Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just another bum on a seat

Tonight I'm doing something that, as a football tragic, I'd normally never do unless Liverpool were visiting - attending one of those pointless 'friendlies' between a half-decent overseas club team and a local team struggling to score.

Yep. I'm about to watch LA Galaxy play Melbourne Victory. More correctly, I'm expecting to watch David Beckham play Harry Kewell. With due respect to others in those teams, that is how my teenage daughter describes the event.

She finds football boring, preferring the local free scoring goal fest that is AFL. But the Becks brand (not the beer, you idiot!) has worked its magic and we're going to experience 'His Presence' rather than attending with any hope of seeing an exciting contest.

Reports are that over 35,000 tickets have been sold for this event, I estimate about 25,000 more than if LA Galaxy were playing Melbourne Victory. Oh hang on! That's what we're going to see. Almost forgot.

So at $60 a throw, the Becks brand has added about 25,000 bums on seats and $1 million big ones to the gate. And wait a minute - it's live on Foxtel. Bit of an overstatement. 'Live' is not how I'd describe my expectations for the game. So Uncle Rupert and Telstra have also subscribed to the Becks phenomenon to boost the coffers of Football Federation Australia.

Of course, this is all small potatoes to Becks. At 36, he's made hundreds of times more than tonight's gate takings and this is probably his last game for LA Galaxy before he heads to Europe to convince some aspiring team that he can still flog more merchandise by merely appearing on the subs bench.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not slating Becks. I'm just jealous that brand BrooksieG is trailing somewhat in the financial rewards stakes. I played football years ago, but usually bent the ball out of play or wide of the goal rather than bending it like Beckham. There are few enterprises other than the trainers of Golden Retrievers who'll sponsor that sort of talent.

What's probably more concerning about the Becks phenomenon is, for my daughter. the allure is more about pecs like Becks rather than football skill. It's a worrying time.

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