05:23 AM

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I wouldn't think an entire team would make that much combined.
I can't remember who said it on ESPN, but he asked if the entire league was worth $250 million.

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(1) footballing genius and pop icon who are the epitome of aspirational taste, and demonstrate what can be done if you try really hard

If you scratch out footballing and pop icon and replace them with golfer and model, respectively, you'd have Tiger and Elin Woods. Tiger probably sneezes and we never read about it in the tabloids. As big a star as David Beckham is around the world, he isn't that big here in America and I doubt he'll be shouldering Britney or Paris or Lindsey or TomKat out of the tabloid spotlight anytime soon.

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#11 of 105 Bill Cowmeadow

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Posted January 13 2007 - 05:54 AM

Soccer to me was everything when a youngster growing up in England. I moved to the U.S. when I was 21 and haven't played since. I have grown to truly enjoy American Football and know and understand all the nuances of the game. But if I see a soccer game on a particular channel I can't not watch, much like a great football game. Baseball, however, although I know the game, I just can't seem to get into the nuances of the game even though I know what they are. It's just tiring for me to watch. I think many Americans feel that way about soccer. For those folks the game will always be a bore. I hope The addition of Beckham can get a few more people into the game, much like the indoor MISL teams did for a number of cities around the country in the 80's and 90's. Those cities still have a great youth soccer programs.

#12 of 105 Alf S

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Posted January 13 2007 - 07:16 AM

Major league soccer will, I repeat, never ever ever become popular here in the US, no matter how famous this guy is. I think his main reason for coming here, aside from the money, is a ticket to Hollywood.
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#13 of 105 Andrew Pratt

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Posted January 13 2007 - 07:19 AM

I wonder though if things will change as the younger generations grow up having played as kids. You can't toss a stick and not hit a soccer pitch around here with a bunch of kids playing and the indoor league that I play in is growing so quickly they're building a new arena.

Quote:
You're absolutely right. People who hate soccer will always hate soccer. I think it is a boring game. Too much running around with not enough excitement. Hell, you don't even know when the game actually ends.

I feel the same way about baseball but I enjoy playing softball...watching MLB though isn't for me though.

#14 of 105 Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 13 2007 - 08:04 AM

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I wonder though if things will change as the younger generations grow up having played as kids. You can't toss a stick and not hit a soccer pitch around here with a bunch of kids playing and the indoor league that I play in is growing so quickly they're building a new arena.

The same thing was said when I was playing soccer as a kid in the 1970's. It didn't happen.

#15 of 105 Rob Gillespie

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Posted January 13 2007 - 08:44 AM

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I think his main reason for coming here, aside from the money, is a ticket to Hollywood.

Or that just about everyone in his home country is sick the eyeballs of hearing about him and his anorexic stick insect singer of a wife (who can't sing to save her life).

btw, he's not going there voluntarily. The British have sent him there as revenge for giving us Paris Hilton.
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#16 of 105 Kevin Hewell

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Posted January 13 2007 - 11:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield
The same thing was said when I was playing soccer as a kid in the 1970's. It didn't happen.

Same here. I played as a kid in the 70s and everyone kept saying how soccer was going to be this big, professional sport by the time I became an adult. As Scott said, it didn't happen and I doubt it will happen this time around.

#17 of 105 Marvin

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Posted January 13 2007 - 11:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Hewell
Same here. I played as a kid in the 70s and everyone kept saying how soccer was going to be this big, professional sport by the time I became an adult. As Scott said, it didn't happen and I doubt it will happen this time around.

They were also saying the metric system would catch on here.

Is this guy Beckham a bigger star than Pele was? The latter's signing to a US soccer team didn't seem to have much of an effect.

#18 of 105 Ricardo C

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Posted January 13 2007 - 12:30 PM

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Is this guy Beckham a bigger star than Pele was? The latter's signing to a US soccer team didn't seem to have much of an effect.

The only guys to reach Pelé's level of popularity and respect (meaning they're still regarded as Pelé's equals long after their careers ended) are probably Diego Maradona and George Best. Beckham, I would say, is on Ronaldo's class: Certainly among the best of their generation, but a far cry from the genius of the aforementioned players.

I've always been a fan of the guy, and hey, I hope he enjoys the insane amount of dough he's gonna be making, but I don't think he's going to transform the US soccer world.
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#19 of 105 Dome Vongvises

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Posted January 13 2007 - 02:16 PM

Looking at this from as practical of a perspective as I can get, I really don't see a massive return on this investment either from the team or endorsers.

As far as the game of soccer is concerned, it really is a hard game to get into if you weren't born into that supportive of an environment. I watched the World Cup this past summer, and I thoroughly enjoyed it although I don't understand the nuances involved with the game. Aside from the actual game itself, the best thing about soccer is the fact that there are no tv/commercial timeouts. College basketball (GO CATS!!!) will always be my favorite sport, but I absolutely hate the commercial timeout.

#20 of 105 Bill Cowmeadow

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Posted January 13 2007 - 03:47 PM

I saw George Best play several times when I was a Kid. He was mesmerizing, and no-one came close to playing with the dexterity and finesse he had. He was what we all aspired to be in our careers as soccer players. I hope Beckham can bring something close to that enthusiasm to the game in America.


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