I don’ t want to know how much Phil Anschutz had to pay for this:

There were all these stupid whispers that David Beckham might want to play soccer in the USA, and despite all the tiny little baby-step signs, it seemed simultaneously indoubitable and unbelievable, and I leaned towards unbelievable.

If you didn’t click the link, read between the lines, or find out elsewhere, David Beckham signed a contract with MLS, and will join Los Angeles Galaxy after his contract with Real Madrid expires.  Press are comparing this to Pele’s days in NASL, and while it might draw some attention, it doesn’t compare and won’t, just for now.

The main difference in this is the structure of MLS “labor”; you’ll note above, that I said that David Beckham signed with MLS, not Los Angeles Galaxy.  Although the clubs enjoy a lot of autonomy considering the way the league is structured in the corporate sense, the league must sign all players, approve all contracts, and approve all player transactions (trades and transfers.)  All the teams represent a single corporate entity, which is the league, and the owners/operators and presidents of teams are simply investors in a portion of the product.

There are rules in place that say “MLS will only spend XXX on the specific total of labor for a single team” that finally got an exception this off-season; nicknamed the Beckham Exception in honor of the transaction the media predicted would occur because of it, says that if one of these investor/operators wants to put his own money towards the contract of a single player, that investor may do so, but each team is only allowed one such player (for now.)  The allocation of that player is optional, and may be offered as trade during player transactions such as the forthcoming draft.  The last part of the rule says that a team may only hold two such allocations, so that L.A. Galaxy may not try to trade their own team to become the second coming of the New York Cosmos.

I actually would have rather not seen Beckham come, because for all the positives, 11 teams have reason to hate Los Angeles more than they already did, and teams will start to take hockey-like enforcer tactics towards him; I assure you he will be fouled often and many cards will be handed out.  Would I like to see C.J. Brown flatten him in person?  Certainly.

But with that comes instant spikes in attendance, since MLS attendance is quite steady, it is also very stagnant, around 10,000ish per event per team I believe.  There may be one or two more such players to come, perhaps as many as four, but I don’t think this is going to be a big-spend fest, because frankly, that sort of behaviour would break the league.  Oh, that, and despite a few new investors, Anschutz’s company still operates about half the league.

Things haven’t seemed this interesting since the league started, though.

Thanks for the comment.

Mister_Green:  My favourite teacher in college said that whenever someone in your audience (it was music school, so of course he was talking about us students as performers, playing our own works) asks what a song is about, you should turn the question around and say, “What do -you- think it’s about?” and when the soon-to-be fan answers, you simply say, “That’s exactly right,” regardless of how off-the-mark it is.

He followed that lesson with the explanation that he had heard over 1200 (wrong) interpretations of “Fire and Rain,” and considering he had only one proverbial degree of seperation between both James Taylor and Carlie Simon (as the so-called secret of “You’re So Vain” came up in the ensuing conversation as well) that if you are to properly care for your audience, you should care for that audiences’ fantasies as well.

It’s not that I doubt your interpretation of “Safety Dance” as much as I have to acknowledge that eventually any explanation can be correct.

That having been said, I still think “Relax” is more about sex than nukes.  Then again, I remember reading some study worrying that the sexual frustration eminant in Chinese and Indian societies may cause a major political disturbance.  I say, let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.

Hope everyone’s doing well.

See you next time.


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