Friday, July 13, 2007

Beckham Upstaged by Mayor! But Not In The Way You'd Think!

Today's unveiling of David and 'Posh' Beckham to Los Angeles may end up being a footnote in history compared to what happened when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was introduced to the crowd.

From Eric Spillman's KTLA BLog:

(Home Depot Center, Carson) -- L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's self-redemption tour hit a pothole here today.

The mayor had hoped to get a warm reception from a crowd of fans welcoming soccer superstar David Beckham to the L.A. Galaxy. Villaraigosa has said he wants to 'focus on his job' after damaging revelations came out last week that he cheated on his wife of 20 years by having an affair with a local newscaster.

The reception he got here was chilly, to say the least.

When Villaraigosa was introduced to the crowd, they booed. Loudly. The catcalls could be heard on the podium mike. And so you could definitely hear it on the live TV feed that people were watching all over the world.

The mayor tried to connect with the fans, asking them: "Who says L.A. doesn't love soccer?!"

He was greeted with silence. Nobody shouted back.

He tried desperately to generate some enthusiasm, but the crowd would not play along.

All week long, Villaraigosa has tried to carry on with his work. He's made numerous public appearances. He and his handlers must hope the story of his divorce and affair will just go away if the mayor just ignores it.

It's not going away yet. His popularity has taken a hit. And he got a humiliating reminder of that from the crowd here today.

The question of the day is... will this internationally televised show of hostility of the audience towards the Mayor be seen one day as the start of the end of his career - or will it just a bump in the road?

The answer to that question will be far more important than the coming of the Beckhams to Los Angeles.

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