Hi, I’m Doug Hildreth. As one of the fresh-faced, new writers in thee Massive Report family, I’d like to introduce myself.
During the day, I teach high school band. I have an amazing wife and a daughter who will turn two years old in June. I’ve lived in Central Ohio for 17 years since I moved here for college at Ohio State. I’m a huge sports fan, supporting the Buckeyes and Blue Jackets. I’ve been a life-long Cleveland Indians fan, and yes...I even root for the Browns. I’m a relatively new soccer fan, having really only dug in for a little over two years. I support Liverpool FC, and obviously Columbus Crew SC.
The story of how I became a Crew supporter is actually a little long, and strange. After my first Crew match, I was, let’s say...underwhelmed. It was approximately 1,000 degrees outside, MAPFRE Stadium was fully entrenched in the Anthony Precourt school of fan services (no digital ticket entry, long lines with bathrooms closed, small crowds). Needless to say, I was less than impressed. It was a couple years before I made my way back, and it took the Save The Crew movement to really sell me on going all in.
It was inspiring, witnessing firsthand as Columbus united under the #SaveTheCrew banner. It was obvious it wasn’t just about keeping an entertainment attraction around, it was about civic pride. It was about community rallying together. An entire city stood up to a multi-million dollar organization, and it’s carpet-bagging grifter of a representative and won! That’s unheard of, the ultimate underdog victory! When an owner decides to move a sports franchise, it always happens. Except when it didn’t! But this incredible win was only made possible by the dedication and passion of a group of sports fans who had seen the best and worst of times and still had faith. A group I had to become a part of. How could I not commit to a potential season-ticket package when the Save The Crew movement started their drive?!
So I got to experience my first Crewmas, I even talked my wife into bringing our then nine-month-old out to that cold Saturday afternoon! Immediately, the ownership change was noticeable. And with improved fan experience, I was able to see the Crew community for what it is: a family. From my very first Crewmas to dipping my toe (and eventually joining) the Nordecke, I’ve fallen in love with the community that is Crew supporters. Walk around the parking lot at the fairgrounds and it’s a village unto itself. You want a drink before the game? The Nordecke has you covered, just bring your cup! And it doesn’t matter if this is your first match at MAPFRE, or if you were here when it was Crew Stadium in 1996; they welcome you as you are because that’s family and that’s love.
My hope is to help bring more new Crew supporters into a deeper appreciation of the Black & Gold and soccer in general. Being relatively new to soccer, I still struggle with some of the nuances of strategy and terminology. I hope to explore some of the more detailed aspects of the beautiful game and share those insights with anyone who would want a better and deeper understanding. I truly believe that the better you understand something, the more you will appreciate it and love it. The central Ohio area is passionate and knowledgeable about sports, I hope to tap into that and cultivate appreciation to help grow a Crew family that I’ve truly grown to love. I absolutely do not claim to know everything, I’m learning as I go, so I hope to fill in the gaps of knowledge between “ball goes in the net, don’t use your hands” and the finer details of a 4-2-3-1 formation. Let’s go on that journey together! Ask questions, share insights, let’s grow the family!
After all, we all cheer for the Yellow Soccer Team!