Friday, January 09, 2009

Bend it (the truth) like Beckham

First of all, let me just state for the record that I have no personal ill will toward David Beckham. I enjoy watching him play. He is one of the classiest big-name athletes I've ever covered.

But my job here is to be as fair* as possible, and not to put kiddie gloves on any story, even the ones involving people I actually like.

(*"Fair" as in "fair", not "fair" as in "infallible.")

That said, you probably read where former Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas believes that David Beckham's stay in Milan may extend beyond the winter.

We all know Alexi's a pretty candid guy. He's never been shy to say what's on his mind, whether he's right or wrong.

In this instance, I happen to agree with Alexi on his assessment that Beckham's lead spokesperson, Simon Oliveira, is telling a fib when he says Becks will be back Stateside on March 9th, which, according to the current Gregorian calendar, is exactly 59 days from today.

Two months in Milan? I don't think so. Only Hollywood stars, I mean, actors, go to Italy for two-month excursions. So let's measure common sense vs. the infallible words of a sports agent. Because we all know that whatever agents say is always written on stone tablets.

"Whilst we respect Alexi's right to an opinion, he has not been party to any contractual discussions on the loan agreement to Milan."

It is so ORDERED.

As much I, like many of us, wish soccer, like any sport, was a simply game in which honor, goodness, and one's word should always prevail like it does fables and fairytales, I am aware of the cold reality. Soccer can be a soulless business. One where handshake deals are made, and written contracts are forgotten faster than a New Year's resolution.

Plus, prima facie, it makes little business sense to go play for one of the world's biggest clubs for only a handful of matches. I could be very wrong, but I just don't see it.

I have the distinct feeling there is, as the the Transformers theme song once told my generation, more than meets the eye.

Stay tuned.

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