Editor’s note: As Massive Report expands its staff in the coming week, we will introduce each new member by having them write a little something about themselves to help the MR community get to know them. Who are they? What’s their soccer background? How long have they been a fan of the Crew? Whatever they want to share to introduce themselves to our great and loyal readers. Today we introduce Andrew Atkins.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Andrew Atkins, and I’m a proud husband and father of three, but that’s not why you’re here, is it? Let’s chat about soccer.
The year was 2000. At the age of 10, I was standing in the goal of the Temple Christian Crusaders’ practice field, as my teammates took turns kicking balls at me, not the goal, but at me. You see, I had spent the first half of the season jumping out of the way of the soccer ball every time it was kicked even relatively close to me, and coach Harris had decided the only way he was going to get me to stop being afraid of the ball was to have all the balls kicked at me... repeatedly.
After lots of flinching, some (lots of) screaming, and a few stingers to the body, I finally realized it was easier to attack the ball than to have the ball attack me. As I caught the ball in my hands for the first time, it happened: I fell in love with the beautiful game.
I spent the next six years being the most mediocre goalkeeper and midfielder Temple Christian School had ever seen, but I had the bug. I couldn’t get enough soccer. I knew this was my sport.
The same year that coach Harris cured my fear of a soccer ball, he also introduced me to Major League Soccer, and more importantly, the Columbus Crew (pre-SC). My first experience with the Crew was sitting in the nosebleeds of Crew Stadium (pre-Mapfre), surrounded by my teammates, screaming and chanting and singing and watching the Crew fail to score a goal* and draw 0-0, but regardless, I knew this was my team.
(*Watching the Crew fail to score a goal is also how I spent much of my 2019.)
And when my team was threatened to be taken away from me, I found myself for the first time realizing that just as much as I loved the Crew, I loved Crew fans. I became a hashtag warrior, tossing #SaveTheCrew wherever soccer was even thought about being mentioned**.
(**sorry MLS social media team, Crew social media team, Don Garber and definitely not Anthony Precourt)
I saw this fanbase truly live up to the moniker of “Massive,” and I saw this fanbase fight. I saw this fanbase Save The Crew. I was prouder than ever to call myself a supporter of Columbus Crew SC. It was the #SaveTheCrew movement that made me realize, my fellow Crew supporters were my friends.
So that’s why I’m here. I’m truly humbled and beyond excited to get to write about my sport and my team, to my friends that call themselves supporters of the greatest soccer team to ever exist in all of space and time: Columbus Crew SC.
I’m so grateful to have a chance to be part of the team here at Massive Report. I look forward to writing for you, engaging with you, debating with you when you disagree with me (which should be never), and celebrating with you when the Crew win the MLS Cup at the end of 2020.
Glory to Columbus. Let’s get started, shall we?
Twitter - @AndrewAtkinsSC