In an alternate universe, the following appears on The Guardian's webpage on June 25, 2004:

Beckham Lynched

LISBON - David Beckham, English football star and former national icon, had the ever-loving crap beat out of him upon arriving at Heathrow Airport this morning, following a missed penalty kick that cost England their quarter-final Euro 2004 match against Portugal.

"Shit!" remarked Beckham, prior to receiving the first in a prolonged series of repeated blows to the head, torso, and groin area. The beating lasted approximately 20 minutes, after which Beckham was dragged by his mangled limbs around the terminal and finally deposited on a nearby baggage carousel.

Added Beckham, "Aaaaaaaarrgh!"

With the score locked at 2-2 after extra time, England and Portugal went to penalty kicks to break the tie. Beckham shot first for England, sending his kick over the crossbar and dooming himself to what one observer described as "one hell of an arse-kicking." Portugal went on to win the penalty round 6-5, thereby eliminating the English squad from the tournament and leaving British fans with no source of entertainment for the remainder of the summer other than reruns of Coronation Street.

Doctors estimate that Beckham will require at least six months of recovery time before he is able to play again; meanwhile, investigators have placed the property damage figures at somewhere around £8,000, approximately £5,000 of which will go towards replacing Beckham's manicure.


(Actually I have nothing against David Beckham (and I quite like the BBC), but I don't think he's terribly popular in England at the moment. On a related note, an audio recording of one Portuguese commentator's reaction to the final goal of the match can be found here - I personally like the little song he sings).