Today the Obamas hosted the L.A. Galaxy at the White House to congratulate the team on its recent championship and to promote Michelle Obama’s national fitness initiative, “Let’s Move.” President Obama, who called the Galaxy the “Miami Heat of soccer,” touted their three MLS Cups and their resulting celebrity status, saying that unlike other professional soccer players, the Galaxy didn’t have the “luxury of being able to walk around without being recognized.” He also pointed out that most of David Beckham’s teammates are young enough to be Beckham’s kids. Fantastic work, Mr. President. (Click here for the White House’s archived video excerpt of the press conference).
The real fun, however, was the question-and-answer session with the team and a room full of young fans (the State Dining Room, to be precise) that followed. Some notable questions included “David Beckham, how did you become the man you are today?”, “Why did you move from Madrid?”, and my personal favorite, “What do you think soccer is about?” There’s not a morning that goes by when I don’t wake up and wonder the same (regarding all three).
There were questions for some of the other players as well, but Becks, with his Hitler-youth haircut, was certainly the star of the show. His self-deprecation, candidness, and charming humour (see what I did there, with the “u” in “humour”?) make Beckham so damn likeable; even though he was once adorned in Manchester red, I still find myself becoming more and more of a legitimate (i.e. non-ironic) fan. And that’s besides his skill on the pitch (I have previously written that watching him play is a “bloody near-religious experience”). I also compared him to Robert E. Lee. I still stand by my assessment.