When the 2011 season comes to a close, David Beckham will be out of contract with the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer, amidst dozens of rumors of a return to Europe.
I, for one, think the legendary midfielder deserves a tribute.
But this isn't quite the sort of tribute that glorifies Beckham's greatest moments in a Galaxy jersey. This is more true to the nature of his stay in the United States (and perhaps more of a testament to our character in this country).
These are David Beckham's greatest hits. Or, at least, the greatest (and hardest) hits he endured in his MLS years.
To some, this will serve as evidence of the many reasons people believe the league will never reach a stature great enough to attract the world's top talent to come to America. It will lend credibility to the idea that the league is too dangerous and full of thugs for the truly magnificent players to ever respect Major League Soccer.
For the rest of us: Sweet! Videos of David Beckham getting laid out!
Apparently Marc Burch of DC United thinks he has some sort of entitlement to possession of the ball, even in Los Angeles.
When David Beckham got between him and the ball to usher it out of play and earn his side a throw, Burch was all over him to get the ball back. That's all fine and dandy, but when it was clear that Burch wasn't going to stop the move in time, he decided to just haul off and shove the Englishman into the wall out of frustration.
Beckham survived the crash injury-free, but was clearly displeased with the brutality. The ref agreed, and sent Burch off the pitch to a patented David Beckham ear-to-ear grin.
When the Galaxy visited Pizza Hut Park in Dallas in 2008, David Beckham took one of the hardest hits of his career.
The play seemed innocent enough, as Beckham patiently awaited one of those agonizingly slow MLS passes at midfield. But no sooner than the moment the ball reached his foot, a sprinting Adrian Serioux slid in from behind to completely take him out.
The hit was so loud that you could hear it on TV, and Beckham's legs completely came out from under him as he went to the ground hard.
These types of tackles are extremely dangerous, and similar tackles have resulted in injuries as severe as broken legs. Luckily for David, that was not the case this time around as he quickly jumped to his feet to get in Serioux's face to tell him what he thought of the defender and his stupid league.
It had to be a proud moment for Francisco Mendoza of Chivas USA, as the winger dispossessed David Beckham in 2008 to race the other way toward the Galaxy goal. Unfortunately, the feat would go unrewarded and quickly forgotten as the play came to a screeching halt just seconds later—when teammate Atiba Harris just couldn't resist the opportunity to knock David Beckham around.
After the dispossession, Beckham raced after Mendoza to win the ball back. But Mendoza carried the play right past Harris, who stuck a foot out at the pursuing David Beckham to send him flying face-first into the grass.
The referee missed the foul, which is often the case in off-the-ball incidents, but the linesman caught it to make sure Harris got his due punishment.
There's a lot going on in this play, which left players lying all over the turf at The Home Depot Center.
First, Edson Buddle gets taken out from behind as he receives Beckham's forward pass in the attacking half. As the ball flies back upfield, Beckham runs onto it to continue the play, only to be met with Jesse Marsh's foot right in his chest.
Beckham went flying, and tumbled for a few yards before jumping up to get in Marsh's face and kick some ass.
To be fair, Marsh was probably going for the ball, and would've gotten it too—if he wasn't about 14 seconds too late.
World football isn't the only sport in which Beckham's taken some hits since coming to America. The man's always looking to revolutionize the art of taking a beating, and did it the old fashioned American Gridiron way in 2007 for a promotional project with Adidas.
The idea was to put Beckham together with Reggie Bush to share the secrets of their trades with one another. By the end of it, David was in full padding and running passing plays.
In one such play, Beckham learned of a new kind of tackle unbeknownst to him in the past, one where it's totally cool to drag you down and knock you senseless. And unlike the others, Reggie Bush is the lone offender who was able to do it legally and without penalty.
Despite the beatings and the bruising, David Beckham has had his moments of glory in the United States, many of which served as a giant middle finger to opposing players who loved to knock him around.
No matter how hard he got hit, he often found his own way of exacting revenge, in a way only one of the world's greatest players could ever achieve.
The goal in this final video demonstrates exactly why the league was so keen to bring him to the States in the first place (aside from the promotional benefits and monetary gains, that is).
If David Beckham's time in Major League Soccer is truly coming to an end, this is what we will be missing when he leaves.
Along with, of course, all those delightfully entertaining moments of Beckham bashing.