CHESTER, PA - SEPTEMBER 11: Philadelphia Union fans cheer during the game against the Chicago Fire at PPL Park on September 11, 2010 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Union won 1-0. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

So this popped up in my inbox this morning, courtesy of Major League Soccer's daily "Newsstand" email.

Beckham ready for Philly crowd Thursday
By Marc Narducci
Philadelphia Inquirer – October 5, 2010

After I had cleaned my monitor of the coffee spewed during the resulting spit take, I went looking for the actual story, because MLS provides the text without a link.

Here's the actual headline, per the Philadelphia Inquirer website.

"Beckham the star attraction as Galaxy visit the Union"

A little better, and definitely not spit-take worthy.  Clearly Beckham still has star power, and it's understandable that a Philly writer would do a story on the midfielder ahead of the Galaxy's visit to PPL Park on Thursday night.  But where did this "Beckham is ready" thing come from?

"I am looking forward to the passion of the Philadelphia fans and I know they all won't be shouting for me," he said. "That is what it should be like, the louder and more they shout, the better and sometimes that can spur you on as a team."

Now, I don't want to overstate the talents of Philadephians when it comes to heckling/ragging/singing in the direction of opposing players (much of it is rep, not fact), but I'm not quite sure Becks is as prepared as he thinks he is.  Davey, buddy, you think that fan in the tunnel at the HDC (uh, your home stadium) taunting you about the prostitute was offensive?  Imagine every fan in the River End singing a jaunty diddy about said subject in your direction for, oh, ninety minutes or so.  All the credit in the world to you if that spurs you on, but I'm having trouble picturing you playing better because of it.

As Union fans proved with their bit of Peter Vermes-inspired magic, they won't hesitate to use whatever ammunition presents itself.  Whether these things are in good taste is...a matter of debate, but Philly pulls no punches; it's part of their charm, such as it is, and to expect anything different would be ridiculous.

Good for Becks if he really does think he's ready, and maybe a few of the American boys on the Galaxy have warned him about what's coming.

Let's not forget this is a man whose most famous MLS moments involve run-ins with fans.  Saying you're ready is one thing, actually having a thick enough skin to actually handle the abuse is another.
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