By Craig Kwasniewski
First off, I am very aware that TAB is a NBA blogsite and despite some of the recent soccer-influenced posts, we are not converting over to TheAssociationSoccer.com (1/2 of us hate the game, so Brett will make sure my Beckham posts will be kept to a minimum).
BUT if you haven't already heard, David Beckham was officially introduced as a member of the LA Galaxy and as a season ticket holder I was able to attend the event. So after succumbing to a brutal case of the "24-hour food poisoning" I called in sick, put on the "Black Toe" Jordans (obviously... it's a special occasion) and drove on down to the Home Depot Center for the Beckham Presentation at 10 AM.
Here's some photos I took of the event along with some quick thoughts:
The media was out in full force. Depending on the source, people were claiming between 200-800 media credentials were issued for today. I was looking for those sweaty/fat writers that tend to rip on "the hip-hop culture of the NBA" all angrily waiting to write their "Beckham is overrated" pieces. Instead there were all varieties of media there, from ESPN to Access Hollywood to a ton of Spanish-speaking media.
You can't think of David Beckham without mentioning Posh Spice. I'm starting to agree with some who think the whole move to America was to revive her career. She entered the event 10 minutes before wearing a hot-pink number and drawing all the attention from the media. I've never seen her in person before but she really has that "it" quality about her. As you can see, she really knows how to pose for the camera.
Here's the LA Riot Squad in full force doing their chant thang. The Galaxy has two fan groups the Riot Squad and the Galaxians (BTW - they are NOT made up entirely of Armenians, talk about misnomer). Anyway, I dig the Riot Squad, they break out some pretty funny chants that are not soccer-mom friendly. However, the Galaxians are the type of fans that wear wigs, paint their faces and make constant noise (like banging a drum or blowing a horn) all throughout the game. These are the type of fans that drive me crazy and make soccer embarrassing. This has to be white noise to the players. Just imagine if you're at work trying to make a deadline. So does your boss walk up to you and start clanging two staplers together all day to motivate you? Whatever...
Finally, Galaxy President Alexi Lalas takes the stage and introduces David Beckham to the USA and a ton of confetti. NOTHING says "this is really important stuff" like an ass load of confetti! Anyway, Beckham holds up his new Galaxy jersey (BTW - I already have the blue and white ones which are waaaaaay better that the old colors.) and speaks softly to the crowd. That's always the funniest thing about Becks. Here's possibly the biggest sports celebrity on the planet with tons of both male and female fans and he's got a voice of a sissy. I'm telling you, chicks dig accents.
Anyway, he spoke for a few minutes to the estimated 5,000 fans and thanked everyone for attending. Have I mentioned that it's pretty damn cool to see David Beckham playing soccer in LA for the next five years? Needless to say, I'm very geeked about it.
Following Beckham's speech came to most awkward moment of the entire event. LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who's mired in a scandal for banging a Telemundo newscaster (based on her track record, she's quite the political groupie) on the side, tried to present Beckham with some sort of City of Los Angeles proclamation. The whole thing was drowned out in loud boos from the fans. Villaraigosa's always been an attention whore here in LA, but I'm guessing that he should lay low for a few days.
Here's a final shot of the aftermath of the Beckham Presentation (notice all the confetti). I have to admit, I'm digging on all the hype.