As I walked into the locker room after the Black and Gold defeated D.C. United on Saturday evening, I shouldn't have been surprised to see Crew Legend and Brand Ambassador, Frank Daniel Hejduk (better known as "Frankie" to the legion of Crew supporters), making a beeline towards me. Do I run? Maybe turn and hide? Not a chance, as I could tell he was pretty damn pumped about the 3-0 win. "What a freakin' great game!!", he exclaimed while shaking my hand. I couldn't be sure if he was excited about the trouncing that was put on United or if he had been staring at the flames too long, as the scoreboard literally went up in smoke. Alas, it's always good to see Frankie, as he's the most grounded person I know and really does put things in perspective.
The reason that I, and many others, can joke about this, is that there was absolutely no one injured from this event. That is a testament to the training for emergencies that the Crew staff go through. Even Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers was joking about it shortly after the match saying, to begin his press conference, "Come in for the fireworks?" Yes, we all laughed. This man, too, has a sense of humor.
The "Scoreboard Fire of '13" was a first for me, and most likely the last that I'll ever see. It just doesn't happen. Ever. The fate of the scoreboard, beloved by many and derided by some, is still to be determined. Mark McCullers isn't sure yet, either. "I think that the fire was pretty much contained in that area (the speaker cabinet), but obviously, with as much water as was put on the scoreboard, it could be just about any level of damage. From replacing the speakers to replacing the scoreboard, I would guess." Could we see a new scoreboard installed because of this? My guess would have to be "yes". With as much water as was put into the scoreboard, I don't see how much of anything inside of it would be working properly at this point. Prior to my life as a writer, I was a Fireman. I do have some experience with how much damage water will do to surrounding items when used to put out a fire.
How much havoc did this cause to your beloved Crew as they readied themselves to take on a rival in D.C. United? Not much, apparently. According to Goalkeeper Andy "The Hebrew Hammer" Gruenebaum (16 career shutouts), "I think last year, the Salt Lake game we played at home with the power outage, kind of prepped us for this one. There's was a lot of waiting around there as I recall (Salt Lake game). You know, we're professionals and both teams knew they had to come out and refocus and be ready to go."
You know how this story ends, so there's really no need to rehash the details once again. The question remains, though. Was the team that was on the field on Saturday night the "real deal"? Or, was this an aberration, wherein they revert back to a mid-table playing level? The old adage holds true: you should beat the teams below you in the standings and give yourself a chance to win against the teams above you. Time will tell this tale.
To round out this tale of smoke, fire and victory with anything less than utter shenanigans would positively be uncouth. Such is life. It was brought to my attention this afternoon that there was a suggestion put forth to amend the name of the Massive Report's Man of the Match award, "The Golden Shin Guard", to (and I'm quoting Steve Abreu from Twitter for this): "I vote that Golden Shinguard be changed to whatever Golden Shinguard is in Spanish. Sounds cool." To which Massive City FFC responded: "Espinillera de Oro". Um... no. While I do promise to learn how to say "Golden Shin Guard" in the native language of whichever player earns this honor on all future broadcasts of the Final Kick, the name will not be changed. Is this fair to the loyal readers and followers who yearn for what is reported in Massive Report? Probably not. Deal with it. As my father has always been fond of pounding into my head, starting at a very early age, "No one ever said that life was fair". The man does make a valid point.
What you see is what you get. So, until next time, Stay Massive, my friends.