Today’s first meeting in New York between Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and the President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership Alex Fischer (the Resistance) and scumbag MLS Commissioner Don Garber and scumbag Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt (the Empire) resulted in what can be described as a major bummer. Here’s the statement from the Resistance:
“We met with Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber and Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt in New York today. It is clear the MLS and ownership did not come to the meeting willing to commit to staying in Columbus. We know this is heartbreaking for the dedicated fans in Columbus and across the country who have shown unwavering support for the Columbus Crew SC.
“We are disappointed and frustrated. We were united in putting all options on the table, with the expectation in return that the MLS and ownership would cease pursuing moving the team to Austin. Great American cities do not get into bidding wars over sports teams to benefit private owners. Garber and Precourt were not willing to do that today.
“Once the league and owner are committed to Columbus, we stand ready, willing and able to support the team’s success.
“On November 21, standing alongside the best soccer fans in the country at MAPFRE stadium, we will be cheering Black and Gold onto victory. Glory to Columbus.”
Reaction #1: The fact the meeting today was held in New York was a bad sign from the beginning. It does, however, clarify to the follower and non-follower of #SaveTheCrew that Mr. Garber and Mr. Precourt are forever linked as the two evil forces who have been plotting for four-years to rip the Crew from Columbus through lying, deceitful practices. Since this mess started with secret, backdoor deals, talks to #SaveTheCrew should not have been held behind closed doors, especially in any city other than Columbus.
Reaction #2: The phrase “We are disappointed and frustrated” made its way into the good side’s public statement, which reveals that Mayor Ginther and Mr. Fischer were not savvy enough and/or ready for the first round of the epic fight to keep the Crew in Columbus. Mayor Ginther and Mr. Fischer understand the process for normal business deals, but this is not an ordinary business negotiation. Normal business language won’t cut it, inside and outside of meetings. I’m on their side, but their current tone is feeble in the midst of an inspiring run by the Crew that gives them an upper-hand in the debate. Were they prepared for this kind of fixed meeting by the Empire? Do they have a long-term strategy we don’t know about? Hopefully.
And then there is “Once the league and owner are committed to Columbus, we stand ready, willing and able to support the team’s success.” Well, the Empire is clearly not committed to Columbus or even basic human decency, that’s the problem! Patience is a virtue, but ignorant and do-nothing patience is nonsensical. Strong, effective persuasion has to be part of the #SaveTheCrew business solution. What happened?
Reaction #3: I still believe this is just the beginning of the fight to keep the first and most important club in MLS in the soccer capital of the United States of America. The latter part of that statement is true and I can write a dissertation on that assertion. That aside, if the social media era has proven anything, it’s that an ongoing PR disaster can move mountains (cough cough United Airlines). #SaveTheCrew and its media allies have and must continue to reveal, well, the mountain of lies and deceitful practices from Mr. Precourt and Mr. Garber to the most visible and most consequential audiences for maximum exposure and impact. The facts are on the side of #SaveTheCrew. At a certain point, these facts will reach a boiling point and that’s when the right change can and hopefully will occur.
Columbus Crew outsiders and skeptics in an equal measure may consider the grassroots guerilla marketing campaign to #SaveTheCrew to be admirable, but ultimately all for naught because its opposition is the duplicitous partnership of a powerful business firm Precourt Sports Ventures and institutional force Major League Soccer (MLS). Fair point. The odds aren’t great and the deck is stacked against Columbus and integrity. And yet consider this movement that grew from a hashtag just a few weeks ago is driving a city of passionate fans dressed in black & gold towards a sell-out first-leg of the 2017 MLS Eastern Conference Final for the host Columbus Crew against the top-seeded Canadian visitors from Toronto FC despite a cold forecast. What if Crew fans deliver an electric, sold-out atmosphere and the Crew players deliver another magical playoff win as quintessential small market underdogs?
That would be another massive statement on national television post-Austin news last month.
Determined people with a positive, unified mission have a proven track record of taking down goliaths if the right tact is developed and utilized. #SaveTheCrew has shown great tact and is evolving and growing stronger by the day at the grassroots level.
So, am I saying there’s a chance to keep the Crew in Columbus after another two-faced and staged meeting set-up by the Empire? Yes. A seismic change in strategy in reaction to this devastating development is necessary, but it’s possible. #SaveTheCrew wouldn’t be the first unthinkable upset in soccer history but it would be one of the greatest and most significant. The identity of Columbus and similarly small market soccer clubs, as well as American soccer, is at stake.
And that’s not a game we can lose.
(Please click play and the “Watch this video on YouTube” link AND THEN RETURN to Jimmy’s Daily Planet to read this blog post!)
Columbus Crew 4 – 1 NYCFC
Crew fans are feeling good today after their team produced an exciting and necessary goal-fest against the offensively potent NYCFC in the first leg of the 2017 MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal. The second and final game in this series will be played in Yankee Stadium (that’s a soccer-specific stadium with a full-sized field, right?) this Sunday afternoon. As an added bonus last night, Crew fans let their immoral owner Anthony Precourt hear how they feel about him and his despicable actions that continue to be disclosed from the very moment the snake in the grass (Precourt) arrived in Columbus.
Once again, those chants won’t be repeated on this blog. As an attendee last night, these aforementioned chants were bold, unequivocally clear and fitting and will surely be communicated throughout message boards, social media and to MLS fans across the country, plus Canada. Equally important, MLS owners will surely get the message of the indisputable deceit and sleazy events that have been occurring for at least four years that not only rise to the ownership desk of scumbag Anthony Precourt in Columbus but also to scumbag MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
What officially transpires with the Columbus Crew’s potential move to Austin, Texas will define the true, underlying character of MLS and U.S. Soccer, for better or worse.
Let’s just see what happens.
Interestingly, MLS claims it wants to mirror the system and success of Europe’s biggest football leagues. On that note, one of the most valuable assets in England (EPL), Germany (Bundesliga), Spain (La Liga), Italy (Serie A), France (Ligue 1) and other leagues is history. Therefore, if MLS is constantly trying to evolve as the next Europe, why in the hell are they trying to erase its most storied history that set the very foundation of its league and identity of its national team?
There is absolutely no good answer to that question, which just adds to the gut-wrenching frustration for Columbus Crew fans.
Pivoting to the incredible atmosphere at Crew Stadium last night, an estimated 15,000 men, women, and children showed up on a frigid Halloween to cheer on their beloved Columbus Crew. Seemed like there were more people and I was there. Some fans arrived wearing fun and imaginative costumes, which was a great sight. After what has been happening the past couple weeks in Columbus, the sight of Black & Gold supporters at a home game was genuinely heartwarming. Jerks like Precourt and Garber, who only care about and understand money and spreadsheets, are incapable of understanding or appreciating what it means for someone to show up to a soccer game, let alone the sport of soccer, which they don’t understand. Don’t forget that nobody is required to show up and support the Crew, or any team for that matter. But we do. And last night, Crew fans, as they have since 1996, showed up not only to cheer for and #SaveTheCrew but to save the proud, ever-evolving legacy of the club and its beloved Columbus, which are one in the same.
In a word: Massive.
Sometimes in life, the battle between good and evil can be blurred, requiring an understanding of both sides. However, the ongoing battle of scumbags Anthony Precourt and Don Garber versus the Columbus Crew and its faithful supporters will never be classified with any degree of blurred nuance. It’s clear-cut. One side is bad and the other is good. Pure and simple. Focusing on the good right now, the Crew players and its supporters will not go quietly into the night.
Speaking of an epic adventure with sheer existence on the line and the notion of not going quietly into the night…
The Crew and its dedicated, proud fanbase aren’t done working for Columbus.
Tonight was one of those nights for the Columbus Crew that will be told for many, many years and I am proud to say I was there with my parents, who I’ve seen countless games with since the inaugural 4-nil victory against D.C. United back in 1996. The Crew’s emphatic 4-1 win this evening against visiting NYCFC was a statement in more ways than one.
First, the second consecutive impressive win on national television in the 2017 MLS playoffs against a big market team was massive and unbelievably critical for the quest towards MLS Cup and the very survival of the Columbus Crew. Second, Crew fans came out in force tonight on a frigid Halloween and passionately chanted throughout the 94-minutes sporting their team’s black and gold, as well as many dressed in fun costumes, young and old alike. Third, scumbag Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt was surprisingly in attendance to “cheer” on the team he’s been sabotaging for four years with fans he’s been lying to for the same amount of time. Unsurprisingly, this snake in the grass was treated to a couple personalized chants heard throughout the stadium (and possibly the city) that won’t be repeated on this blog post.
Hey, Precourt did have the distinct honor of hearing his name chanted on ESPN during primetime, except that the sentiment was unmistakenly dishonorable. Just several moments of choreographed humiliation and public scolding on national TV, but I’m sure
nobody noticed everybody across the country and those in MLS offices heard it loud and clear.
More reflection will follow tomorrow concerning the incredible first-leg of the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Columbus Crew and NYCFC, as well as the positive, heartwarming moments from tonight that occurred off the pitch. For now:
#SaveTheCrew and Happy Halloween.
The past week has been very difficult for Columbus Crew fans. And tonight, the Crew traveled down to Georgia to play Atlanta United for the opening game of the Eastern Conference playoffs inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on artificial turf.
Let’s not get started on the turf issue in the year 2017…
Much has been said about the #SaveTheCrew movement in recent days, locally and nationally, as should be the case. However, right now, actions really can speak louder than words.
That is what a massive COLUMBUS Crew can do on national television with their backs completely against the wall, put there by Anthony Precourt and Don Garber’s MLS. The Columbus Crew will host the first leg of the MLS Cup Eastern Conference Semifinal against New York City FC on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.