Too Bad America Won't Love Beckham as Much as We Do

What Everyone Is Talking About

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Water Cooler has a "major" confession to make -- we've got a wicked case of Beckham Fever. But apparently Water Cooler is in the minority, as the rest of the country was tuning into reruns of ABC's "Wife Swap" on Monday while we were practicing the Posh way to say home (for the record, it's "hoy-uhm"). And you don't need a Hogwarts professor to predict that it's going to take more than just an exceptionally attractive British athlete to get Americans to care about soccer.
Victoria Beckham learns about baseball in the NBC reality special 'Coming to America.'
Victoria Beckham learns about baseball in the NBC reality special 'Coming to America.' Credit: NBC

Nothing speaks to the cultural disconnect more than a scene from NBC's reality special "Coming to America" in which Posh learns the ins-and-outs of baseball from a team of little-leaguers. She, of course, comes to the practice clad in her signature uniform of miniskirt and heels. You just know if Paris Hilton showed up in a similar ensemble to a rugby game for "The Simple Life: U.K." there'd be coverage of it on CNN the following day, but somehow when it's a British celeb, there's not only a lack of public interest but a territorial desire to protect a sacred pastime.

The American press had a field day (pun intended) with such scenarios. No one had more fun than Alessandra Stanley from The New York Times, who wrote, "These kinds of reality shows rely on a fish-out-of-water conceit, but in Beverly Hills Mrs. Beckham is a fish-in-Evian, one rich, blond, spray-tanned wife-of among many." But anyone who recognizes the word "zig-a-zig-ah" will gladly remind you that Mrs. Beckham once had a quite-prosperous day job as a Spice Girl, albeit a rather quiet one. She wasn't one to hog the mic like Sporty.

It doesn't help that her hubby falls into the "better seen than heard" category, as his brief appearance on his wife's show yet again proved. He may be the freshest face in soccer for U.S. fans, but his next-big-thing status isn't helped much when the guy comes off as articulate as Mike Tyson on a topic as simple as a photo shoot for W magazine.

That said, any efforts to help make "major" replace "that's hot" as the go-to celebutante catchphrase would be much appreciated.
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