Kyle Beckerman’s Engagement Photos Make Me Ashamed to Be an American

That hat! Those google-eyes! That canoe!

USA midfielder Kyle Beckerman following the game against Portugal during the 2014 World Cup at Arena Amazonia. Photo |  Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

USA midfielder Kyle Beckerman following the game against Portugal during the 2014 World Cup at Arena Amazonia. Photo | Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I’m a big soccer fan. I was a big soccer fan even before this World Cup. I love watching soccer on TV. (I know — weird, right?) I get into arguments with my husband over Michael Bradley. I think Kyle Beckerman is the hottest thing since sliced bread.

Hold on. Make that “I thought” and “was.” Because I just saw Kyle Beckerman’s engagement photos, and I’ve changed my mind.

Isn’t it enough that an entire nation is obsessed with your dreadlocks? Why does a presumably self-respecting Jewish guy do this? And this? And this? What’s the impetus for this gross societal overshare by the much-admired captain of Real Salt Lake? You’re in love; you’re getting married. We’re happy for you! But these engagement photos — why?

How does rough, tough, not-afraid-to-score-a-yellow-card Kyle Beckerman get talked into this? Does his then-fiancé Kate Pappas say, “Oh, honey? Don’t plan anything for tomorrow, because we’re going out into the woods with a photographer and a canoe and this cool hat I bought for you and we’re going to make kissy-faces with each other?” Or, worse, did Kyle pick out that hat himself? Has he ever been in a canoe before? (He doesn’t look it.) Do he and Kate spend a lot of time lounging around empty soccer fields, practicing handstands on each other’s chests? How do you look Bastian Schweinsteiger in the eye after something like that?

I know, I know; everybody’s doin’ it, right? But sooner or later, there’s gotta be a cultural correction to this obsession with documenting and then splashing all over the place what used to be intimate moments reserved for sharing with family and close friends. These photos are now burned into my inner eyelids. I can’t unsee them. I’ll never think of Kyle Beckerman the same way again. With each sterling tackle he makes, with each astounding cut-off pass — even if he heads in the final winning World Cup goal — all I’ll be visualizing is him in that goddamned canoe, clad in that hat and not a shred of dignity.

Good luck on Tuesday, though.

Follow @SandyHingston on Twitter.

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