David Beckham’s ego is off the charts. He is not bashful in the least bit, as noted from his underwear ads and from his attitude towards his career.
He has expressed himself with the press on a range of topics. Most recently, he appeared with ESPN and answered questions regarding his notorious outburst towards fans from the stands.
He continues to state his desire to return to AC Milan and play World Cup for England. His contract with the LA Galaxy will again need to be reworked to accomodate his wishes.
He wants to play out his career on his terms. Though his ways of doing this may not be popular with the public, he certainly is in his rights.
He’s in the driver’s seat with American Soccer and he knows it.
As his world turns, so do the fans. He is a mercurial figure for American fans. They just don’t know how to feel about him.
On one hand, they want to root for him because when he does well, MLS does well. On the other hand, how dare he be so fickle and play with the fans emotions.
This period of time in MLS is all Beckham’s. It won’t last forever, soon many other great stars from the recent past will begin to trickle in. What he is doing with this period of time is the most interesting part of this soap opera. He’s behaving like all the many other great American athletes that have come before him, most notably and most recently, Brett Favre and Lance Armstrong.
He’s an athlete trying to play at the top level for as long as he can and doesn’t want anything, including binding contracts, to get in his way. Athletes change their minds all the time in pro sports. The main difference between Beckham and John Smoltz or Terrell Owens is that Beckham had a country waiting on him and he left for a league in another country.
Interestingly, as things are working out, Beckham’s image as a ‘bad guy’ may be more productive for American pro Soccer. Rooting against him and then for him seems more appealing for fans than just rooting for him.
He has drummed up a lot more attention with his natural ego. His uninhibited challenges to fans has given many a reason to pay attention to Soccer, when maybe they wouldn’t have before. He is more compelling as a ‘bad guy’ than he is as a ‘good guy’.
Only in the last couple of weeks has Beckham’s arrival really begun to take its effect. Unexepectedly, it was his arrogance towards fans that ultimately got the national sports fan’s attention.