There are two types of World Football fans. Those who think David Beckham is a genius with his ability to score big goals in big games, and those who think he is amongst the most over-rated players in the history of the sport.
I am in the first group. Once upon a time, I made a journey to London to see him play (and to see other stuff). It was amazing how good he was, and that day he scored 2 goals and dominated the game. Here is the summary: Manchester United 5, West Ham 3 3/16/2002. I happily fell in to the trap of thinking he was all that and a bag of chips because he was.
And now he will play in Frisco twice a year? Wow.
I honestly have no clue what this will do to the MLS business model. I also have no clue if any of you are more likely to get to Pizza Hut Park now that he has signed in America for a mere $250 million. But, if you are asking me if my sports pants are happy, I must respond with an affirmative.
LA Times Column on what lies ahead …
Arguably the world's most famous athlete is coming to work in Los Angeles, but there's something you should know.
David Beckham is not joining the Galaxy as an athlete, but as an advertising campaign.
He is coming as soccer swag, a walking Super Bowl commercial, a big-haired billboard.
His job here is not to win, but to give his sport one last chance to work in the biggest place where it doesn't.
His success will be defined not by corner kicks, but by converts.
"Soccer in America is the biggest-played sport up to a certain age," Beckham said in a televised message. "That's where I want to take it to another level. Potentially it can go higher than anyone can probably believe in America."
Translated, it's his job to round up those baggy-shorted runts clogging up your park and herd them over to his park.
That's all fine and good, but this has been tried here before, remember? A big star showed up to sell a secondary sport, and it worked for a while, but once that star disappeared, so did the sport.
Guy by the name of Gretzky.
Beckham's job is to be greater than the Great One.
No wonder he is being paid roughly $50 million a year for five years, miracles being worth at least much.
"Right now, the move means a ton; I've never seen ESPN this excited about soccer in my life," said Sigi Schmid, coach of Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew and former coach of the Galaxy. "But the real test will be down the road, in how it can help elevate our league and our sport."
Here's hoping Beckham at least does better than in his last two jobs; he was cut by England's national team and benched by Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, FC Dallas looks to get in the fun …
Edgar Davids is another big name midfielder who could be playing football in the United States soon.
On the day David Beckham confirmed he would be joining MLS side LA Galaxy, FC Dallas boss Steve Morrow admitted his interest in Tottenham's 33-year-old former Dutch international midfielder.
Ex-Arsenal midfielder Morrow said: 'We are actually in negotiations with Edgar Davids - we've been speaking for a couple of weeks.
'We were excited to hear about his availability, so we spoke to his agents and have been told he is available.'
Morrow took over as manager of the Western Conference side last month, after playing 44 games for the side in 2002-03.
And he added on BBC London 94.9: 'It appears Tottenham are willing to listen to offers.
'It's the transfer window in the United States now - and if a deal is going to happen it has to be done before the end of the month.'
Can this work in the MLS? Seems crazy, but I am willing to keep an open mind and find out.
The Mickaroo filets Roy Williams …
So what about Roy?
Yeah, him, Roy Williams, the team's franchise strong safety fast turning into an enigma after five seasons in this league.
You know, the Pro Bowl safety who certainly did not perform this 2006 season like a guy earning an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii compliments of his peers and fans.
The same safety who led the Cowboys in interceptions on one hand, but also might have led them in blown coverages on the other.
The guy Cowboys owner Jerry Jones guaranteed $11.1 million this summer by extending his expiring contract through the 2010 season, handing him $5.5 million then and promising the remaining $5.5 million in March.
By all rights, the guy who should have been one of this team's leaders, both on the field and in the locker room, but who prefers to fade into the woodwork in either environment and has little to decreasingly no interaction with what seems to be a loyal fan base through its media intermediaries.
Where is that guy the Cowboys spent an eighth pick in the draft on in 2002? The guy who had a career-high 127 tackles that season, along with a career-high seven behind the line of scrimmage?
Where is that guy who would have regularly appeared on ESPN's favorite Monday night segment of "Jacked Up," he being the one doing the jacking up?
Why did this four-time Pro Bowler not have a Pro Bowl impact on this team this year? Talk about Terrell Owens, come on.
Look, I know he had five interceptions this season, and another one in the playoffs. But sometimes interceptions don't tell the whole story, because if they did, then you would argue to me Williams is better in coverage than Terence Newman, who finished the regular season with only one interception.
This guy should be all about tackles, yet he had but 86 this year, fourth on the team - and behind a cornerback for goodness sakes (Anthony Henry). He had only two tackles for losses, one forced fumble and one quarterback pressure. And don't tell me they didn't blitz him enough. They did, but when they did, he didn't get there.
Hey, in that Philadelphia game, the one at Texas Stadium on Christmas Day, by golly the official play-by-play crew credited him with one tackle. One! Although, he did end up with two more after the coaches' tape review. To me, that's an invisible performance.
That wasn't just an aberration, either. He finished the Carolina game with one "assisted" tackle. Arizona with one tackle. Seattle with three.
Wow. Who would have thunk that would show up on Dallascowboys.com!
The Stars continue to circle the drain …
The Stars aren't a bad hockey team, just a really boring one.
The best team in the Western Conference was in town Thursday, and the energy in American Airlines Center was the kind that a tangle with the Florida Panthers deserves.
Only two teams play games that produce fewer goals than Stars games this season. One is Vancouver, which exchanged the borderline criminal excitement of Todd Bertuzzi for the steady goaltending glove of All-Star starter Roberto Luongo.
The other is New Jersey, which has been boring its way to Stanley Cups for a decade now, its fan base stretching all the way from Jersey Turnpike Exit 16W to Hoboken.
I'm not suggesting that all high-scoring games are great, all 2-1 contests disasters. It's just that a team that has always featured entertaining players – yes, even during the trapping years of Ken Hitchcock – doesn't generate much buzz around town these days.
Let's face it. Their All-Star probably is going to be Philippe Boucher. He's a very sound player who ranks in the top 10 among defensemen in scoring. Dallas is blessed to have him.
But I don't know how many fans file into AAC each night saying, "Can't wait to see Boucher." Guessing it's not a lot.
"The timing's not real good for having an All-Star game in this city," said Modano, who is at least two weeks away from returning from his hip injury. "It's a shame because we had some guys get off to really good starts. It would have been great to have three or four guys in the game.
"Bad luck on that."
Even at 36, Modano's speed makes for a good show. Eric Lindros is no replacement. The once great center is on pace for 10 goals, and that's despite being healthier than he has been in recent seasons.
The one really good thing the Stars do is win shootouts, which can be exciting in January and which are as meaningful for the playoffs as having the best No. 5 starting pitcher.
Hockey isn't falling off the map in Dallas as it has in some major markets. But there hasn't been a time where there was a greater disparity between the Stars and their co-tenant.
On December 28th, in this space I wondered the following question:
Wonder if Doug Armstrong has plans to help out the team before it is too late with a nice trade?
It is January 12th, and I would like to ask the same question. Because it is my estimation that if they do not do something pretty substantial, I don’t think they will be in the playoffs. They just are in a gun fight with a squirt gun right now, and just getting Modano back may not be enough.
I think it will require a bold stroke. Or, they may need a goaltender who can carry them. Just kidding.
Finally, Chris Webber is interested in everyone who has a chance to win a ring so that he may piggyback some jewelry …
Chris Webber has listed the Mavericks as one of the teams he's interested in joining, his management group confirmed Thursday. The former All-Star power forward is a free agent after Philadelphia bought out the final two years of his contract.
The Mavs are exploring the possibility of adding Webber to their already-deep roster, but the lack of available playing time presents an obstacle in signing the 14-year veteran.
The other teams on Webber's wish list -- hometown Detroit, Miami, San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers -- also offer the same ring-chasing allure. His agency, Goodwin Sports Management, expects Webber to make a decision in the next few days.
Edgar Davids Highlight Film
Bowling for Soup – my Ipod’s most played recently. Gay?