A couple years ago David Beckham signed up to the play for the L.A. Galaxy MLS team with the promise of making soccer matter in America, which was sort of like if Tony Blair had joined Air America radio to make that matter as well.
Two months ago, the Galaxy loaned him to an Italian premier team, AC Milan, to play during the Galaxy’s off-season. Now Beckham is having a solid season and is doesn’t want to return to the U.S.
Most people think that it’s because he misses playing in a country where soccer matters, or in a big-time league or having his passes actually be received. But in my opinion, I think the entire reason lies in the city of Los Angeles, California.
I don’t think Beckham knew what he was getting himself into when he moved out here, the same way no one else does when they move from places that are designed with logic. Sure he’s playing for the “L.A.” Galaxy, but when you’ve been stuck on the 110 for two hours to travel the eight miles to get to the wasteland between Compton and Long Beach, do you really start humming California Dreaming?
My theory is that Beckham googled “Home Depot Center” before he moved out here, and saw that it was relatively close to the beaches or downtown. “Surely there’s an easy way for the limo to get between there and the lovely, clean, warm, L.A. beach where I’ll be living,” he must have thought. Not knowing that a year later, he’d be stuck fighting traffic on the PCH to get to a Malibu beach with freezing filthy water only swimmable in late-August.
And on top of that, the 405 to the 91 is murder, especially if the game is at 8p and you need to get there during the afternoon rush at 5. Plus, when you get there, no one cheering you on speaks a word of English. It’s got nothing to do with soccer or America or pride. It’s all about L.A. It’s all about traffic.