Social SkillsApril 21, 2014
LeBron is gone, but it’s OK Miami, I’m still hereJuly 11, 2014
Published April 30, 2014 in Miami Today www.MiamiTodayNews.com
David Beckham wants to build a new soccer stadium near the Miami Port. I urge local politicians to seal the deal in a hurry. There are many reasons to do so:
Local economy: This is our chance to rent a piece of land that soon will be under water. Who else but a clueless foreigner would want to rent it? I say we give him huge tax breaks until the Miami Port and surrounding areas are under water, at which point the stadium becomes a water polo venue.
Crime: This will give us an opportunity to do something that the British have known for a long time: It is easier to arrest hooligans and deport them when they are all in one place.
Community building: Next to Brazilian butt lifts and LeBron James, soccer is the only thing Miamians can agree on. If you don’t believe me, just watch the Beckhamania going on around town. Whether you come from Haiti, Argentina, Colombia, or Jamaica, we are all crazy about soccer. All of us from Latin America and the Caribbean islands love the beautiful game. If we watch American football it’s only because we are trying hard to acculturate. We want to be good sports. But truth be told, we are bored to tears with all the interruptions.
Health: Imagine, if we could all watch a game without breaks, there would be less time to go to the fridge, less drinking, and fewer cases of obesity, although getting up to go to the fridge is the most popular form of exercise in America.
Education: Beckham is the perfect role model for kids in Miami. He has a hot wife, plenty of tattoos, and his very own brand! He is also a model for his underwear line, something that many kids in Miami aspire to, after they get their Brazilian butt lift. Soccer lifted him from poverty to global fame. His dad was a plumber and his mom was a hairstylist, just like so many families in Miami. He has so much to share with our kids. He can convince them that education is a waste of time, freeing our schools from those who would rather be on the soccer field.
Focus: I credit soccer with my own success in life. Take concentration for example. As a youngster, all I could talk about from the age of 8 to 16 was soccer. Every Sunday I would wake up early to watch little league soccer on TV, followed by a trip with my uncle Saul to the local stadium to watch our beloved Talleres de Cordoba lose. After watching back to back two live matches, I would go home to watch another 5 hours of soccer on TV. I’d take my transistor to bed to listen to the latest soccer commentary before falling asleep. I memorized the names of all players of all the teams of all major leagues around the world. This was very valuable information that resulted in my failing several courses in high school.
Self–esteem: Playing soccer also helped my self-esteem, which academically was very low because of soccer. Above all, soccer helped me gain the respect of my son, who never cared about all my education, but was very impressed when I told him that I had a chance to play professionally when I was in university. I have to agree with my son that it was a stupid idea to go to graduate school instead. Today I could have been modeling my own line of underwear in billboards around the world.
Family relations: The opportunity for father-son bonding through soccer cannot be overstated. With nine out of ten fathers in Miami leaving their families for a younger Brazilian with you know what, we should seriously consider soccer as a family preservation strategy. A few years ago we were in Toronto for a wedding at the same time that the Argentinean Under-20 team was playing the world championship match against the Czech Republic. We managed to get a second mortgage on our house and buy some ridiculously overpriced tickets through an agency in Texas. We watched Argentina beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in a dramatic game, and for one fleeting moment, I was proud to share with my son my Argentinean roots.
Despite all these compelling reasons, Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida, is rumored to oppose the deal on grounds that the British are having a very bad influence on America. “First we made the mistake of giving Piers Morgan a visa, and see what he is doing now. He is making the NRA look terrible. He has even written a book promoting gun control. If we allow Beckham to bring more soccer, he will soon be talking to us about the merit of socialized medicine” said Rubio. “This is a very slippery slope. We better stops the Brits right now.”