Playing the Field: Was Beckham a failure in U.S. experiment?

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David Beckham is ending his storied soccer career at the end of the season. How did he impact the sport in the U.S.?

 

David Beckham is taking his soccer ball and going home to be with his hot wife.

That’s right, the famous 38-year-old footballer (that’s what his English fans call him, trust us) announced his decision to retire at the end of the season, according to multiple media outlets.

Beckham was dispatched to the United States in 2006 like the pied piper of checkered orbs. The Los Angeles Galaxy, of Major League Soccer, threw millions at him in an effort to put soccer on the average American’s radar.

It never happened, at least among the beer-swilling male demographic they had hoped for. The Galaxy were sold a broken-down version of Beckham, one that just couldn’t bend it anymore.

Beckham grossed a reported $255 million over six seasons in L.A. before leaving in 2012. While it’s true he helped grow the league — they sold a ton of jerseys and MLS added seven new franchises since 2007 — they were in very niche markets. Fact is, go into any neighborhood bar in downtown Chester, Pa. (home of the Philadelphia Union) and they’re not likely to be watching soccer highlights. The local guys in there motion for another PBR and dream about the Sixers drafting the next Steph Curry.

Of course, Beckham’s impact on another demographic, females — all ages, all shapes, all sizes — is an entirely different topic (in the few seconds it took me to type this sentence, I heard at least five bras snap —maybe bend?). Beckham’s style and looks won him a living, breathing brand. Even we got a little verklempt over that H&M ad (by the way, were those abs air-brushed?)

Anyway, here’s what we’ll miss most about Becks:

1. Messing with Sasquatch. A few years back, Becks was going through a rough patch in his life so he took out his frustrations on an opposing mascot. We haven’t seen this much fight from a Brit since the Revolution.

2. Posh posh. Yes, the biggest loss for us will be not seeing his knockout wife, Victoria, aka Posh Spice. Plus, you know it was secretly Beckham’s idea to re-unite the Spice Girls. Thank you!

3. Senior citizen couture. With Becks retired, he should have lots and lots of free time. That means ample time for the up-and-coming fashion designer to devote to working on his new clothing line — you know, the one made exclusively for senior citizens. From Milan to the Senior Center.

 

 



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