Turning off my extra sensitive to moving receptors thanks to Art Modell, for now. I was actually at that last game against the Bengals when they were tearing out the seats and throwing cherry bombs. I was 10 or 11, and actually someone to top things off broke into my dad's car during the game. We had to drive home in 20 degree wheather without a window back to Pennsylvania. So yes I'm a little scared in more ways then one by teams moving. And, for now at least, I'm turning off those extra sensitive "we are moving" receptors thanks to this Crew Union article featuring HSG president John Wagner.
This game here, still have my ticket back in PA. Hopefully, the Crew fans never have to go through this. Kind of hard for me to watch, but maybe it will whake everyone up to the possibility. If the Crew ever do move there won't be a seat left in CCS, can guarentee that. However, I can say that Mr. Wagner has alleyed some of my fears, but not all of them.
"According to Mr. Wagner, the investment group, associated with the expansion interests in Las Vegas, does not have the ability to move the team, as this type of action is controlled by the league. Further more, the point that this would be a minority stake in the team would limit their ability to pursue such an agenda in the first place."
Along with Wagner saying, "the team is not leaving period!" and "the Crew's home is in Central Ohio."
Well, I'll take that as a sort of guarentee until LV group outbuys HSG and the league approves it. :-) I kid, I kid. For now.
Additionally, I discussed this with a fellow Nordeckian, Jericho, on the phone today and I may have slightly overreacted. He talked about how his friend sent an email to McCullers and McCullers told him that the, "Crew are staying in Columbus and this will be more than evident shortly."
I do think McCullers cares about our fans(it's evident by him subsidizing our bus to TFC) and I don't think he would say that "the Crew are staying in Columbus" unless he actually believed it. McCullers always has seemed like a man of his word. And, if he had to lie once, I don't think he would follow that up by a thousand or so email assurances. But, what does he know? I would still feel better knowing exactly what entices this new group to buy into the Crew. But, even they said they were not moving the team.
And, if they were, why would they leak this move to the press through Paul Caliguri of all people and create virtual panic and Central Ohio hysteria? Furthermore, there is nowhere to send the Crew to now and the chances of getting a deal done in Las Vegas are over 5 years away(I think?). So, we have a little while, I think. :-)
I'm still pretty skeptical about this whole thing and will keep an eye on it without a doubt. Especially, since this guy, Hard Hat Mike(umm about as Crew as it gets):
Is still saying this after reading the piece from John Wagner: "Let me say a few things since I guess I was the one that "pushed the button" as it were. I absolutely want to be proven wrong. I think you all believe that about me. My reason for raising the alarm was because I have friends that work in the Kansas City FO and the former San Jose FO (before the move to Houston) that I spoke with last night. I trust their opinions on the matter because: a) KC went through this a couple of years ago with HSG and the know just as well as we do how HSG operates, and b) SJ went through this with the league before they moved to Houston.Now, choose to believe what you will but I've now laid out my sources for your consideration. Considering what these two gentlemen and their organizations went through with HSG and MLS, respectively, if they tell me that this smoke means there's a fire.... I'm believing them.And again, I hope to God, Allah, Baby Jesus, Budda, Shiva, Vishnu, and the Hale Bopp comet, that I'm wrong about all of this. But I don't think that I am.
Add to that this from Bill Archer on Rothenburg backing the LV group and our need for local ownership: "Well, considering that Alan Rothenburg still runs MLS behind the scenes and has an ownership stake in the league equal to that of any team operator AND runs USSF as well through his sock puppet Sunil Gulati, AND is very close to Jack Warner and Sepp Blatter, who is one of his closest freinds and allies in sports (Blatter singlehandedly got Rothenburg elected President of USSF; literally), you have to say that Alan I. Rothenburg's involvement is a sure sign that they should be taken seriously. And the fact that they're paying him off by giving SonnyBoy a job (Rothenburg gave him a $100,000 bonus after the WC because he did such a good job selling T shirts) only makes this more worrisome.
Look people, here's the bottom line:We've all been living in Fantasyland, sticking our heads in the sand and ignoring the larger truth which has been staring us in the face for 12 years now:
We need a local owner, we need him yesterday, and we need to get to work.
We've been pretending that it didn't matter so long that, now that there's a gun being held to our heads, we grasp at any straw, regardless of how slim - like, for example, a statement from John Wagner, which isn't worth a bucket of warm spit - that everything is OK so we can go back to hiding our heads in the sand.
Sorry guys. The handwriting has been on the wall ever since HSG divested itself of the Wizards. This team WILL be sold, and if we don't come up with someone locally, then it WILL move.
Anyone who wants to argue with that position is, quite simply, an idiot."
Makes me wish for this from Smitty: "Once again, as I've said earlier, this may not be the actual fire, but it's got enough smoke that we need to get our asses in gear. One thing that I think would be very effective is to get a group of people (maybe, like 8,000?) to arrive en masse on the first day season tickets are available next year to show our support for the winning ways of Sigi, McCulelrs, et al, and to show we will support this team. How we do that, I have no idea, and I'm fully aware that that is largely the ticket office and Chris Keeney's job, but a grassroots effort couldn't hurt. Then we get the news media to cover it, and send the DVD to the Columbus Monthly's top 200 richest list, with a a handsigned letter from the Nordecke leadership (and there will be a ping-pong match to settle that...). Finally, we recruit someone like Dante Washington or Brad Friedel to lead the "local ownership group" as they ascend the podium with the keys to the castle. Or even better, they get a steamroller from the new stadium sponsor Sunbelt Rentals and pave the parking lots as their first act of goodwill. Discuss."
More talk here.
Coming from these two guys makes me skeptical as hell. And, makes me wish for Smitty's proposal. Join with this that I'm a Browns fan, so when I see little deals like this it doesn't take alot to make me skeptical. Alot of things between Browns fans and the Nordecke along with the teams reminds me alot of each other. But, I'm not going to let it ruin what should be an awesome game this Saturday.
So, onto LA vs. Crew for the rest of the week. Hopefully I won't have to talk about this too much until Sunday. And, I hope to god that these people mean what they are saying. And, really who can believe them for sure. I mean this is what Bennett said about the Seattle Sonics when he bought the team, "It is our desire to have the Sonics and Storm stay in Seattle." How did that work out?
Actually I hope our owners intentions are to keep the Crew in Columbus for their own good because they are in for one hell of a fight otherwise. Either be owners that care about this team being in Columbus or we will find other owners that will care about a real soccer club with real fans, and we will stop any dumb little goals of a supplanted Crew team in Las Vegas where soccer would be a sideshow joke anyways and should never be.
These people will not be moved without a throw down and drag them out battle:
I wouldn't suggest trying it.