Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Farewell Salute to David Beckham

Last night, we examined the Beckham Experiment and gauged the impact David Beckham had on American Soccer through his six seasons here. The report: positive. Whether you like him or not, Becks has risen the profile of the game in the USA.

What more did the famed English legend do for America you ask? He dazzled our hearts and minds with a display of truly Beckhamesque hair styles. I'm here to examine his journey in America through hair. Without further ado, David Beckham's six seasons of hair:

When David Beckham entered the American scene, a change occurred in his lifestyle. He realized the rigor of a European season was behind him and a more interesting sports landscape -- one of advertising deals and talk show appearances -- was before him. What best to do with his famed hair to represent this change? A fresh start, fresh cut and fresh highlights: Cali style, baby.


Beckham's 2008 season represented a return to normalcy in his play. After a rough inaugural season marred by surfing injuries, Davey turned to hair he could rely on: short-cropped and a bit of spike. The mercurial midfielder got back to basics in the bathroom mirror, which lead to a return to his on-field norms: team highs in assists and an All-Star game appearance, his first in the MLS. 

A trying season indeed, the trend in Beckham's 2009 hair reveals struggle. Following a loan spell with Italian giants AC Milan -- which saw Becks miss the first few months of the MLS season -- his loyalty to the MLS and LA Galaxy was put into question. Furthermore, his hair was shaggy and beard robust early on in the season and later, he appeared more troubled, donning a hair-style straight out of the movie SLC Punk. Though his hair had a rough run of it, the Galaxy managed to reach the MLS Cup Final, only to fall short in penalties to Real Salt Lake -- Note: Beckham was undone by fellow SLC Punk hair-bro Kyle Beckerman.

Four words: horror hair, horror season. After yet another unfaithful loan spell with Milan, Becks hobbled back to the Galaxy with an Achilles tear, one that kept him out for most of the season. What did this mean? More underwear ads? Not exactly. But mullets were in order.

HE'S HEATING UP!!!! After a turbulent few season, Davey and his hair realized their legacy was on the line; thus the time for a season MLS critics would talk about for years. And that's exactly what we saw out of Beckham in 2011. He tallied 20 assist and barnstormed the Galaxy to an MLS Championship. How he did it: back to the hair of his youth. The golden boy flick, followed by a serious hair-tie throwback from the early 2000s, Manchester United style.

This year, the wily veteran wraps up his MLS adventure. With some sadness, Becks calls it quits with LA at the time his hair looks the coolest. His conquistador image in 2012 has given the England man the moxie of a Marauding Midfielder, one who plundered opposition teams on a weekly basis. With a career MLS high 7 goals (check back on our earlier post to see a few crackers in Portland) and 9 assists, Becks has his team poised to repeat as MLS Champions and bow out of the American scene in style.

Although I am underwhelmed at times with the MLS, tonight's game is a special one. Not only is it a cup final -- a coveted event in world football -- but it is David Beckham's final game in the MLS. Basically, it's a must see. If for nothing else, to honor a heralded player. Tune in this afternoon at 4:30pm to bid farewell to a true talent.

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