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Thread: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

  1. #46
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    I thought this was kind of amusing. Evidently, Beckham sought the advice of none other than Tom Cruise in deciding to move here. Calls Tom a "wise man".

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070112/...onference_dc_1
    Hmmm, I wonder if that means the new jersey sponsor for the LA Galaxy will be "Dianetics, by L. Ron Hubbard." Will the South Park guys buy the Colorado Rapids and rename them "Minions of Xenu?"
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I was thinking about this a while back and, while I agree that in my lifetime that's probably the case, I think it's important to recognize that some things are peculiar to our era.

    For instance, Gen Xers (and Baby Boomers to a lesser extent) were raised in the NFL era. I was born a few weeks before the first Super Bowl, when football was a distant second to baseball, and by the time I came into sports consciousness the NFL had pretty much seized the top dog position. Supposedly, before I was born people did not sit around all Sunday watching football games, especially those that didn't involve the local team. It's not that no one did it or that people weren't interested, just that it wasn't ingrained behavior to the degree that we see today ... or so I've been led to believe.

    For me, Sunday football was ritual. It actually took me a few years to stop watching the NFL from 1-7 each Sunday even after my interest in the game waned because it literally hadn't occurred to me that you could do something else. When you think about it, football's quite a phemenon with Gen X. Males in my generation watch it in huge numbers, even those who didn't play it at an organized level. Though we all played a lot, even those who never put on a helmet. I remember as a kid, I wound up playing neighborhood football roughly 200 times a year.

    Yet, with the passage of time, we're going to become a less desirable demographic. We also pile on more responsibilities as we get older and Sunday in front of the boob tube becomes a fairly impractical notion. My question is, will following generations share our football mania?

    I don't think that's likely. First off, there's a glut of media these days. We're way past the point where football could rule the roost by dint of being the only thing on. You can watch the best in the world play soccer. Basketball, baseball and hockey are now all over the place as well. Like racing, tennis or golf? There's entire channels for those sports. Like extreme sports? It's all over the place.
    I think your observations are relevant. In the fall, I am usually too busy with projects and responsibilities to watch much football on a Sunday afternoon.

  4. #48
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    M2 you make some great points. But I think the bottom line is how many people - especially kids and teens - are going to watch soccer in person and on TV? I've read you guys' posts about English soccer and how exciting it is compared to soccer in other countries. Problem is, this isn't England. You still have a game where you have guys passing the ball back and forth and seemingly nothing happens. Then from outside the penalty box someone gets a shot on goal and it's usually a floater the keeper can corral without a problem. I just don't think kids and adults are going to sit around and watch something with so little action no matter how many stars you import. Especially when, as you said, there are so many other choices.

    When I was a kid we didn't have cable TV. I loved sports so when any sporting activity was on I'd watch it. Basketball, football, baseball, of course, hockey, wrestling - both pro and college and, yes, even soccer. I remember when Pele and Beckenbauer and Chinaglia came to the Cosmos and played in Giants Stadium. I have a vague recollection of a soccer game at the Orange Bowl in Miami where they played on the artificial turf of the football field and kept the football markings on it. Kind of weird seeing soccer played on a football field. I also remember watching soccer on public TV from England, I believe. I didn't know who the teams were and I didn't care as long as it was sports, I watched it. But I couldn't go to England and watch it. I didn't know who the players were and it made it tough to develop a rooting interest. I can still remember the announcer's name: Toby Charles, but I couldn't remember any players' names. And the stars from the Cosmos soon retired and after that, TV coverage was about nil, as Mr. Charles would put it. No TV coverage, no league and no soccer to watch for little old me.

    The TV coverage is key. Sure, you can stick MLS on the Ocho and draw maybe a little better than the WNBA but advertisers aren't going to shell out big bucks to TV networks if people aren't watching the product. And even if it's July and Beckham and the Galaxy are on ESPN or ABC people are going to watch the Yankees and the Red Sox on Fox. I imagine it's going to keep chugging along. There's enough channels out there to put it on and keep people who really enjoy it watching. But I don't believe it's ever going to be big time no matter who is playing because it's just not the kind of sport that is going to keep the kids riveted in front of their TVs.
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  5. #49
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    Chip, I think your points are valid, but I also think they represent that old school way of thinking that one has to cater to the suburban TV-watching public in order for a sport to gain traction nationally. People note low ratings for MLS games, but they don't take into account the games being watched on Univision or other Spanish language channels. You have that revenue stream in addition to what you have on ESPN and ABC. If MLS teams are able to start competing in the international tournaments on a regular basis, I think you'll see that interest grow. I will give the MLS credit as well, that adding Beckham does raise its profile internationally. Now the MLS might see more of their games carried outside of the country. It's more than just marketing to soccer moms and their soccer playing kids.

    As far as your typical American sports fan, I think they need to work to get more people out to the games. It's hard for someone who has little exposure to soccer to get a feel for the ebb and flow of the game merely from watching it on TV. It's way better as an "in person" sport than it is as a TV sport, at least if you have the right kind of fans. I went to a Chicago Fire game back in 2000 or 2001 and it was really pretty crazy how the supporters section had cheers and songs going for the full 90 minutes of the game. I thought it was pretty awesome even at Soldier Field, which was half-empty at the time. I can only imagine what it would be like in one of those 20,000 seat soccer-only stadiums. It wasn't quite to the level of the Austria Salzburg fans, but it was still pretty intense.

    In any case, the MLS just has to keep building a base of strong supporters. Once they get a sufficient level of people who strongly support the sport, the casual fans will come along to find out what all the hubbub is about.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    One idea I've always liked is some sort of cross-pollination between the MFL and MLS. There would be no better way to galvanize interest in the American league then by establishing some sort of cup or challenge competition against the Morelias, Pumas, and Americas of the world.

    Perhaps an 8-team Mexican-American Cup or the like. And if we could get at least a qualifying chance at Libertadores, that would be colossal as well.

    (And yes, I'm aware of the CONCACAF Champions League but it's frankly a sideshow and neither the US or Mexican teams seem to ever field full strength squads)

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    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    They've been talking about soccer catching on in this country for twenty years.

    Yawn.

    The NFL has the best product going, I think it would be tough to see football go by the wayside in favor of soccer.
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    The money is insane. We have been laughing about all the hype over here. Great right foot though. It will be strange for him to be able to be the main set peice taker now he hasn't got all the the real superstars to fight with.

    Also speaking about Freddy Adu, did you know Man Utd rejected him after a recent trial in Manchester .

  9. #53
    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    Man U (or the EPL as a whole) is the last place Freddy should be going.

    I pray he ends up in the Primera at a mid-level club where he can best develop into the #10 the USA needs so desperately.

    There was some talk a while back of Ronaldo playing for the Metrostars. Could see the likelihood of that occurring ratcheting up considerably after the Becks move.
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  10. #54
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner View Post
    They've been talking about soccer catching on in this country for twenty years.

    Yawn.

    The NFL has the best product going, I think it would be tough to see football go by the wayside in favor of soccer.
    Actually it's been 30 years.

    This thread alone has over 500 views and 50 replies, it's coming whether you like it or not, because 30 years ago it was a blip on the screen compared to now. Plus no one said Soccer has to only take on the NFL.

    I guess you better wake up from that deep


  11. #55
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS View Post
    There was some talk a while back of Ronaldo playing for the Metrostars. Could see the likelihood of that occurring ratcheting up considerably after the Becks move.

    And that is a problem. Beckham gets $250M and Ronaldo thinks he's just as good or better than Beckham and he'll want more than that. I'm not privvy to MLS's finances but I don't think they can afford to throw those kind of deals around.
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  12. #56
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    I thin Beckham will find that people care about 1000 times less here than they did in Europe. We haven't had an US-equivalent athlete as far as exposure goes compared to Beckham. He might find that refreshing, but he might wind up begging to go back to Europe. Either way, I'm glad to see a big name player coming to the MLS while he's still got something left, even if it's not that much.
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  13. #57
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    I thin Beckham will find that people care about 1000 times less here than they did in Europe. We haven't had an US-equivalent athlete as far as exposure goes compared to Beckham. He might find that refreshing, but he might wind up begging to go back to Europe. Either way, I'm glad to see a big name player coming to the MLS while he's still got something left, even if it's not that much.

    And he might find the distance from the British tabloids a huge relief.
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  14. #58
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    And he might find the distance from the British tabloids a huge relief.
    Now he'll only have the LA tabloids to deal with.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  15. #59
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    Chip, I figure soccer will steadily get more popular over time. I doubt it's going to have a singular breakout moment. Like I said before, the English and Mexican leagues will probably remain more popular in the U.S. than MLS. I certainly expect soccer will be more popular than hockey at some point. I think it could become as popular as basketball in a few decades.

    But I do expect the typical American sports fan is going to change from today's standard model and any change probably won't benefit football.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  16. #60
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: David Beckham to the MLS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    Now he'll only have the LA tabloids to deal with.

    Hence the relief. The LA tabloids aren't even in the same league as the British ones. And they are more concerned with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise and Oprah than Beckham.
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