Image: Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY Network
Columbus Crew are the 2020 MLS Cup Champions.
Read it again. Drink it in. It’s ours.
When I was being taught how to improve my writing, I was often told I “bury the lead”. I understand why and that there is an accepted format of how to write, but I just don’t agree with it.
We are all different people and we see many issues and stories from a different perspective, one man’s lead is another man’s close.
For example: As I’ve explained before, for me to follow a team is not just to follow the results on the pitch. If I follow a team, I want to know about the whole culture of that club. From the social reactions to issues I deem important, to the part of the club that others don’t see unless you look deeper.
I lucked out. When two years ago I spoke with the 31Crew on my podcast – a Columbus Crew supporters club based in Chicago – I knew soon after the show that I’d found something I didn’t even set out to seek.
You see, I had no idea I’d find a team that fit who I am as a person as well as the Columbus Crew. I continued the podcast for a few more episodes and I’m glad I did, especially as it led me to MLS fans from around the league who I now consider friends. You know who you are.
Strangely enough, my first game for the Crew was against DC United back in 2018. March 24th 2018 precise. The Crew ran out 3-1 winners at Mapfre.
I was warned time and again not to Support the Crew. I even – during a Twitter post – said that I would have to support Toronto if I ever lived there, this wasn’t any knock on Columbus, it’s the belief I have that it is important to support your “local team”.
I mean, that’s the reason I started supporting the Crew in the first place, because so many supported their local team with a passion and defiance I’ve only witnessed once before in my life time.
The idea of supporing a team other than the Crew lasted a few hours before I metaphorically slapped myself in the face and realised I could never.
You see I suffer from anxiety and with anxiety comes something that can be a gift but is more often than not a curse. I overthink everything.
At times I literally can’t stop my own thoughts and I second guess myself constantly. This is another reason I know I love this team. For me “I can’t help falling in love with you” is about as literal as it gets.
On my previous post I spoke of how I decided to follow all things LA because of the Dodgers. That didn’t last either. I can’t follow LAFC because the reason I love the Dodgers is how they bring LA together. LAFC don’t do that.
It’s not their fault, just their existence causes division. I wish them well, I wish the Galaxy well. I wish LA well.
By contrast, I can’t support the Lakers as they are basically too good. My want to support them diminished with every great move they made that basically now has it in betting terms as “Lakers v Field” and I’d be tempted to take the Lakers.
I don’t want that. The reason is exactly the same reason I’ve always burried the lead in my writing when writing for myself. The destination isn’t the lead, the journey is.
John Lennon was once asked at school what he wanted to be when he grew up, he replied: “happy”. They told him he didn’t understand the question, he replied: “you don’t understand life”.
Yes I’ll remember last night for the rest of my life, but without what came before, without the late night games that started at 1am. Without the painful defeats, without them trying to take our team away, without me speaking to at this point literally hundreds of Columbus Crew fans and without having met my dear departed frend Crazy Dave, yesterday is just another game.
Because of everything above and due to the natural culmination of this era of the history of the Columbus Crew and because I couldn’t help falling in love with a team that were founded as member 01 in 1996, there are now 6 words that will forever evoke a burning passion filled with memories that will last a life time:
Some things are meant to be.