Monday, March 15, 2010

Beckham; More Model Than Player

How oddly appropriate it all seems now. All the times David Beckham was derived by critics for resembling a model much more than he resembled a football player. And while, it may be argued, that many of the criticisms which befell the former English International were unjust, unmerited and simply launched from the seemingly natural instinct of the press to attack, for on reason or another, that which attracts attention.

One cannot help but feel some degree of human sympathy towards David Beckham. But it’s not the type of sympathy which you felt for a player like Zinedine Zidane who left everything on the field and after capping off a brilliant career with Real Madrid was one “cooler heads prevail” away from possibly walking off the stage with the World Cup.

Come think of it, neither is it the type of sympathy you would have felt 12 years ago in France, where a much younger David Beckham, without the weight of the history of his actions behind him, kicked an Argentine player and earned himself an expulsion. Because then David Beckham was a promising player who simply lost his temper and showed poor judgment in a strenuous circumstance. Not like that would ever happen again, right?

No, the sympathy reserved for David Beckham today seems more in tune with the sympathy one would offer that which Beckham has been compared to so much throughout his career, a model. A model that obsesses over a pageant through any given period of time, and in her zeal throws caution to the wind and brings harm upon her self. A model whose excessively strict dieting and exercise regiments leave her interned at a hospital or “somewhere” to quote Norman Bates.

It’s that feeling of “Aw, that’s terrible, and after so much hard work” only to be followed by a secondary thought of “well, we really should have seen this coming,” which most people will deny ever having and the remainder will express with perhaps excessive bravado in a defiant tone of “told ya so.”

And it’s because no matter how “fit” David Beckham may have been, or may be still, playing two years of competitive football on the heels, no pun intended, of what you may recall were three or four consecutive injuries during his initial season with Galaxy is almost a surefire dinner recipe for disaster. Unfortunately for Beckham, the alarm went off, dinner is ready.

David Beckham demanded to be allowed to play for AC Milan, and while Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is right in saying that injuries can happen at any time, it’s impossible to deny that for a player nearing 35 years of age, such a workload can only increase the risk of injury. Beckham’s tendon wasn’t stomped, twisted, or kicked by a rival, it simply gave out.

Maybe if poor Beckham had only taken 6 or 8 weeks off during the MLS Off-Season… then again, maybe if that poor model had opted to have breakfast that morning…