Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bend It Like Bullshit 

Another memo to the LA News Media: as if your attempt to flog the Anotonio Villaraigosa Affair story into the dirt without result wasn't proof enough that all of you are completely out of touch with most Angelenos, yesterday and today we were treated to an even bigger crapfest of non-news as the top story. Bonus points: you tried to work the Villaraigosa Affair story into this new coverage of a non-event, more on which below.

But, again, a gentle reminder to our local media: Americans don't give a flying fark about Soccer. Angelenos, and Americans in heavily Hispanic cities, give a slightly larger fark about Soccer, but generally only for Mexican and South American teams. You treated the arrival of David Beckham and Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham as if it were the second coming of Jesus. In reality, it's more like the desperate move of two rich Brits who got tired of heavy taxes and wanted to take advantage of the really good exchange rates, and so moved to the land of second chances, in order to nurse the teat of publicity for just a little bit longer before both of their careers go pfffft. (And, honestly, Mrs. Beckham's career went pffffft a good decade ago, only revived by her marriage to a guy whose sole claim to fame is the ability to kick a ball around.)

Cream in the coffee for the news-wonks: they bent over backwards to note that the crowd booed the Mayor when he appeared, but then added the rather self-serving tag, "This wasn't because of recent events, but because he's a fan of a different team..." Failing to mention, of course, that the crowd couldn't give two warm shits about L'Affair Villaraigosa. Naturally.

And if you don't think this whole thing is one gigantic corporate cluster-fuck of cross promotion, then you aren't paying attention. Even as Beck and Posh are getting oral sex from the news media in lead stories, she is going to star in her own reality show all about... coming to America to get oral sex from the news media.

All the while, the funniest bits of the stories have to be when various spokesdrones for the LA Galaxy (the who?) mouth off about how "Soccer is going to be the next big thing, finally. Yeah. Next year. It's going to happen. We've been saying that for twenty years."

Well, you've been saying it for twenty, and you're going to say it for another forty or more. Soccer will never be a mainstream sport in America, for reasons that its fans will never comprehend, but which should be obvious even to those of us who think that professional sports should be permanently banned.

It's like this. The triumvirate of American Sports are Football, Basketball and Baseball. Why? It all has to do with scoring and violence. Football has moderate to middling scores, but big men in armor slamming into each other. Basketball is light on the violence -- usually -- but also has very, very high scoring games. Anything that regularly hits over a hundred points is going to be catnip to the double-double cheeseburger, more is more crowd. Now, baseball doesn't have a lot of violence or high scores -- but it was invented here, and so that will be its permanent raison d'etre as a very popular American sport.

Hockey is semi-popular because, while it has low scores, there's always the potential for violence. After all, hockey players have to be armed with helmets and sticks, just like gladiators on ice.

Soccer? Nah. Just a bunch of nelly men in tiny shorts running around a field and failing to score over the course of an hour. On top of all that, you can't use your hands in the game. Meaning that, well, shit -- a busload of Thalidomide babies could kick the crap out of the pros, and we know how much Americans don't really like the underdogs to really win, unless it's in the Special Olympics or something. Or as the subject of a Lifetime movie of the week.

Finally, soccer has been and always will be associated with Brits and Europeans -- and the only sport Britain has ever given to the world is Cricket -- which is something the world has most gladly given back with no regrets. Yeah... a country that could even screw up baseball is not a recommendation when it comes to sports.

Which brings us back to David Beckham. Welcome to America. Now leave. Otherwise -- nobody except the five people who are already Galaxy fans are going to go to the games to see you, and the only way you're going to hit the news after your arrival is when you're bailing your wife's drunk ass out of the Malibu Sheriff's station at four a.m. on a Saturday morning after they pull her over for a DUI on PCH. Either that, or when she gets into a nasty catfight with Paris Hilton at the SkyBar because both of them were trying to hit on (insert popular TV drama star here).

The kind of thing that makes our local news media have multiple orgasms -- but our local news media long ago lost touch with even the vaguest idea of the concept of what constitutes "news".

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