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Massive Introduction: John Pearson

Not always a Crew fan, but John found his love for the game, the Black & Gold and Columbus.

Hello, fellow Soccer lovers, my name is John Pearson, and I am honored and humbled to be a new addition to the Massive Report team. I am Columbus, born and bred. I was born in the year of the Columbus Crew's debut season, but I was not always the fan I am now.

My love for the beautiful game came after I was assigned a project to do a deep dive on a celebrity related to Italy in my high school Italian class. As a massive sports guy, I wanted to pick a soccer player, and my teacher gave me the options of Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon and Mario Balotelli. After remembering how loud I was in her class, my professor made an executive decision and told me to research Balotelli because our personalities matched. In retrospect, it might not have been the compliment I thought it was at the time.

However, after watching some highlights, I noticed the flares, the tifos, the rabid fans; I was hooked. I became enthralled in the fan culture and what a club meant to a city, how a club could represent people and how the game was about life. At the same time, I watched every episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. It was apparent to me how Bourdain saw how food told the stories of cultures, communities and the like; I saw the same with soccer. So, during the 2014 World Cup, I dove headfirst in, and it took over my life. I wanted to learn every club I could about the politics, culture, meaning every club stood for, and what club or clubs I belong to, what clubs represented the ideologies I hold dear. That began my love for the Columbus Crew and Liverpool Football Club.

I started going to Liverpool-specific bars around the city, which helped me gain a sense of community with soccer fans in Columbus. I took a liking to Kei Kamara, and I began going to the Crew games more frequently, loving the atmosphere the Nordecke brings. My best friend, Casey. raved about this player from Tigres he'd get in every career mode in FIFA named Lucas Zelaryan, and when he arrived, it was like we had signed Messi. My aunt was even proposed to at a Crew game by her incredible husband, whose love for the Crew made me want to be more involved with the club.

I began spending most of my time downtown and genuinely loving the people of Columbus and have now grown a genuine hatred for the city of Cincinnati. I lived in this city the entire time but never knew what passionate, weird and supportive people we have. That was proven to be accurate 100 times over when the Crew was nearly ripped away, Columbus fought, and I have never been more proud to call this place home.

That's what I promise to bring to this site, that love for the people of this city, highlighting the community they have grown here, the passionate support they bring, and what each player, coach, and game means to the fans.

I want to stress that I come here as a fan, but I am not the fan that grew up playing. I do not know how difficult it is to play right gack as opposed to playing goalkeeper. I am a fan, but I don't have previous knowledge that a fan my age might naturally possess due to them growing up around the team. There will be times that I do not understand the magic of a goal in 2009. I can read about it and look at stats, but I might not feel it the same way that most readers will. However, I can recount the ground's atmosphere this season, the anticipation for the games against the Chicago Fire and what people say the following day after we win.

If that is enough, then I thank you for having me on board!