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You name it, the Galaxy's $250-million man hasn't been worth it

T.J. SIMERS

It's five years later, and soccer still is nothing but an afterthought in Los Angeles.

November 08, 2011|T.J. Simers
  • Galaxy midfielder David Beckham hasn't accomplished much since landing in Los Angeles nearly five years ago. But he has an opportunity to help the Galaxy win the MLS Cup this season.
Galaxy midfielder David Beckham hasn't accomplished much since… (Mike Stobe / Getty Images )

There was this promise of significance and great progress, as hyped an L.A. arrival as one can recall; all fizzling to just nothingness.

What a waste — $250 million for five years for what? A disappearing soccer player!

You know who I'm talking about, old What's-His-Name. You know, the guy with the well-known wife who looks like she has to live in a posh palace to be happy.

I don't know about you, but I've seen more of her than I have him, and I thought they were paying him to sell soccer here.

He really hasn't done anything but occasionally catch a flight overseas — where they presumably care what he does.

The guy must be a real zero in person because for the better part of five years here his handlers have not allowed him to do any talking for any length of time.

That's why I struggle at times with the bombast that is AEG's Tim Leiweke.

Leiweke made it sound as if something really big was happening when he brought What's-His-Name here.

At the very least, folks probably expected the $250-million sensation to be everywhere in mainstream L.A., bending the ears of those who don't know much about soccer.

But the guy went silent like a monk.

As surprising as that has been, it's downright revealing. We've learned Leiweke can talk a good game, but he lacked the oomph to make the soccer guy his pitchman locally for the sport.

A couple of years ago Leiweke invited me to a hockey game. I said I'd attend so as long as I sat beside the soccer guy.

Leiweke couldn't make it happen, and maybe it's true what was said when the soccer guy came here. There was concern he wouldn't be able to string a number of sentences together without sounding foolish.

That didn't stop Jamie McCourt from speaking when she came to town, and she certainly made out in the end.

I don't know about What's-His-Name, but I do know that on occasion I hear from folks who aren't pleased with how AEG has done as owner of the Kings.

Throw in the soccer guy and AEG's inability to make good on his arrival five years ago, and I wonder why people are skeptical about AEG's plan to build an NFL stadium.

Sunday night I received an email from Leiweke: "You need to come clean and do an article about Becks and the Galaxy."

Becks. That's right, now I remember.

"Remarkable story," continued Leiweke, "and you should cover it. Last time I checked, I think they are best record in L.A. for three years."

Best record in L.A. for what? Being the team that no one cares about? If so, that would tie them with the Kings.

I replied that I would take an interest as soon as Becks became available for a sit-down interview. No reason why he shouldn't get the same treatment as every Marcus Thames to come to town.

Leiweke replied: "Is that a request my friend?"

I felt sick because I realized it was, and why should I give a rip now about Becks when he spent the last five years with his back turned on L.A.?

"Has been since the day he arrived," I replied, counting on Leiweke to fall flat again.

That's when I started getting MLS press releases. It's probably just a coincidence, but my computer also contracted a virus.

Did you know there's going to be an arrival celebration for the MLS Trophy Cup, with the Cup getting a police escort?

You can just imagine how proud a cop will be to tell his wife: "Honey, I put my life on the line today for a paperweight."

I presume they give this cup to the winner of the big match every year. So why are they bringing it to L.A.?

Is there really such a thing as a big MLS match?

Did you know, according to an MLS press release, the Cup is "named for soccer visionary Philip Anschutz"?

Funny that a guy who shuns the limelight would have a trophy named after him. I wonder if the trophy has to go into hiding once it's been won.

Hey, if Anschutz is a soccer visionary, then why didn't he see how little value he'd get in return for signing Becks?

Shocker, but I haven't heard back from Leiweke.

To be clear, I am not complaining.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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