Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bangers, Mash And Beckham..


The pub was loud and the crowd was rowdy but a win is a win and England is headed to quarter finals of World Cup 20006.

As I had my bangers, mash and a pint or two of Guinness at my favorite English pub about a half mile from the British Embassy in Northwest, Washington.

The big question of the day was how England was going to win?

There had been questions all week about was going to lead this talented but at time clueless team.

But at the English pub in NW, D.C. the answer seemed simple...

This was Wayne Rooney's team he was the star and it was in this World Cup that he was going to make his mark in the history of English football lore.

How about David Beckham?

After all he was the darling of the English soccer world for over a decade but recently there were questions about his usefulness on the team. Had the man who was one of the worldÂ’s most recognizable soccer players been reduced to a bit player?

Well as we began our brunch and the kickoff was near many friends of mine from the BBC were very vocal that Beckham was a man of the past and that Rooney was the man.

Then after a tense 0-0 first half British fans do what most American fans do they blamed the other players for not getting the ball to Rooney and predicted that the longer they let Ecuador in the match the bigger the chance there was for doom.

It was a tightly played match but as the clock on the field hit the hour mark things changedÂ…

In a match that needed a spark it came in the shape of a Beckham special. A free-kick was awarded some ten yards up from the right-hand edge of the Ecuador penalty area and Beckham produced a superb delivery which had Cristian Mora scrambling across his goal just to get a fingertip to the ball on its way into the net.

It was a trademark "Bend it like Beckham," goal that sent the pub into a about a two minute frenzy.

Hey, how about Becks?

The patrons suddenly sang the praises of their tarnished and sometimes forgotten hero.…

Becks's was back and the English fans were with him and as the final moments of the match ticked off and the crowd full of bangers, mash and an awful lot of Guinness sang "God save the Queen," it was another day to savor the true talent that is David Beckham.

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