Monday, February 16, 2009

AC Milan v LA Galaxy

Eurosnobbery 201: Beckham, Schelotto and American Ignorance
As the world watches breathlessly to see whether David Beckham will be kept in LA like an Arabian bride in a forced marriage, some observers on both sides of the Atlantic express surprise and even revulsion at those who criticize the Galaxy and MLS and who support AC Milan’s bid to win him back to Europe.

The esteemed gentleman scholar and soccer pundit Kartik Krishnaiyer wrote in MLS talk that “Eurosnobbery” motivates the critics who have been ripping LA and MLS for holding Becks back.

“During the ongoing soap opera created by David Beckham and his handlers, Major League Soccer and the Los Angeles Galaxy have been ridiculed in the European press and most unsettling is the attitude of many a football fan stateside who seem to take their cue from the European press be it Italian, Spanish or English with regards to this matter,” Krishnaiyer writes. “Instead of supporting their domestic league and one of its most prominent club sides, these American football fans have engaged in hyperbole about Beckham and AC Milan while simply parroting the unreasonable and often times hypocritical arguments that have found their way into the European press.”

He makes a compelling argument that most U.S. fans get most of their world soccer through a European and English filter, and that this creates a “Eurosnobbery,” a preference for stars and teams from Europe and an inferiority complex for followers of the U.S. game.

Fair enough. Certainly, there is truth in that. Here’s the thing though:

The entire David Beckham phenomenon has been based on Eurosnobbery, a mirage perpetuated by Anglophiles with a fetish for European soccer combined with the worst of American commercialism.

David Beckham came to America with much fanfare in 2007. He was sent to save soccer. He was promptly injured and missed most of the season. In 2008, he stayed mostly healthy but posted mediocre results for a man whose annual income (more than $6 million) exceeds the payrolls of most entire MLS franchises.

When Beckham came to MLS stadiums, the home teams sold special three-game package deals to hordes of mindless bourgeoisie from the suburbs who normally couldn't care less about “soccer” but showed up wearing LA Galaxy gear, packing the stands like Catholics who show up to church only for Easter.

Meanwhile, another 30-something foreign soccer legend came to the U.S. at around the same time, making about one twelfth the salary, with no celebrity endorsements, no Posh Spice wife, no entourage and no breathless commentators analyzing his every move.Anyone heard of Guillermo Barros Schelotto?

Eurosnobbery? Yes indeed. Not just among those criticizing MLS and Beckham today. Even more so among those who fed into the entire Beckham ridiculousness to begin with.

The likelihood is that Beckham will still leave because he is now hugely damaged goods. If MLS does succeed in forcing him to stay against his will, his heart will not be in it, his play will suffer even more, and he will be booed at every venue, including the Home Depot Center.

Until the U.S. fan base gets as excited or more so about Latin American legends like Martin Palermo or Cuauhtemoc Blanco as they do about David Beckham, we deserve the derision and ridicule we get from across the Atlantic.

Eurosnobbery is what created the whole Beckham circus in the first place.


Kartik said...

Great piece! Thanks for the plug and a fantastic follow up to my piece. Our fans in the US have had their perspectives skewed by the soccer media which is totally skewed in its perspective.

Nordecke Luchador said...

Thank you sir Interesting to see what happens now, especially with Beckham's injury.

Crewfighter said...

Nordecke Luchador,
I hope you're aware that Kartik is the same guy who bashed the Nordecke and Crew fans for most of last year. I think he even said that the Crew were worse off with the atmosphere that the Nordecke brings. He also blamed West Ham on Crew fans although West Ham fans started it by coming into the Nordecke section and chucking a couple beers at people. I'm pretty sure he wanted the Crew to dissolve the section.

With that said, kind of weird for any Crew fan to be calling him "esteemed" while he posts in your comment section. Had to do a double take. His "Eurosnobbery" article was horrible written and extremely boring as well. Who in Columbus cares about LA and Beckham anyways?

Nordecke Luchador said...

Ryan: I had forgotten about those posts, which, of course, I disagreed with. I try to show respect to all my fellow brethren, especially fellow bloggers and soccer fans, whether I agree with them or not. Hakuna Matata, brother. No worries.

Crewfighter said...

Lol, it's cool, just also remembering Kartik saying he was best friends with MLS Rumors as well so I'll never be giving him any face time at least.

To each his own though. No big deal.

Nordecke Luchador said...

It's all good 'bro. Hakuna Matata.