Even before I really started following the Columbus Crew, my family would take me to games every once in a while, usually through discounted tickets from summer soccer camps. My earliest ticket stub I have was from the 2004 season when I was only ten years old. Now that it is 2014, I have been going to Crew games for half my time on earth.
Supporting the Crew as closely as possible the past seven years has been a journey unlike any other.
I still equate some life events specifically with the Crew. I remember where I was when I missed a game, where I was standing during certain goals, who I celebrated with during both home and away games. I feel like the ups and downs of the Crew have even coincided with my own life to a certain degree.
This year, the Crew have been completely reborn. New head coach Gregg Berhalter, new owner Anthony Precourt’s first full year in charge, new players, new captain, new stadium upgrades. After a blazing start to the 2014 season with three consecutive wins, the Crew have cooled down a little, but I think we all hope they regain the high-octane style of play that reminded us of the good old days.
With all the new life that has been breathed into this year’s Columbus Crew, my life will soon be starting anew as well. Saturday night’s game on May 10th against the Vancouver Whitecaps was the last Crew game I will watch in person for sometime, as I am moving across the country to be closer to my family and continue my college education. Who knows when the next time will be. Although a frustrating 1-0 home loss, it was still an exceptional night.
I will obviously miss watching my hometown soccer team live and in person. There is nothing that compares to it in all of sport. The emotional connection is extraordinary. I will still be watching, though. You can count on that.
I have met a great number of great people through the Crew. Writing for Massive Report, standing in the Nordecke with my Einheit brethren. Through the good times and the bad. Stadium ban threats and flag checks.
My dad and I had season tickets together, and my girlfriend was quickly turned into a fan. I know they never quite had the fandom which possessed me, but they were there out of love. Albeit, the love which led them into the stadium was probably a different one than mine, but that just makes it even more special to me.
Although the sun is setting on this portion of my life, it is just as quickly rising in another.
Aloha and Be Massive.