Monday, May 25, 2009

5/25/09: Crew Undefeated At Home For Almost A Year. Will Tougher Restrictions On Nordecke Hurt An Atmosphere That Has Helped?

Will The Nordecke's Passion Be Checked This Wednesday? Bottle throwing by fans and organized swear chants(which apparently is a problem for the rest of the bible belt that surrounds the Nordecke) has led to increased security for Wednesday(which should have been there from the start of the year as it was for the entire end of last year). Possibly with security in the section as well.

The talk over security measures has kind of gone away. Two weeks ago, General Manager Mark McCullers became irrate over bottle throwing and swear chants in the Nordecke during the Kansas City game. Before the game McCullers addressed the section on faulty PA equipment(probably from 30 years ago, bought on Ebay from a local middle school) about ceasing to do both actions, although I couldn't hear him in the second row.

However, faulty equipment aside, I agree(as do most Nordeckians) with the FO that bottle throwing is idiotic and so is "Get The F**k Out" with no away fans, and although I can't find a huge problem with "You Suck Asshole" or the rest, I truly hope we are on our best behavior. In the same breath, I just hope that security does not go overboard. It would be odd if security went from one friendly dude in the front of the section that did a pump up gesture for Get The F**k Out" against TFC to 50 cops swarming the Nordecke on a power trip for anyone who even whispers a swear word. Sure, some of the unwarranted swearing needs to stop.. But, You Suck Asshole and other swearing when it is deserved for losers like Blanco or TFC fans, defines the difference between intimidating places to play and a Colorado or FC Dallas game.

We could be back to that possibly if the soccer mom's win and become the favored opinion on how things should be in Columbus Crew Stadium, we could be back to our old atmosphere from 2005 or 2006 in a year. It's all about finding a middle ground without hurting the intimidating atmosphere.

The atmosphere(along with the good team) has certainly turned what was one of the easiest places to play in MLS into one of the most dreaded. Hence, the quasi bond between the Nordecke and the players who have, in a way, resurrected the franchise together. From Craig Merz's "Crew Ready For Big Week":
The Crew are 1-0-4 in their last five matches and will look to extend their long unbeaten streak at home against the last team to win in Crew Stadium. Since the Earthquakes' 2-0 victory on June 7, the Crew have gone 10-0-5 at home in the regular season and playoffs.

The Crew has not lost at home for almost a full year, when they used to not be able to win at home. It's definitely mostly because of the excellent team. But, I also think if we had a section of 30 people instead of 2,000(like a FC Dallas) we wouldn't be undefeated at home. I think if we were having the atmosphere of 2006, we wouldn't be undefeated. It almost feels like the players don't want to let the section down (they look gutted with a tie at home when they come over to clap at the section). So, first I hope the most important thing, the bottle throwing, stops. I also think GTFO is unnecessary and we can come up with new, much more interesting chants. But, secondly, I hope that security and the FO doesn't get all SWAT on the Nordecke.

The way to grow more support for this club is through that area. Sure some conservative god fearing people are going to have problems with the nastyiness of the section at times. But, I think it just makes us different and slightly more interesting (a tamer Millwall of the MLS). I just hope we can find a middle ground and it doesn't lead to us waving at opposing players on corner kicks chanting "it's so nice to meet you! it's so nice to meet you! it's so nice to meet you!"

But, of course there will be a little conflict between people that are absolutely mental about a team(eat, sleep, and breath it) and families just looking to keep their kids occupied for the afternoon and who are not too affected win, lose, or tie.


  1. say it isn't so! somebody tell crew managment that the nordecke culture is the reason my wife, 5 year old son and i are driving 1,000 miles from minnesota to see a mtch at the 1st soccer specific stadium built in the US. we are college graduates, strong pillars in our community, i work as an RN with children... upstanding people more or less.

    this fall we are taking our first family trip since i started school 3.5 years ago. and we chose- of all places in the US, COLUMBUS, OHIO. why? it's been a dream of mine to visit that stadium, i'd love to see GBS with my own eyes and, being that we got ticket to the gals match, I was hoping to get in on some serious DB jeering. however, the selling point of this trip to my wife was when i was able to show her the footage of last years eastern conference final... the fans singing "WE LOVE YOU..." with the players on the field was amazing, she said it reminded her of all the matches she went in Germany, where she grew up.

    so please, somebody tell crew management to hold off until next year before homgenizing the nordecke. we really don't want to arrive to crew stadium and be able to hear crickets.

    for those who look at books/money numbers/brand loyalty... my son is already a fan of columbus. when he sees their yellow jerseys on the screen he immediately knows what to do and begins shouting chanting,"columbus till i die". he wants to get a hedjuk jersey. how loyal do you think he would be for life should he go to a match, see the pros, and experience singing with 1/3 of the stadium. now, imagine what it would be like if we show up and the atmosphere is akin to Dicks SPorting Goods Park, which he and i were able to visit last year... fun match, but we were bored to tears.

    sorry for the ramblings, but there are very few things that could get me to drive 18+ hours anywhere... the NORDECKE is one them. we've got our tickets, now don't let us down!

  2. First of all, big ups to you for driving 18 hours to see the Black and Gold! That's awesome.

    I think everyone in the Massive needs to think for themselves. The vast majority are intelligent fans, but it's sometimes human nature to just start chanting what everyone is chanting. If some idiot starts a GTFO chant, it's up to each individual to make a conscious choice not to chant. We are Massive, but without each individual there would be no Nordecke.