Wednesday, January 10, 2007

ZZ's Top

by Count Olaf
Completely off topic and irrelevant, but should they decide to make a movie about Zinedine Zidane:

I found out who should play him:

There was something on about celebrity trivia and I saw a picture of DDL akin to the one above and thought "What the heck is Zidane doing in this trivia section?"

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Blogger Count Olaf said...

I shot myself in the foot with this post. The morning after, the biggest news in soccer/football worldwide was released: David Beckham is coming to play in America for $50mil a year........and I wasted my post on image comparisons (two soccer posts in a row? Sounds fishy). Anyway, I'm excited.

I'd be more excited if the San Jose Earthquakes were no longer defunct (moved to Houston last year to become the Dynamo and win the MLS cup) so that I could watch him play up here locally.!

1/12/2007 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Hey, no big deal. Make it all soccer, all the time if you want to.

I know this is big news - Beckham coming to the US, I mean - but I really have to wonder how it will turn out. If he turns out to be more or less a novelty to US audiences, does his huge contract become a weight around MLS' neck? Could this turn out to backfire, and hurt soccer in the US?

1/12/2007 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

What I've read is that MLS is only responsible for $400k / year (league maximum) for his contract. The rest is getting picked up by AEG & Adidas (who in turn get to put their logo all over the Galaxy and use Beckham's image for everything). The $250mil over 5 years has been floated but I've also read it's not official and it's somewhere between $192-$250...(once it gets that high, how much difference is there?)

In listening to Beckham's initial interview(s) it seems he really does want to come here and play (of course he'd say that.) But he also wants to grow the sport in the US which I believe is really honest. He said this is a new challenge and at first I was thinking "What challenge? Playing against 2nd rate players in a 3rd rate league?"(oversimplification) But then I caught that he is actually trying to make soccer in the US something that it is in the rest of the world. If it cannot become as popular as the big3 (football, baseball, basketball) I'm sure he'd like the MLS to compete on an international stage as many other clubs do.

Outside of him laying a big fat egg (I don't think he's done that when uninjured) I can only see positives for the sport and him coming here. Sure there are subplots of his soccer academy and Victoria wanting to act and Tom&Katie cruise-holmes friendlies..... but if he can keep his nose clean, I think some of what he wants and we want may actually occur.

1/12/2007 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

ESPNSoccernet just did a story on the financial aspect...

1/12/2007 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I remember there was a discussion here about soccer's status in the US last summer. Interesting hearing that there is some play amongst kids in school, but that it just dwindles off, probably due to there being other, more financially beneficial, alternative sports such as American football or basket for promising players.

I think the reason for soccer's popularity in the rest of the world, and it's difficulty in the States, is probably due to its position as an outlet for talented kids from poorer backgrounds is already taken by your other homegrown sports. For the same reason, those sports will never become as popular abroad as they are in the States.

My personal theory is that soccer - as with any great, popular sport - appeals to a large class demographic in Europe and South America. Even if Beckham coming to the US is one step to making the sport more financially legitimate in the US, what the sport really needs to become popular is a homegrown team of good players from simple, working class (if there is such a thing nowadays) backgrounds.

Adidas should have spent those 250 million on building some football playing fields and handing out soccer balls in places like New Orleans and Jackson, Kentucky. Maybe start some small tournaments for kids all over the country, with the promise of some kind of later financial benefit.

On the other hand, I don't know, maybe they already have? I guess you guys know more about this than I do.

1/13/2007 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I'm of the opinion that soccer will never really get much more popular in the U.S. than it is now, Beckham or not. It seemed on the cusp in the late 70s when the Cosmos were hot, but that fizzled.

I'm not sure why most in the U.S. don't like it, but as for me, I just find it boring. When I try to watch I can only last a few minutes before my eyes glaze over. I think when you grow up with football and baseball, each of which has elaborate rules and strategy which are drilled into our heads while we grow up, soccer seems like checkers to chess in comparison (and I'm sure that's a horrendously unfair comparison, but that's how it seems). Also, baseball and football each have built-in moments of suspended play (i.e, moments between pitches or snaps) which allows for manufactured suspense, whereas soccer is continuous. And, as a final minor point, I can't abide a game when those watching it don't know when it will end, because the time is kept solely by an on-field official.

1/16/2007 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

I enjoyed the '94 World Cup, and I enjoy the UEFA Champions League that airs live on ESPN2 on weekday afternoons, but despite my enthusiasm for last year's World Cup, I left disappointed due to what I thought was way too much over-acting and cry-babying in the quest for penalties.

I've watched a handful of MLS matches over the years, and I will probably check out Beckham.

1/17/2007 10:23:00 AM  

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