Last night I said I wasn't too excited about this preseason. I'm still not. I don't want to give the wrong impression. That doesn't mean I'm not excited about the Columbus Crew; There is a lot more to be excited about than preseason soccer I won't get to see.
I can't wait to see Mirovan Mirosevic on the field. He's not Guillermo, he's even said so, but the Crew doesn't need another Guillermo; they need a game changer. He doesn't need to dance around with the ball attached to his feet as he orchestrates the offense. He's an exciting and a direct player who has impressive timing and a knack for goal. I want to see it live.
The team may have had the best offseason ever off the field. This certainly begins with the 5 year Barbasol deal that brings the Crew an new jersey sponsor. I've heard from dozens that have already grabbed a new can of Barbasol to trim their winter beards. Even before that, sponsorships were up 20% over last year. That is very positive financial news for a team that is in one of the hardest hit states in the recession.
There will also be fans at the games this year. The team has already eclipsed their season ticket total from last year and are moving upwards towards the 10k goal. They may not get there this year, but it's a real possibility after years of sagging attendance.
The energy in the fanbase is tremendous. I attended the January Nordecke Social and the response was outstanding. Even two months before the season, the topic of conversation was new chants and bigger and better tifo displays. Crewsmas Eve plans are set. To say Crew fans are excited is an understatement.
It's only 19 days until March 10th and the Crew kicks off against the Colorado Rapids on an unnamed but promised Television partner. There will be overflow crowds watching the Crew at 4th Street Bar, Ruby Tuesday, Three Legged Mare, and Fado and plenty of people at home hoping to see some excitement on the field that matches the excitement off it.