David Beckham's ownership group is reportedly considering a few questionable names for its Miami MLS franchise. (Lynne Sladky/AP)
It reads like an article in the The Onion, but it is in fact from The Palm Beach Post, one of the largest daily newspapers in Florida.
David Beckham actually is considering naming his MLS expansion franchise the Miami Vice, The Post claimed Wednesday. Beckham's publicist, Simon Oliveira, took to Twitter hours later and blasted the report, calling it "hogwash." He added, "Nothing ever surprises me and some media actually believe it."
When challenged to refute specific details by Post writer Matt Porter, Oliveira opened his thesaurus instead. "Falsehood, trash, nonsense, fantasy, take your pick," he wrote.
Here's hoping the story really was a fantasy, or at least a trial balloon that quickly burst after a day's worth of ridicule.
Porter wrote that "sources involved with the Beckham group" presented the Vice name, along with a placeholder crest, uniform concept and two other "potential identities" to local government officials and prospective investors during a recent meeting. The mock-up features an aqua and black kit complete with flashes of pink.
Those colors come straight from the logo of the stylish 1980s TV show, which starred Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas as detectives battling a seemingly endless supply of drug dealers, gangsters and murderers. Yes, the clothes, boats and music were cool. But Miami Vice still is the lowest hanging fruit for those looking to lazily stereotype the country’s eighth most populous metro area, which is anchored by a city of striking natural and architectural beauty boasting considerable history.
The logo revealed by The Post features an ‘M’ and a ‘V’, joined vertically with the requisite soccer ball streaking through the middle.
“The logo and uniforms were designed for the presentation only and are not likely the final version. The colors, however, are expected to be the same,” Porter wrote. The uniform comprised an aqua jersey with pink collar and cuffs, black or dark gray shorts with two pink stripes and black socks.
“It will have lots to do with Miami, they will be very vibrant colors, which I’m sure people are quite aware of what colors people in Miami love,” Beckham told reporters last week after announcing his intention to bring an MLS club to South Florida. “We haven’t exactly decided what colors they’ll be yet, but we have a good idea.”
He later told Kick TV that there are a "number of names" under consideration.
Defined by Merriam-Webster as, "moral depravity or corruption," Vice is one of at least three nicknames under consideration by Beckham’s group, The Post claimed. The other two suggested monikers were Miami Current -- which means nothing and could be for any team in any sport in any city in the country -- and “an undisclosed name tied to a corporate sponsor."
Beckham earns more than $40 million per year as a pitch man according to Forbes, ensuring that the list of potential partners is lengthy. H&M Miami, anyone?
Not if Oliveira is right, or came to his senses after realizing that joke names like Real Miami Beckham United and Goldenballs FC are superior to those cited by Porter.
An MLS expansion team in Miami remains contingent on a stadium deal. Beckham and his partners have launched negotiations with government officials and are focusing on a piece of county-owned land at PortMiami, which overlooks the skyline and Biscayne Bay. It's going to take time. If all goes well, the team could kick off in 2017.
That leaves the retired midfielder plenty of time to do it right and come up with a grown-up name that is authentically Miami. The Spanish settled the area in the 16th century and the city now is considered the gateway to Latin America. It lies fewer than 200 miles from the Tropic of Cancer and bleeds into the Everglades. The eye-catching Art Deco architecture, South Beach, cruise ships, causeways and Keys comprise just part of the region's rich iconography.
To the north, Orlando City's ownership turned its back on the "Magic Kingdom" cliché when branding the club.
"People know us for the attractions," president Phil Rawlins told SI.com last fall. "But there’s a whole city here of young people, young professionals, that want civic pride and pride in their city and don’t want to be going around the world and the only thing they’re known for is being the home of Mickey Mouse. It’s why we named the club Orlando City."
Beckham, Oliveira and their partners must understand that modern Miami is about more than Vice. Here's what the local American Outlaws chapter went with when designing a logo that celebrated their city:
There's plenty with which to work. Miami Vice was a great TV show that lasted five years. But that's all it was, and it represents the easy, and cheesy, way out.
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