Monday, November 9, 2009

11/9/09: Crew Haters Need A New Flavor Of Hatorade

Crew Haters Need A New Flavor Of Hatorade

Haters of the Crew have two opinions.. The Crew should move despite having one of the most rabid supporters groups and despite being middle of the pack in MLS based on attendance (even though they are a much smaller market in MLS and are still just behind teams in Los Angeles and Chicago based on attendance). Or that the Crew fans are all racists because of one idiot, despite the fact that 1/3rd of our section is Latino and our best banner maker and fan of the year is African-American. Time for the Crew haters to get a new flavor of hatorade. Yet, here comes argument no. 1# again, being brought up by some Crew haters for the one hunderd thousandth time..

Before discussing this stupid topic again, Colorado, San Jose, Kansas City, FC Dallas, New England, Chivas USA, New York Red Bull(without Red Bull Arena) and DC United(without a stadium) all would be more likely and should be moved before Columbus to Montreal. If umm, any team really needs moved to Montreal anyways.. What's up with this sadistic urge by MLS fans always to want to move a team? Anyways, I base the above analysis on overall attendance, the fact that our supporters group kicks most of these team's supporter group's asses, and for D.C. United(no stadium option). Oh, and that I'm a Crew fan. But, hey Columbus has to move again according to another idiot, despite being about in the middle of MLS attendance in 2009.

I call this phenomonen Crewaphobia.. As a lot of MLS fans have a hatred for the Columbus Crew and just want to do anything possible to bring the Columbus Crew and their fans down. You see it at MLSRumors, you see it with Kartik Krishnayer at CSRN, you see it with Toronto or Chicago or just about any MLS fan who can bring up any little thing, now you see it at Match Fit USA. I'm so sick of hearing this illogical stupidity about the franchise I love and that we all love, like one of the most important things in our lives is worth nothing but interesting convo for MLS's version of the Tool Academy. Sorry haters, but the Crew should never be talked about nonchalantly in this ridicoulous way. And, you all suck, like a lot.

This Columbus hatefest no. 205,000 comes from Jason Davis- big time D.C. United fan and another dull knife with a blog. Overall, Mr. Davis wants to take the moving rumors off of D.C. United or the 5 teams with a suckier, regular season attendance compared to the Crew and put the attendance/move talk squarely on Columbus again, because yeah that's always fun (**that sound your hearing is Crew fans getting out their therapy dartboards again**). Mr. Davis's reason why (other than being jealous of our soccer specific stadium)? Because the Crew had occur what often happens in the playoffs (for any team without a Beckham or that isn't brand new and the luster hasn't completely warn off yet ala Seattle) the Crew didn't have anywhere close to a near capacity crowd. How dare they conform with MLS history! As no one (with a mind) really expected the Crew to sell out, thus the Crew attendance hawks (like Mr. Davis) were just circling, waiting for the Crew's first playoff game, an announced 10,109. This was brand new, no comps, no free tickets attendance on a 35 degree night. Further, this attendance beat the New England Revolution's playoff attendance of 7,000 and Real Salt Lake's 9,000(on a Saturday!) but nevermind all of that, Crew haters want to focus on just the Crew.

Even though, the Crew based on population probably outperforms nearly every team except Seattle and Toronto. For example, just look at Mr. Davis's D.C. United, who did have a higher attendance of 1,400 more fans (15,500 compared to the Crew's 14,100), however the Baltimore-Washington Metroplex has a population of 8,241,912 compared to Columbus's 1.7 million. But, hey nevermind statistics.

Or that hey Columbus isn't anywhere near last in attendance.. Outperforming bigger metropolitans Colorado, New York, San Jose, Kansas City, and FC Dallas greatly. While only falling behind teams in vastly larger cities of Chicago, DC United(Washington, D.C.), and Chivas USA(Los Angeles), by a thousand (below).

From ESPN:
November 8, 2009
Rank Team Total Average
1 Seattle Sounders FC 499,262 31,203
2 Los Angeles 333,239 20,827
3 Toronto FC 305,167 20,344
4 Houston 264,368 17,624
5 Real Salt Lake 257,127 16,070
6 Chivas USA 251,611 15,725
7 DC United 202,605 15,585
8 Chicago 226,070 15,071
9 Columbus 226,808 14,175
10 Colorado 195,282 13,018
11 New York Red Bulls 165,672 12,744
12 New England 173,985 12,427
13 San Jose 134,283 10,329
14 Kansas City 150,802 10,053
15 FC Dallas 108,717 9,883
USA Major League Soccer - Unofficial Average Attendance: 15,958

Look I would say that haters have a point if we were languishing near FC Dallas. However, we are competing with teams in Chicago and Los Angeles near the middle of the MLS pack, despite being the smallest market.

But, the main argument that Crew haters have is that the Crew won a championship and regular Americans just flock to see a soccer champion *roll eyes now*. How is that working for LA this year down 5,000 or so despite having a better team and Beckham? For your information, Crew haters, the MLS Cup doesn't matter to any city, except to the teams fans. I haven't seen a tremendous increase in anyone's ticket sales from winning a MLS Cup. Someone show me a statistic where that has happened? As I love this idea that since a team wins a Cup, all of the residents of the city receive an email about it, and these fans just flock to get some of the glory the next year. Doesn't work that way Mr. Davis. And, I don't think that really works for anyone in MLS. Further, winning cups can't last forever for any team, that shouldn't be a model for sustainability. Also, winning a cup doesn't erase the fact that Columbus was atrocious for 3 years running and just okay for the previous 13 years. Winning back the city is going to take about 5 years of in your face work, not a trophy that probably 75% percent of the city(or any MLS city) doesn't even know about.

This isn't just Columbus, FYI. I have been out on away trips to Toronto and Chicago and been asked why I'm dressed like this and I say "yeah I'm a Crew fan here for the TFC or Fire game," and get lots of blank stares.

Also, MLS improving it's popularity nationwide and on ESPN might help. I mean hell what is the difference between a 0.1 or 0.2 ESPN rating and 14,100 regular season attendance (about better than half the league)? I think the second is actually better. Fact is MLS is nowhere to being seen nationally most of the time, and fact is the Crew are absolutely frugal when it comes to marketing or doing it well, so it is hard for them to be seen most of the time as well locally.

This is a 5-10 year thing. In Columbus and elsewhere, things were not done totally right in the beginning ala Seattle and Toronto FC. Same goes for a lot of teams. Actually 10 years ago I don't even think the right crowd was in place for MLS. I mean a lot of us to be honest were not doing tifo 10-12 years ago and supporting a team like this. Sure, there are some places that were but not like today. I mean I can't say that the Columbus Crew would be as attractive to a lot of young adults without the Nordecke. Same goes for a lot of places. MLS now is going after the right group and there are people that get it in almost every city. It makes it easier to employ. New ownership groups have a model to follow that now works, leaving an indelible first impression. Also, I think a lot or at least some cities, just didn't have fans that got it for more than a fun time out. Also, MLS has more credibility nowadays than it did 12 years ago. Who knew if MLS was lasting 3 more years in 1996.

Things are headed in the right direction. The people that care, really really care. And, that energy is infectious. I see newbies get hooked all the time in the Nordecke. It will take some years of that before it really blows up and the numbers reflect in the attendance. But, it will.

The people there are building culture. These people are going to take their kids there and their kids, kids. No doubt. It isn't a joke to us, we'll gain the rest of the city eventually. I have seen an increase of publicity in 2008 and a even sharper one in 2009. We are actually mentioned quite a bit in the paper, in blogs, and the Crew even have their own weekly tv show. But, that still doesn't reach as many people as OSU does. And, there are reasons why it is a slow road that should be obvious to anyone with a brain. But I think we may look back 5 years from now and say without the Nordecke being formed, that the Crew wouldn't be here anymore. Without what is happening in a lot of stadiums recently MLS might not be around anymore. Things are looking up by the year in my book. I don't think dropping out of the playoffs or winning the cup this year makes a difference despite what Crew haters might think.

The Crew's current mid-level attendance is a combination of a lot of stuff that is slowly being swiveled 180 from the debacle it was in 2005 with management and etc. But, the Crew and the atmosphere there are nowhere near the biggest concern in MLS. Enjoy watching Montreal United, Mr. Davis!


  1. If people are going to point the finger somewhere, they should point it at the MLS, not the Crew or Columbus. It is fucking cold in Ohio in November and the weather is unpredictable. I live a few hours away and I can't plan weeks ahead of time to go somewhere when it might be snowing/raining/icy roads/just plain cold/etc. Also, they didn't have the dates of the games finalized until a couple weeks beforehand. People that travel need to know sooner. Finally, the MLS playoffs are designed in a stupid ass way, and I will continue to not care about the playoffs as long as they do this two game aggregate scoring thing in the first round of the playoffs.

  2. Well here is a collective bitchslap to the haters that was way overdue but I love it.

  3. Crew haters, hate because against the odds are atmosphere of 10,000 outdoes most of their stadiums with 20,000 or 30,000 boring ass fans.

    Also, it is rich that we are even mentioned like this anymore considering the ghost town looking stadiums in Dallas and New England.

    No one like us and we don't care. I get calling them out though, because the more they talk, the more everyone thinks there is some sort of problem with Columbus. When Columbus, for it's size, is still doing pretty damn well in MLS.

    What the hell is wrong with a 14,100 attendance for soccer. Lol, could be worse. I think a lot of fans are just blinded by Seattle's success and just think we have made it and now every MLS stadium will fill up.

  4. If anything Hunt Sports Group would be wise to sell off FC Dallas and focus all their MLS efforts on the Crew, the more successful team of their two. That would mean extra money for the marketing budget, which is desperately needed, and also extra money for stadium maintenance, and possibly a little extra to throw Schelotto's way so we don't have to insult him with a 65% pay cut and send him packing.

    I think anyone would like to see a packed stadium on any given day, but the facts are it's not going to happen anytime soon. The fact also still remains that the Crew have a better attendance record than most current MLS teams.

    This happens every year. The end of the MLS season ends, people get bored because they don't know what to do with their time and they start making up ridiculous shit. In the end these people just need to find a hobby, so I have been gracious enough to compile a list of things for these people to do in the off season so they can stop making asses of themselves.

    1) Knitting, make a stocking with your favorite teams crest and average game attendance number and see if it is higher than the Crew's.
    2) Read a book, may I suggest "A Massive Season" by Steve Sirk. A good way to figure out why the Crew are better than your team of choice.
    3) Put away those long winter hours by trying to figure out why the hell the guys at EA Sports/FIFA decided to put that fat hunch backed Blanco on the cover of FIFA 10.
    4) Masturbate, it's what I do in my down time. I find that it makes me less frustrated, and calms me down considerably.

    That's it for now. Good luck.