Monthly Archives: November 2017

The Chill of Nil-Nil

Columbus Crew SC 0 – Toronto FC 0

Not the best case scenario, but also not the worst.

Just getting back home from the nil-nil draw between the best damn fans in MLS land, more reflection, and analysis on tonight’s tense game will follow tomorrow. One thing’s for sure at this moment, which is that the city of Columbus continues to solidify its rightful place as THE soccer capital of the United States of America. The fans who rocked the sold-out Crew stadium on this chilly November night were passionate, excited and inspiring. The history of the Crew in MLS (and USMNT’s Dos-a-Cero) is unmatched.

Once again, the very identity of American soccer, let alone MLS, is at stake with keeping the Crew and professional soccer in Columbus. And fans let everyone in Crew Stadium hear it with more chants for Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt, as well as sporting a special banner before kickoff that will be featured in tomorrow’s blog post.

Until next Wednesday’s second leg of the Eastern Conference Final in Toronto, let’s all memorize and sing the newest Crew chant inspired by the timeless classic (and very appropriate) Les Misérables.

 

“We’re not done!”

Damn straight.

#SaveTheCrew 

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Happy Monday

#SaveTheCrew, like the Crew’s current playoff run, will not yield to the toughest obstacles or be blinded by the brightest lights. In preparation for tomorrow’s sold-out first leg of the 2017 MLS Eastern Conference Final against visiting Supporters’ Shield winner Toronto FC on prime-time television, fans are painting flags and banners, writing and memorizing chants and marketing the first club in MLS history with unwavering passion and dedication.

Since “Happy Monday” was designed as an uplifting weekly blog post, the deception and acts of sabotage by Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt, Crew SC President of Business Operations Andy Loughnane, President of Precourt Sports Ventures Dave Greeley and MLS Commissioner Don Garber will not be explored today. Instead, please enjoy a great throwback to the ’80s with a special Columbus connection by YouTube user, and New York Red Bulls fan, JasonRBNY.

The ties that bind the Crew together will be heard loud and clear tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN in #Massive black & gold fashion.

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

#SaveTheCrew 

The Power of (Impossible) Positivity

It’s time to turn on the “weekend swagger.”

Do people still say the word “swagger” out loud?

The short answer is no. The longer answer features many sources for this term’s cultural collapse, most recently damaged by a middle-aged father in Los Angeles who has the promotional ego of Mt. Everest and the ROI of, well, his mediocre NBA son Lonzo Ball. It would be too easy (and obnoxious) to listen to the nonsensical, yet very real rants of patriarch LaVar Ball. Instead, watching the hilarious character actor Kenan Thompson of SNL do an impression of the aforementioned father is the perfect comedic escape.

If the Ball family has taught us anything, it’s best to check ourselves before we shoplift in China wreck ourselves.

The Empire Strikes Back at Its Own Crew

The Empire (MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt) issued a statement in response to their first meeting with Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and the President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership Alex Fischer (the Resistance) that took place yesterday in New York.

Precourt Sports Ventures and Major League Soccer met this afternoon in New York City with Mayor Ginther and Alex Fischer, at the request of the city, in anticipation of being presented an actionable plan and a legitimate offer that would advance efforts to improve Crew SC’s long-term ability to operate and compete in Columbus.  Both PSV and the league entered the meeting with open minds, no demands and a complete willingness to listen and entertain concrete ideas or a meaningful proposal from the city’s representatives at the meeting. 

We were extremely disappointed that no concrete offer or proposal was presented and then told by the City of Columbus that it would not communicate with us past today.

Precourt Sports Ventures made a clear commitment to Columbus four years ago by purchasing 100 percent of Columbus Crew SC.  In the meantime, despite successful efforts to reinvent the brand and improve the Club, market challenges for Crew SC in Columbus continue to mount. 

Despite the city’s refusal to make a real offer and its decision to cease conversations, we remain open to a productive dialogue if the City of Columbus reconsiders.  Columbus Crew SC remains focused on our quest to win MLS Cup.

The following are just a few reactions to a statement that would otherwise be comical if the truth wasn’t so infuriating.

Reaction #1: Anthony Precourt of PSV and Don Garber have been working together to take the Crew out of Columbus for around four years. Their sleazy mission has not changed. That being said, honesty is not the strong suit of Mr. Precourt or Mr. Garber, so phrases like “open minds,” “no demands” and “clear commitment to Columbus” fall on deaf ears. The Empire has no integrity in this situation, so that’s the starting point with their statement that was released yesterday.

Reaction #2: The “market challenges for Crew SC in Columbus continue to mount” is quite a charge to make considering the ongoing sabotaging efforts by Mr. Precourt and PSV as reported just weeks ago.

“It seems Precourt’s story behind the proposed move away from Columbus rests heavily on a lack of sponsorship interest locally, but anecdotal evidence points to exactly the opposite, and also points to manipulation of sponsorship prices,” Columbus executive and soccer fan Anthony Olejniczak told me. “Those disparate accounts need to be reconciled with evidence.”
–Laura Newpoff, Columbus Business First reporter, “Columbus Crew sponsors say deals have gotten pricier”

And Mr. Precourt has not disproven these assertions.

Reaction #3: “Columbus Crew SC remains focused on our quest to win MLS Cup” is, to put it discretely, a line of BS. When #SaveTheCrew is the leading marketing force producing what’s projected to be a sell-out for this Tuesday’s game against Toronto FC, coupled with acts of deception throughout the fast few years, the only reason why Mr. Precourt and PSV are rooting for an MLS Cup champion are so Austin will be happy with a stolen team that’s won its second MLS Cup. Another curious component in that sentence is “our quest.”

After formally telling Columbus that he’s actively looking to move the Crew to Austin last month, he made sure to make this telling correction via Twitter, as reported in “#SaveTheCrew is What We’ll Do.”

Then this.

Put you all in, not us.

— Anthony Precourt (@APrecourt) October 19, 2017

The words “our quest” by Mr. Precourt is yet another line of BS.

What’s next?

Hopefully, a Crew win against heavy favorites Toronto FC in Crew Stadium this Tuesday night on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. on prime-time television. After this match, which will hopefully be a win, there need to be lots of stories by major outlets detailing the inspired playoff performances of the Crew in light of off-field speculation. The drumbeat must get louder every day for the foreseeable future.

On a bright note, it seems highly improbable there will be no next meeting in the coming weeks and months, especially considering this magical playoff run isn’t over in 2017 and since the Crew is guaranteed to remain in Columbus for the 2018 season. There’s time. Part of this effort, however, does require the Crew to keep winning.

The games on the pitch aside, another nervous component for #SaveTheCrew fans is keeping this story on the front page of the news and building proof for reporters locally, nationally and internationally to cover the extensive and deliberate deceit by Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt. Mr. Precourt’s choreographed “business metrics” that project a negative picture in Columbus has misled and is misleading some of the most influential power players in American soccer for the purpose of supporting his mission as the owner, which is to rip the Crew out of Columbus.

As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast, my friend!” Now amplify that sentiment by twenty thousand people who will be rockin’ and rollin’ next week in the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States, cheering on their team’s playoff (and long-term) survival.

No broad support for the Crew in Columbus, Mr. Precourt, and Mr. Garber? Tune into ESPN this Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. I’m guessing there will be a sell-out crowd and a customized chant, courtesy of the Nordecke, written just for you two. If you thought “Dos-a-Cero” made for intense soccer environments…

#SaveTheCrew