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Can Beckham Save

This article is more than 12 years old.

David Beckham played at Man. U., then moved to Madrid...
And all the football world was thrilled by all that Beckham did...

I'm sorry. I said football. I meant soccer, so did he
When Beckham told five thousand fans he'd really rather be
Among them in Los Angeles than any other place,
Although across the planet people seeing Beckham's face
Are moved to shrieks of pure delight and swooning happens, too,
For Beckham is a presence. Fame is something he can do.

But let us grip reality, and let us keep in touch
With moderation, for it seems to me a little much
To say the league that's hired Beckham for this five year gig
Is doomed if on the strength of him alone the league can't rig
It's future to his star and draw to all its future games
Not only stars from Hollywood with faces and with names
We know from all the tabloids and the rehab rosters, too,
But humble fans with no more glitz than me and, maybe, you.
For it may be a cheap shot, and perhaps it isn't nice,
But MLS will need, some say, a lot more than the spice
The Beckhams will be loaning soccer played upon the shore
That many feel is clogged with sports, and adding even more
Would be not only silly, but a stupid waste of money...
Were that not witless blasphemy, it might almost be funny.

Look, soccer, also known as football, played around the planet,
Is bigger now than any game we're playing here, so can it
Not just survive but long prevail across the U.S.A
Is not the sort of question I'm inclined to ask today.
For soccer's in the colleges, and in the high schools, too.
And though the women's pro league died, it's coming back. It's true, The Galaxy can't draw like Man United or Madrid,
But what league only twelve years old and growing ever did?
So David Beckham, heartthrob, poster boy and brand sublime
Will kick the ante up but in the long run, over time
The pro game that's so big in places baseball's never known
Will thrill us in this country until MLS has grown
To that propitious stage where we can proudly claim that we
Have joined the world in knowing what a joy their game can be.
And when that happens, maybe we'll look forward to the days
When we can join the world in lots of other different ways.

This program aired on July 19, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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