Alexi Lalas calls Premiership "inferior product"

We know that Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas is trying to drum up publicity for David Beckham’s arrival in the United States but this is just sheer lunacy:

There’s no accounting for bad taste. That a segment of the world worships an inferior product in the Premiership is their business. English football now has the haves and the have-nots. It’s just that the Premiership have become so skilled in presentation. They took a page out of American football and so now they have Saturday Showdowns and Super Sundays. I love it. This is high-calibre marketing – taking an inferior product and improving it through packaging.

The experts in England talk about David Beckham as if he’s going into semi-retirement. It’s insulting to say Beckham is on his way to Hollywood when he’s coming to play in one of the most competitive leagues in the world. There are a lot of stars who would struggle here.

There’s this delusion that if it’s English then it’s great. But a whole world exists outside of England. That’s reflected in the difficulties they had when everyone ran to the Premiership. Maybe it’s OK for the fan but, for the average development of the players, their game is struggling.

This is tantamount of the Canadian Football League calling out the NFL. Here are five reasons why MLS is not one of the most competitive leagues in the world.

[Guardian UK]: Premiership inferior, says Lalas


This wasn’t the publicity that MLS had in mind when signing Beckham

Various newspapers around the football world (so virtually everywhere but the U.S.) are reporting that David Beckham might be regretting his decision to join the LA Galaxy for five years and $250M.

He will win his 96th cap in the European Championship qualifier against Estonia in Tallinn on Wednesday — a game England must win to re-establish their chances of reaching the Euro 2008 — before returning to Spain to try to clinch his first league title with Real.

But after the success of his comeback, when he laid on England’s goal by John Terry, he believes he may have made a mistake in switching to the low standard played in America, particularly if he is to make a swansong appearance at Euro 2008.

This is probably just sportswriter speculation (aka pulling a story out of you ass) but it certainly can’t be pleasing to MLS and LA Galaxy officials who are basically betting the future of the league on Beckham.  While there has been plenty of press on the Beckham effect — sponsorship of MLS is up and ticket sales for Beckham games home and away are through the roof — the implication that he is simply slumming it in a minor league for the cash isn’t helping the MLS break through to become a major sport in America.

We hope that Beckham’s MLS contract is iron clad because if he bails and finds a way to buy his way out of it, MLS might  as well just fold up tent and start selling assets on ebay.

[Daily Mail UK]: Beckham fears he has made a huge mistake with Galaxy deal

Green Bay Packers

Odds and Ends: Koren Robinson M.D. (Monitored Daily)

Koren Robinson has some serious issues he needs to take care of, but since the police decided to let him out of jail, for now, they had to go high-tech to keep an eye on their inmate over the remaining 45 days of his sentence while also working at a local hospital. The cop fleeing, drunken driving, substance abusing Robinson was outfitted with an electronic monitoring device and released on April 7. Too bad the Packers don’t have that kind of technology to keep a watch over their investment with.

In other news…

[]: Pokey Chatman wants to have sex with her players AND get paid for it. Good luck with that.

[]: Louis Gossett Jr. likes going to Lakers games; he just doesn’t like to pay for it.

[]: The Japanese sure know how to motivate their players.

[]: Apparently New York signed some hot shot soccer star, or so we’re told.

[Our Book of Scrap]: Cubs fans like their beer

[Deadspin]: We’d hit it. (The woman, not the 15-year-old boy.)

And finally, we have a perfect example of why kids shouldn’t smoke. Not only will it make you smell bad, turn your teeth yellow and possibly give you cancer, but it could get you thrown in the slammer. Well, that’s what happened to these kids in Iowa after police charged them with the theft of more 500 cartons of cigs. In related news, Vlade Divac wants to know why he hasn’t received his weekly shipment of menthols yet.


US Soccer just got a lot prettier

I love me some me

David Beckham made it official today and announced that he was leaving Real Madrid at the end of the season in June to join MLS’ LA Galaxy. His new contract is expected to be worth $250M over 5 years. MLS has a salary cap of $2M per season but league rules allow for a “superstar exemption”.

Beckham issued a statement:

I am proud to have played for two of the biggest clubs in football and I look forward to the new challenge of growing the world’s most popular game in a country that is as passionate about its sport as my own.

This is going to be a pretty tough task for Beckham. Pele played in the US at the end of his career but that didn’t increase the popularity of soccer in the US. Despite a lot of criticism from English fans, Beckham can still play (he did bail them out in the Round of 16 game vs Ecuador this year despite barfing during the game). But the question is whether he’ll be covered more in the tabloids or in the sports pages. We’re betting tabloids.

Here’s a hilarious video of Beckham and his alien wife (although she is kinda cool in this clip) being interviewed by Ali G.

[BBC]: Beckham agrees to LA Galaxy move
[IHT]: David Beckham Fact Box


Odds and Ends for Tues May 30: Ronaldo turns down $120M

The World Cup is almost here and that means more soccer stories are coming across the wire. Today, Ronaldo, one of the most recognizable soccer players in the world, turned down MLS’ New York Red Bulls offer of $120M over 10 years. Ronaldo said he’d like to play in the MLS but later in his career.

The offer would have made him the highest paid MLS athlete by more than $11M a year. MLS is desperate to attract a high profile international soccer star to boost interest. Much like the Argonauts signing Rocket Ismail, which worked wonders for the CFL.

In other news…

[]: Does “cornhole” mean something entirely different in Cincinnati?

[NY Post]: Stephon Marbury wants to die a loser

[Seattle Times]: The top 20 stupidest things done by college athletes

[Inside Bay Area]: Who sabotaged Dave Flemming’s Barry Bonds 715 call?

[Yahoo]: Ukraine soccer team will get sex if they win, whether they like it or not