How do you save what is already safe? Latest feelings on saving The Crew
Last night I went to Fenway Park. It was an incredible experience and a life-long dream.
This of course has nothing to do with the Columbus Crew, or does it? Well as amazing a time I had there – and if you haven’t been I can’t recommend it highly enough whether Baseball is your thing or not – my eyes were drawn to the one obviously link to the Crew. Mapfre Stadium.
That’s right, looking out towards home plate from the third base line where we were lucky enough to have a fantastic view, I turned my head left towards the Green Monster and there it was a huge sign advertising Mapfre.
It occurred to me that both of the teams in question were the first ones to have single purpose fields in the history of their sport. So with that in mind, I wondered, would people be as willing to entertain the idea of moving the Red Sox or give up on Fenway Park?
My feeling is, if someone like myself who was not culturally obliged to seek out these places and wants to be a part of what they offer, then only an idiot would not be able to market that. This is the issue here, the group that took over the Red Sox, FSV (FSG as they now are) are extremely intelligent business men who aligned themselves with both the name of the Red Sox and my Premier League team and home town club, Liverpool Football Club.
Their method of attracting new fans and keep the current die-hard fan base is tried, tested and true. Now look at Precourt – I won’t dignify him with his first name – and look at how he has ran the MLS equivalent of the Red Sox into the ground.
The man is a fool and MLS, you’re enabling the fool while completely missing the opportunity you have to market one of the biggest attractions you have. I’m reminded of the Eddie Izzard sketch that playfully jabs at American history.
You tear your history down, man! “30 years old, let’s smash it to the floor and put a car park here!” I have seen it in stories. I saw something in a program on something in Miami, and they were saying, “We’ve redecorated this building to how it looked over 50 years ago!” And people were going, “No, surely not, no. No one was alive then!”
As I sat in awe of Fenway Park and cheered as Xander Bogaerts hit his second home run of the night, I thought to myself, why am I loving this so much. Baseball isn’t my favorite sport and yet I was completely encapsulated in the moment. Part of it is that you can’t possibly imagine the difference between seeing it on TV and then being there and being part of it. It’s easier to enjoy something when ‘you’ are winning and to that end of course I was caught up in the adulation of probable victory, but it wasn’t that.
What had me so enthralled was thinking about what I was a part of that night. In an extremely small way, I added myself to Boston Red Sox history by sitting in that crowd and being at one of those games. It may sound like hyperbole, but you can feel the history in Fenway Park and that as well as all those people in that ball park with me who created that buzz, that atmosphere, they became a part of that history too if they already hadn’t been.
It was a privilege to be part of something so special and a moment in my life I will cherish.
We have to be fair about this, the people of Austin have an opportunity to be part of history also when they take their seats for the first time at the new home of Austin FC. I can completely understand why they want a franchise for themselves and I hold no grudge against that but in the same way sitting in any other ball park other than maybe Wrigley (don’t know haven’t been) would be an anti-climax, if we are being honest here so would sitting in a new stadium in comparison with sitting in the oldest stadium in the league which is stooped in so much history.
I’m devastated at the thought of losing Mapfre. Some people say it’s not accessible enough, well nothing is until you make it accessible. People say it is too run down, well so were Wrigley and Fenway until they made the effort to restore them but without losing what made them what they are.
For me personally what saving the Crew should be about two things, keeping the traditions of the club and that includes the stadium. If Precourt wants the players, then so be it. I don’t care. It will hurt but they are just players, they come and go and if they have anything about them they would leave as soon as their contract is up any way.
If we end up bottom of the MLS, so be it. If we end up in another division like USL, so be it. Just keep Mapfre and stay true to ourselves. I love that saying over there ‘we all we got, we all we need’.
If worse does come to worse and we lose Mapfre, then just remember this. The Columbus Crew is wherever the fans of this club make it. My fandom isn’t based on winning or losing, it isn’t based on buildings no matter how much I feel it important to preserve them, it isn’t based on the players who represent the club. It’s YOU, the fans. You are why I am a Columbus Crew fan. Your dedication to your team and your passion is what made me fall in love with this club.
Save the Crew? The Crew is as safe as you want it to be and neither Prec**t or the MLS can take away from who and what we are. So while it isn’t as catchy as the current title for the movement, from now on I’ll be saying ‘Save the history of the Crew’ because if I know anything about the people who continue to turn up against all the odds and no matter how they are treated, then the Crew is already safe.