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Thursday, September 27, 2007


We interrupt Poetry Week here at The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas to write some more about that most vital of issues: The Spice Girls.

No, actually I meant Football, or as it's known here in the States: Soccer. Actually, since this is about Posh Spice's husband, we can combine the two. The Spice Girls and Football, not Soccer and Football, as they're the same thing. Anyway...

It's been a few months now since David Beckham's triumphant arrival in the United States and one bad ankle and knee injury later it's been a mixed bag. On the one hand, people who didn't know a football from a bong are attending footy matches in the U.S. Celebrites are bonkers over Beckham and even regular American sportswriters, who tend to view proper football as something akin to brain-sucking, mutant aliens taking liberties with their grandmothers are covering the game, if only to loudly pronounce beween fried chicken tender-scented belches that Beckham will never make football popular in America. This is usually followed by excessive belt-tightening.

The poor gits don't realise that football is the second-most played youth sport behind basketball, and this is only because basketball is played in the frozen dead of winter, where its only competition is expensive and violent ice hockey games and eyes-glazing-over curling matches. It's already a popular sport to play. Watching it is simply the next bleeding step. Beckham will only help accelerate the inevitable addiction to football that many of us have already succumbed to.

Obviously, Beckham does have the celebrity thing working for him. Yes, he's a very talented player, even if he is in the autumn of his career. However, it's his dashing metrosexual, "Posh is my gorgeous-if plastic-flatmate," who knows what daft hairstyle I'm on about this week, celebrity power that make his presence in MLS a massive media draw. He seems to make it all work and appears to be a very modest, self-effacing bloke despite the gazillion flash bulbs going off in his face, and having more knickers hurled at him than Tom Jones at Woodstock (had he been there and had most of the participants been wearing underwear).

Of course, the celebrity aspects could backfire as well. As Becks and Posh are friends with Tom Cruise, there is the suspicion that Becks may be affiliated with Scientology. If Becks turns up in the locker room one afternoon with an "e-meter" and warning his playing mates about the negative effects of Thetans on getting the ball wide, it will all go pear-shaped very quickly.

Because of injuries, this season will be a star-studded wash (and that's just the after-game parties). The real test is whether Beckhampalooza continues in March when MLS starts their new season. If the fans continue turn out in force to see Mr. B., the love-fest with footy could just be getting underway, and you know what that means:

Victory 2, starring Tom Cruise and Ronaldinho!

We now return you to the Marcel Marceau retrospective: "Silent, but Deadly."

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