The World's most famous athlete was here in Colorado on Saturday.....and no, you ethnocentric Americans, it's not Lebron James or Peyton Manning. David Beckham was in town to open the MLS season with the LA Galaxy. Oddly enough, Beckham actually played, going the full 90 minutes in a 4-0 Rapids blowout.
Beck's is certainly not the world's greatest athlete, or even the world's greatest soccer player. But the excitement he generates, particularly among the women, is fun to watch. While all the other Galaxy players got ignored ( or, in the case of Landon Donovan, booed) during introductions, there was a decidely high pitched scream when the Spice Boy's name was announced. We were sitting in the corner near where Beck's took several corner kicks in the second half, and my girlfriend Fiona, who is English, was tempted to flash him. I asked if she was trying to become "Hot Flash Spice".
As for the play of the game, the Galaxy has Beck's and Donovan and not much else, and had trouble getting the ball to Beckham where he is dangerous, or getting on the end of his beautiful crosses when they did. He also seemed to be affected by the thin Colorado air, and did a lot of standing around catching his breath.
Beckham is a guy who has always been more sizzle than steak, and I'm sure after a season here people will wonder what the big deal is about. He has never been the type of player to dominate a game, or make a brilliant individual run. He won't provide many SportCenter moments. And with a team as bad as LA, he may try to get back to Europe by Fall for the start of the season over there.