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 Thomas Costello.
One of the greatest parts of being inside MAPFRE Stadium is the people. Not only the people on the field, kicking around a ball, or the employees running around making sure you have a good time. The people who buy tickets, drinks, scarves, etc.
This all-important group of people comes from all corners of existence. They’re mothers, fathers, third-generation Crew supporters, people attending their first match, youth soccer teams, old, young, Americans, new Americans, Nordecke supporters, upper sideline supporters, so on and so on. All these people come together to enjoy a warm evening, or sometimes an afternoon, and cheer for Columbus Crew SC. You are reading this because you are one of those people. I am writing this because I am one of those people.
I’m a reformed Northeast Ohio elitist who’s spent the past 10 years following soccer/football/fútbol, in one form or another. Being a Canton, Ohio native, with a Cleveland, Ohio family pedigree didn’t set me up for following this game.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that my grandpa shared a story of sitting in Cleveland Municipal Stadium, watching the NASL’s Cleveland Stokers host Pelé’s New York Cosmos and stunning them in a 2-1 victory. This story wasn’t important when talking about the Cleveland Browns or attending Cleveland Lumberjack games. We didn’t change the radio dial to a Columbus Crew match at family gatherings because the Indians game was always on.
I lived outside of Columbus until the summer of 2015. My first real experience with the Crew was in 2007, not including seeing the occasional blurry match on ONN. I took my fiancée, now wife, two hours from home to watch the Black & Gold get thrashed 3-1 against FC Dallas. The memory of that evening that stuck out the most was how much fun it was leaving the parking lot.
The 2008 season would be the next time I watched a televised match. It was held in Los Angeles against the New York Red Bulls. I invited a friend over to watch it, which isn’t that important because I can’t remember who I invited. What I do remember is a leaping Frankie Hejduk goal and a banana kit-clad club holding up a big shiny piece of metal.
You don’t want to read an autobiography. You want to read about the Crew. The team that introduced me to some of the best people I know. The team that prompted me to get season tickets with someone I barely knew, because he lived in Canton too and had a Crew license plate. The team that my oldest child cannot stand to miss a second of when she’s in that beautiful stadium.
This story can be repeated thousands of times, through the hundreds of thousands that attend matches throughout the season. Every supporter is different. Every story is different. Everyone supports the team in their own way and all of them are just fine (unless you’re yelling or hurting others, be nice).
You support this club through reading about them on Massive Report. You come to this site for information about the Crew because they’re your team. You’re Crew people.
I’ve been gracefully accepted into the Massive Report team to help you support your club. I’m here to tell you about your club. I look forward to holding up my end of that responsibility and I expect you to help me by sharing what you want to hear about the Crew.
2020 is going to be Massive. I’m happy to share this season with you.