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 Tom Babock.
As someone who has lived in upstate New York State my whole life, my story of Columbus Crew SC has been one of trying to fill the gaps in national coverage of the team and the league itself over the years. I am excited to work with the Massive Report to help spread support and awareness of the Crew throughout the country and the world.
I (second from the left in the picture above) first became aware of the Crew in New York with the opening of the Columbus Crew Stadium (now MAPFRE Stadium) and the news that it was the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States. A lapse of my following of the club was stopped in 2002 with Columbus’ U.S. Open Cup victory and the play of a young rookie named Kyle Martino.
In the early 2000s, I became aware of and started to follow the English Premier League and as I looked around the league to support American players, I noticed that one, Brian McBride, was on loan at Everton (soon to permanently sign with Fulham) and learned of his Crew exploits as I learned more about him.
After a brief time away from MLS, the signing of David Beckham in 2007 brought my attention back to the league and then the Crew solidified my support for them in 2008 when the team won the MLS Cup against the Red Bulls with Sigi Schmidt coaching, Chad Marshall anchoring the defense and Guillermo Barros Schelotto leading the line.
As MLS has become more accessible outside of Columbus, my support for the club has grown and grown. While the result was disappointing to say the least, watching the 2015 MLS Cup Final at a soccer-specific bar in my hometown with fans of MLS was a sign of how much the game has grown nationally. The past few years have allowed me to watch all the Crew’s matches and feel the support and love for the team from its fans through my screen.
Beyond my future contributions to the Massive Report, I am the Vice President of my local chapter of the American Outlaws and have covered ACC Soccer via a podcast in the past called the No Stoppage Podcast where we interviewed various head coaches and provided insights. Moving forward, I hope to provide some tactical analysis and, as a practicing attorney in upstate New York, I hope to be able to deal with legal issues and questions that affect the Crew and the league, from issues like the recent CBA deal to more Crew-focused analysis. I look forward to being able to provide insight regarding our team and to further entrench myself in our wonderful group of supporters!