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Thread: The Beckham Factor

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    The Beckham Factor

    Last night at 8:22 PM David and Victoria (Posh Spice) Beckham arrived at their new home in LA. Many sports casters think that Beckham, who will now play for the LA Galexy in Major League Soccer, will change the way that Americans look at soccer. Almost every other place on the Globe, Soccer has been the number one sport, but here it falls behind professional bowling and poker.

    But Beckham said that he will make it his GOOOAAAALLLLL to improve the popularity of soccer here.

    Do you think that it will happen? Do you see us building massive soccer arenas in major cities? Do you see traffic jams to get into a Chicago Wind game?

    Also as a follow up question, can the relocation of a super star change the popularity and way of thinking about music, sports, or other regional cultural concepts?
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Although I enjoy watching the World Cup every year and think that soccer is a worthy sport, the short answer to all your questions are NO.

    I can list a multitude or reasons why, but I'll wait to see if anyone thinks soccer will ever become big time in the US.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    But Beckham said that he will make it his GOOOAAAALLLLL to improve the popularity of soccer here.

    Do you think that it will happen? - No

    Do you see us building massive soccer arenas in major cities? - No

    Do you see traffic jams to get into a Chicago Wind game? - No
    He may well raise the profile of MLS (thanks to our insane culture of celeb worship), but soccer will contiue to lag in popularity behind baseball, football, basketball, NASCAR, golf, poker, lacrosse, darts, chess, spelling bees, etc.

    Oh, and hockey, too.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian michiganplanner's avatar
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    First of all, who are the Chicago Wind?

    Becks will raise the awareness of soccer, but the effects are likely a generation away. Hockey's current lull in America has opened the door for another sport to be one of the big 4, but it could just as easily be filled by NASCAR or Ultimate fighting (some would say).

    It will take the current crop of young soccer players growing up and raising kids who play soccer as their first choice sport before it takes a hold on American sports. And, by that time the dinosaur sports show producers and talking heads who so not seem to give the sport a fair shake will be washed out or dead which will also make a difference.

    Then again, maybe nothing will catch on for an extended period of time. I'll have to check, but I think I heard NASCAR was down in popularity this year. There may just be too much going on for anything to be outrageously popular. Too much television, too many other boutique type of sports or activities.
    I'd be more apathetic if I weren't so lethargic.

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    My impression is that soccer has experienced a slow but steady increase in popularity over the last 30 years. A generation is now coming of age that grew up playing AYSO soccer when they were kids instead of the traditional Little League baseball. And we're talking about kids from the heartland here. Soccer already 'plays in Peoria' so to speak. As this generation matures I think we'll see more demand for televised professional soccer and I'd guess we're maybe only a generation away from seeing soccer held in a similar regard to, say, basketball. Another reason for the sport gaining popularity in this country is that Latin Americans are bringing their love of the sport with them as they immigrate.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Soccer only facilities have been built in LA, Columbus, Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Toronto with stadiums opening in NY and Utah next year and in DC in 2009. 9 out of 13 teams will have single use facilities in two years. Although I can speak to Chicago Fire games, DC United games regularly draw 20,000 fans and the metro is just as crowded as they are for National and Capital games.

    As for Beckham it will help get fans of the game to stadiums but it will do little to draw interest of people that do not care about the sport. The MLS is profitable and is slowly building a brand name. It has only been in existence since 1996. Will soccer become like football, baseball or basketball as one of the premiere sports in the country...no. But there is room in the second tier of sports, yes. Soccer also has development leagues throughout the US so it is slowing growing its fan base.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    . . . to improve the popularity of soccer here. Do you think that it will happen?

    Do you see us building massive soccer arenas in major cities?
    Second one first: We already are. It is not just Columbus, Ohio that has built a large soccer specific stadium. We just built a great one here in Frisco, Texas, a booming Dallas suburb, for FC Dallas. The LA Galaxy and Chivas play in a large stadium in LA, the Chicago Fire have one, too, and Red Bull New York is building one in New Jersey. And these stadia have major corporate sponsers like Pizza Hut, Home Depot, Toyota, etc. Red Bull owns the whole New York team.

    First one second: Sure. But I don't like the criterion that MLS has to equal MLB or NFL in popularity to be considered successful. With the potential sports fan population being so much larger today than in the past, a sport can get a smaller share and probably have the critical mass required to persist. Just like it is easier to have a gold album today than it was in the 1960's, because 500,000 copies is a much smaller portion of the music buying population. As the population continues to grow, we're going to see fewer first tier sports (hockey's already dropped out, right?), and many more second tier sports.
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    It was done before in the old NASL when Pele joined the Cosmos and Johan Cryuff joined the Washington Diplomats (or was it LA?). In the early days of the MLS Carlos Valderama came to the Tampa Bay Mutiny (and later the Miami Fusion beofre both folded) to bring in regional fans. These international stars will bolster the awarness of the MLS and maybe attract a few more casual fans that wouldn't have come to see a game.

    The landscape is so different fromthe old NASL days and the MLS has gone through several growing pains. However soccer today is much stronger than before. Will it replace baseball & football? No, but it may replace competative eating on ESPN
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I'm a skeptic or curmudgeon here especially on the massive stadiums issue. I think there will be increasing popularity of the sport but it will be more related to the new/newer immigrant hispanic communities than any other factor. That is, unless the American TV-driven propensity for constant action and high-scoring games takes over the international game. I can see it now, XTREME Soccer, coming to you in an iron cage!

    We won't get into how that has ruined the One True Game - Hockey and also infected basketball, football, and baseball(which has become self-destructive on it's own).

  10. #10
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Sweet....

    I can't wait for football season to start! I hope I get to keep playing fantasy ball with other Cyburbites. I'm really thinking the Bronco's will do better this year, if they make a couple of key moves on offence and get a front line adjustment on the left side. The Jet's could only get better and only if they get a decent running back Arizona will be in the playoff's this year........If they get another owner Miami will go through yet another learning year....and the Raider's....will continue to suck eggs...he he he he......









    Beckham.....who the hell is that??? A third string kicker maybe???







    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Beckham.....who the hell is that??? A third string kicker maybe???
    Duh...he's the soccer player made famous by marrying a Spice Girl!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Chicago Wind... Fire... Same thing. I was sarcastic when I mentioned the team in Chicago because I was completely unaware that there was a pro soccer league in the US.


    I might watch one or two games a year... but then again I have done that for the past few years anyways.

    I don’t think that Beckham will have any influence, however soccer does appear to be an up and rising sport since the US one the world cup a few years back...

    In the end, they will give Beckham credit so they can show a photo (with is hot wife) in the paper.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  13. #13
    maudit anglais
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    I expect he will have a similar impact as when Gretzky went to L.A. - he'll put a few bums in the seats and sell a few jerseys but once he moves on things will pretty much go back to where they were before.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    From ESPN.com's Page 2 today:

    Odds on what David Beckham will notice first about Los Angeles:
    5 to 1 That his pasty, British skin burns in about four seconds in the Southern California sun
    3 to 1 That the cars on Los Angeles freeways drive on the opposite side; and that they don't really move much
    2 to 1 That there are just as many Galaxy fans in L.A. as there are in London
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Odds on what David Beckham will notice first about Los Angeles:
    5 to 1 That his pasty, British skin burns in about four seconds in the Southern California sun
    Now he did play in Spain so I'm guessing that it will be the lack of O2 that he notices most.

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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Chicago Wind... Fire... Same thing. I was sarcastic when I mentioned the team in Chicago because I was completely unaware that there was a pro soccer league in the US.


    I might watch one or two games a year... but then again I have done that for the past few years anyways.

    I don’t think that Beckham will have any influence, however soccer does appear to be an up and rising sport since the US one the world cup a few years back...

    In the end, they will give Beckham credit so they can show a photo (with is hot wife) in the paper.

    Who cares about the hot wife Beckham himself is one of the hottest men around!!!

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra View post
    Who cares about the hot wife Beckham himself is one of the hottest men around!!!
    but do you like him better with a shaved head, short hair, or long hair?
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    but do you like him better with a shaved head, short hair, or long hair?
    Doesn't matter, the man is absolutely beautiful....I like the shaved head....u??

  19. #19
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra View post
    Who cares about the hot wife Beckham himself is one of the hottest men around!!!
    He is a good looking man... however, because I am not gay (not that there is anything wrong with that). I much rather break the commandment “Thou shall not covet thy neighbors wife”... but then again, Beckham is not my neighbor.

    I would like to know what is workout program and diet is... there are several people who have mentioned that he is the fittest man in the world.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    He is a good looking man... however, because I am not gay (not that there is anything wrong with that). I much rather break the commandment “Thou shall not covet thy neighbors wife”... but then again, Beckham is not my neighbor.

    I would like to know what is workout program and diet is... there are several people who have mentioned that he is the fittest man in the world.
    He said he would not wait to get an In and Out burger upon his return to the states.
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  21. #21
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    He may be hot, but I've heard he's a total as*. And his wife. And soccer is boring.
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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra View post
    Doesn't matter, the man is absolutely beautiful....I like the shaved head....u??
    Gotta go with the shaved head look because the long hair tended to be held back with a head band (curiously called an Alice band in the UK) or in a ponytail neither of which men should wear.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  23. #23
    Cyburbian bocian's avatar
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    When I lived in Chicago, I played soccer nearly everyday. It's popular but is overshadowed by 'football' and baseball.
    And Beckham increasing soccer's popularity in the US -- definitely some, as people tend to follow celebrities here.

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Am I the only guy that thinks his wife is disgusting to look at. I mean eat a few burgers of something you freaking skeleton.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    The problem is, soccer is widely popular among those who depend on an allowance to buy tix to the game.

    I dont see it getting much more attendance at pro games than what we see now.

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