Monday, December 31, 2007

i read a good article about becks being awarded as LA sports of the year. there is part which an american sportwriter was being asked by an english journalist how the americans react on becks arrival. and the LA man asked him back. his response was not a surprise to me as most of the brits are cynical about becks and his ideas. dig in everybody...i mean enjoy the article....

Beckham is Daily News' Sports Person of the
Year for 2007
By Kevin Modesti, Los Angeles Newspaper Group Sports Editor

A few weeks before David Beckham joined the Galaxy, a British TV crew came to Los Angeles to get the lay of the soccer star's new land. The Sky News men interviewed an L.A. sportswriter and asked about Americans' impressions. Then the L.A. guy turned the question around.

The writer wondered: Amid cynicism in England about Beckham, did anyone there see elements of heroism in his trans-Atlantic move, anyone respect the audacity to so grandly risk his reputation by giving the globe a free kick?

The bloke with the microphone thought for a microsecond and said with a laugh: "No."

Today this newspaper names Galaxy midfielder David Beckham the Los Angeles Sports Person of the Year for 2007. It's not because he enjoyed a great rookie season in MLS, made the Galaxy a champion, bent U.S. eyes to the original football, beat back global cynicism and earned acclaim as a hero - in fact, he succeeded in doing precisely none of those things.

It's because of his think-big spirit, the way he widened our view of sports, the commitment with which he took on both naysayers and unreasonable expectations.

Our award, which debuted in 2005, is patterned after the Time Magazine Person of the Year Award. As we said the past two years: Time's award might be a big deal to those whose interests in life focus narrowly on such trifles as politics, economics, science, technology, religion and the arts. But we need something for the renaissance men and women whose curiosity extends to every corner of the wide and wonderful world of Southern California sports.

So here's a prize for the newsmakers of the local sports scene, recognizing a player, coach, executive - anybody - whose impact has been uniquely positive (or negative).

In 2005, the joint winners were USC football's Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, college kids who showed the pros how to put ego aside for the good of a team. In '06, the winner was Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, for his leading role in turning the franchise from a laughingstock into the Baseball America Organization of the Year. As Bush's, Leinart's and Colletti's subsequent highs and lows demonstrate, the L.A. Sports Person of the Year Award is no guarantee of wild success in the future.

Surveying colleagues, we were reminded of several worthy - or notably unworthy - newsmakers this year: The Lakers' Kobe Bryant asserted his importance again and again by alternately spitting on and embracing his team; the Anaheim Ducks won the region's first Stanley Cup; the UCLA basketball team went to the Final Four again; track star Marion Jones, a SoCal native, was forced to give back the five Olympic medals she won as a drug cheater.

None of what they did and said set this sports year apart quite like the arrival in the world's celebrity capital of the 32-year-old often called the world's most famous athlete.

Even as his - and wife Victoria's - adventure was kicked aside in some corners as a cold money grab, a ploy to publicize the Beckham brand and set up the couple in Hollywood, his Galaxy introduction in Carson drew hundreds of journalists and live television coverage and his game appearances drew record crowds.

Sports fans across the Pond found themselves paying attention to the L.A. Bloody Galaxy. Sports fans here found themselves assessing the performance of a midfielder at Real Madrid.
Trouble is, he didn't appear enough, arriving injured and never really healing. But when Beckham played, he played well and - more important - played hard.

Beckham always has been a player with sensational vision, not least in his vision of his place in history. At an age when his European league and England-international career might have been winding down, he reinvented himself as the man who might lead America to soccer once and for all.

It'll take a lot more Beckhams and a lot more years to raise the quality of MLS soccer to a level that deserves the full attention of a nation accustomed to watching the best of every sport. For starters, No. 23 is doing what he can in the modern mode, selling America his jersey and his personality; with any luck he'll never figure out that the best way to get attention in this town is to demand to be traded.

The results aren't there yet. Beckham was able to play in only five MLS games. The Galaxy finished 11th in the 13-team league. With four more seasons on his contract, the best is yet to come, or else.

But his first season has demonstrated that if Beckham fails in his bid to conquer America, it won't be for lack of effort or ambition. The worst thing you could say about this first year of Becks was that we didn't see enough of him.

How many sports superstars can we say that about? Only the L.A. Sports Person of the Year.

courtesy of LA daily news

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