Hey folks, it’s Dave here. You may remember me from such ill-fated twitter hashtags as #UpTheFinchez (in which I attempt to get people to adopt the American Goldfinch as the Crew’s unofficial mascot) and #Dave4CrewFO (in which I make a futile effort to secure employment with the Columbus Crew SC front office). But until Tim Bezbatchenko sees fit to hire me as the Crew’s first EDTUCS (Executive Director of Thinking Up Cool Shit), I figure I might as well share a little bit about myself with you fine folks.
I’m a lifelong soccer player (although my arthritic hip has hindered my play somewhat) and fan originally from Youngstown, Ohio and a historian by trade. I’ve coached my son for the past eight years or so and this spring I’m coaching a high school boys team for the first time.
Growing up, the only televised soccer available to me was a weekly Bundesliga show on PBS, the occasional Eurosport catalog and World Cups every four years but I consumed as much soccer as I could. However, my Crew fandom, much like gonorrhea, was a slow burn. I attended the odd match at Ohio Stadium but the lack of coverage in Youngstown or while I was away at college in Oxford, Ohio made following the team difficult. That began to change when I went to grad school at the University of Illinois.
In the early 2000s, following an MLS team from afar was still difficult but the newfangled internet allowed me to sign up for email updates from the team as a way to stay connected to Ohio when following the Cleveland Baseball Franchise, the Cleveland Browns, and the Cleveland Cavaliers was also somewhat difficult.
As my love for baseball and football waned, my love for soccer grew. The turning point was the 2006 World Cup when my friends (including my future wife) and I stayed up into the wee hours consuming a variety of substances to watch the United States Men’s National Team from Korea and Japan. After that, I was all in. My grad school friends and I committed to picking English Premier League teams to follow, which morphed into me getting more serious about my support for the Crew. I’d try to make at least one home game a year in addition to seeing my beloved Goldfinches play in Bridgeview when we still lived in Illinois and then RFK Stadium after we moved to central Virginia.
This team has meant a lot to me, and now my kids, over the years and I’m happy to have the privilege to write about it. But as soon as I get that phone call from Bez or Pete Edwards, I’m out the door.
Editor’s Note: We talked to Bez and Pete and they asked Dave to stop emailing them in the middle of the night.