On My Friend Freddy
After I wrote about Freddy Adu, and how I felt he hasn't lived up to expectations, the folks at soccer message boards jumped all over me. Then, all of a sudden, after all these years of no one really evaluating him, all these Freddy stories come out.
Yesterday, I think I was dubbed Adu Critic #1 as USA Todayreprinted my sentiments, then John Meyer of the Denver Post yesterday was asking if Freddy's "boots (are) painted with fool's gold?"
Meyer actually addressed the failure comment with Adu. "I've been in the league three years, this is my fourth season, and people look at me like, ‘Freddy might be a failure," Adu told him. "I just laugh, because I'm 17 years old. The MLS is a good league, the players are good."
Let's go over this again. I don't hate Freddy Adu. I have nothing against him. I want to give him all the chances in the world. But this "age defense" doesn't work. If I were named the next phenom of American tennis and turned pro at 11, I can't defend myself if I failed to live up to expectations four years later. I couldn't say, "I am just 15, so take it easy on me," because it's not about age. I was the one who decided to turn pro and tried to live up to the expectations and I did not.
For all my critics who say I obviously don't watch soccer, I watched the entire game on ESPN2 yesterday. Freddy wasn't bad. He made some impressive moves. Sure, he was named the player of the game, but he didn't score a goal and didn't have an assist.
Look at these stats, people. In six games with Real Salt Lake, he hasn't scored a goal and has a single assist -- ESPN's Jen Chang calls the assist itself "bogus," though I didn't see it. In his entire career in the MLS, he has only scored 11 goals in 5,988 minutes. That's a goal every six games.
If Adu wants to go to Europe, as he has threatened, he can, but I have a hard time believing that even with time he could become more of a star over there.
One more thing: Freddy turns 18 in three weeks. Is he of legal criticizing age then?
No. 3 for Little "E"?
If Dale Earnhardt Jr. goes to Richard Childress Racing, I'm betting that he's going to blow away all the records for the most amount of merchandise ever sold by a single athlete in a sport. I bet he makes up 45 percent of NASCAR merchandise, which would equal about $950 million in gross revenues worth of goods. To put that in perspective, the WWE traditionally does about $600 million alone.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com