September 6, 2007
Surf's not up
By JODY VANCE -- Sun Media
David Beckham ruffles my feathers -- and not how you might think.
There was a time when I dug David Beckham along with the masses, back when he was "the man" at Man U and captain of the English squad.
Fast forward to today and I'm simply sick of his routine. Can I blame him for collecting primo dinero for doing almost nothing? No. But can I blame him for flaunting it? Heck ya!
The ankle injury was one thing but the knee added insult to injury -- David Beckham seemed undaunted by the fact that he likely won't see game action again this soccer season.
Now before you go running to your computer to chastise me and send the, "you-can't-blame-the-guy-for-that" e-mail, hear me out.
What has me saying any remorse over being "out" is put-on is this: Just days after the news of his injury was released, gossip websites are flooded with photos of Becks carrying around a surfboard as his kids went out to hang 10 in Malibu.
Reports are that he "observed a ban on any physical activity as imposed by the L.A. Galaxy," but still my feathers were and are ruffled.
It is not as if he didn't know he would be photographed; it is a well-known fact that his wife calls the paparazzi regularly to ensure the family gets good coverage.
There are a million things he could be doing in private this soon after the injury.
There's no question Beckham has put soccer on the map and knows how to sell the game here in North America, and it's true he didn't have to show up in Toronto when the Galaxy came to play Toronto FC, but he did.
It was even pretty cool to witness live and in person the excited crowd at Rogers Centre when Beckham tossed out the first pitch at the Blue Jays game (emphasis on "pretty").
My point today is that the PR machine can only take team Beckham's master plan to bring soccer to a new level in North America so far. Fans here are pretty unforgiving of those who take a dive then go diving.
Season one of Beckham-mania has seen more negative press than positive. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive ... I guess it is true that we are talking soccer where we might not otherwise ... but is it "any press is good press" when it's all about frustration?
-- Jody Vance is a longtime sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV. Her column appears Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.