The Charter Franchise of Major League Soccer, Columbus Crew SC, is about to leave it’s home after 24 seasons for the supposed greener pastures of Austin, Texas. During the last MLS season & beyond, the #SaveTheCrew movement geared up in full force. Or at least that is what we were led to believe.
Placards, bumper stickers, yard signs and banners were distributed & planted throughout Central Ohio and the United States. At a #SaveTheCrew rally last fall on the steps of Columbus City Hall the message was delivered loud and clear by organizers and guest speakers….buy as many tickets as you can….fill as many seats as you can…bring friends and family to matches.
So what happened? For the Home Opener of what could be potentially the FINAL season for Crew SC in Columbus, just a little over 11,000 showed up.
Things didn’t get any better for the second home match as just over 8,000 decided to make an appearance.
Optics, people, optics. If you are trying to get soccer supporters and those with influence to believe that you really care about your franchise, you need to show up. Hashtags, bumper stickers and yard signs aren’t going to cut it.
Excuses aren’t going to cut it either. For the better part of a weekend, I “debated” with Crew SC Supporters on twitter. I heard so many excuses from “It doesn’t matter. Precourt is moving the team anyway.” to “The business metrics are unfair and being used against us.” to “The Blue Jackets are playing at the same time.” to “It was cold.” I also received a few unflattering comments in what I tried to keep a respectable back and forth. “Troll”, “Hater”, “Giant Douche” & “Dementia Sufferer” come to mind.
If you really, really were concerned that the franchise you are so passionate about was about to leave town, you should SHOW UP to matches. If you think the odds are against you, go down swinging. Show you care, at the very least to the players on the pitch.
I know, I know. Some of you are pointing the finger at me. No, I did not show up at either match. But I also willingly admit I am not a rabid Crew SC Supporter. I have been to many matches, I will be to a few this season. But it is up to YOU, #SaveTheCrew people, to quit relying on hashtags and to take some real action.