Thursday, May 29, 2008

Defending Beckham

Yesterday Allahpundit posted a video that's apparently a huge hit on YouTube, of David Beckham scoring from around 60 yards for LA Galaxy against Kansas City Wizards. Beckham hit the ball into an empty net, on the bounce, after the Wizards' goalkeeper had pushed upfield for what I assume was a late corner kick.

For the benefit of American readers wondering what the hell the Wizards' keeper was doing at the other end of the pitch, keepers will often do this if their team is trailing by an odd goal late in a game, reasoning that leaving their net undefended is a gamble worth taking in an attempt to grab an equaliser – after all, if you're losing anyway it hardly matters whether it's by one goal or two.

Allah sniffed that he couldn't see what all the fuss over Beckham's strike was about, pointing out that any professional soccer player should be able to hit a 24-foot-wide target from 60 yards, and he was absolutely right.

In Beckham's defence, however, I sent Allah the video of Beckham scoring from the half-way line for Manchester United against Wimbledon in 1996, having spotted Neil Sullivan off his line. Allah was gracious enough to post the video, and concede that the goal was rather more impressive.

A heated debate has inevitably been raging at Hot Air on the merits of soccer vis-à-vis American football, which I don't intend to restart here. Two very different games requiring different sets of skills.

One observation though. Of the excitement over Beckham's latest effort, Allah asked 'Is this just a by-product of the collective European mancrush on Beckham?' I would suggest no – it's more likely the by-product of Americans new to soccer who don't understand how easy it was for Beckham to hit the target; of generally stupid people who have a low novelty threshold, and of hysterical Beckham worshipers, who tend for some reason to reside in Asia.

1 comment:

fuanglada said...

As an avid occer fan I just want to say that I admire Beckingham's ability to con that club to giving him a quarter billion$$ or whatever it was. Also, I want to say that I really enjoyed watching his wife shop for a house on TV. Did he sign with the Raiders or the Rams?