Breathless Beckham targeted

Photos of an evidently out-of-shape David Beckham appear on the Daily Mail Web site, along with the headline: “Mind how you go old man … David Beckham left gasping for breath after rigorous training session with AC Milan.”

One photo shows Beckham, sporting a new tattoo on his inner left arm, bent over leaning against a chain-link fence and having his pulse taken by a concerned-looking team trainer. Beckham was in Dubai with his new Milan teammates preparing for a friendly match against the German club Hamburg SV on Tuesday.

The Mail reported that “after every 30-second bout of rigorous exercise he had to stop to recuperate.” The newspaper also quoted team doctor Jean-Pierre Meerseeman, who said last week that Beckham, 33, could play another five or six years — that his basic fitness was excellent and “all he needs to do now is alter his training program slightly.”

Beckham expected a more intense experience once he left the Galaxy for a loan trial with Milan. But that was in reference to the matches, not the practice sessions.

NICE ATTITUDE — Nominated for NFL teammate of the year: Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee.

McGahee, who rushed for only 671 yards during an injury-plagued regular season, told reporters last week: “My season is over. (Since) Week 5, I haven’t done anything at all. … I’m just playing my role.”

And: “Yeah, it’s over. It’s not like the season I normally have, so it’s over for me. That’s how I look at it.”

It’s not over for the Ravens, who have a wild-card game today against Miami. If McGahee’s season is over, he needs to inform Ravens officials. The team’s depth chart has McGahee starting at running back.

JACQUES BE NIMBLE — Jacques Rogge, head of the International Olympic Committee, earned a mention as Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle listed the sports knuckleheads of 2008.

“Now there’s a no-nonsense sports leader,” Ostler wrote. “At the Olympics in Beijing, hammer throwers and weightlifters were doping, horses were doping, and underage Chinese gymnasts were winning gold medals, so Rogge sprung into action: He chastised Usain Bolt for being a hot dog.”

ALL WET — Singapore hasn’t run out of land, but that didn’t stop city planners in the new Marina Bay development from building a soccer field in the bay — a field that floats on water.

On shore sits a 30,000-seat viewing section, but the field rests on the water, accessible by three ramps that lead to the stadium. The field is said to be sturdy enough to support 9,000 people and three military tanks, tanks of course being essential to the sport of on-the-water soccer.

Still unclear is what will be done about all the soccer balls sure to be kicked into the bay.

FLYING HIGH — Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press, putting the Red Wings’ 6-4 win at Wrigley Field in perspective: “The Wings have now won more games outdoors this season than the Lions have.”


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