If you recall years ago hearing a heroic tale of a wealthy antagonist stealing from the poor throughout his kingdom only to wind up losing in the end, I’m sure you can relive the uplifting spirit you were left with.
In this particular tale, I’m referring to four years ago when a former Columbus Crew SC owner, whose name shall remain out of this post, attempted to steal our hometown soccer club from us. As a result, many, including myself, passionately supported the Save the Crew movement. After a grueling grassroots effort, the fans won and kicked his sorry tail out of here.
In many of my personal and professional circles, I made my feelings known of this man, resulting in me becoming a go to source for updates with those I came into contact. Although, not actively involved like those who led the movement, I did my part in the ways that I could. During one conversation in a professional setting someone asked me, “why are you so invested in saving the team?”
It was an easy answer: "because one day I want to share the experience of going to a match and the joys it’s brought me with a future little Loafer.”
That day that I had dreamt about came on Sunday, July 3 when I got to take my son to his first match. Completely last minute and prompted during a living room soccer match when he said he wanted to “go watch soccer.” I messaged our Crews Crew Facebook chat, confirmed all my friends who are still season ticket holders were going and bought tickets two hours before kick-off.
With a solid three-hour long nap for the little guy and a makeshift diaper bag packed with the bare necessities we set off. Singing the entire ride down to the LDC, we were both amped up. Of course, this didn’t happen smoothly thanks in part to a minor injury in the parking lot. After quickly triaging a skinned knee the two of us met friends for a happy hour beer and soda. With drinks in hand, we met Crew Cat, got scared of Crew Cat, got free ice cream, and greeted everyone with a “go Crew!”
In attempts to not lose his attention, we broke from the group so he could walk around and see the pitch for the first time in person. The moment his little eyes locked in on that thick, bright sea of green accompanied by the magnitude of his first soccer stadium made me realize how massive of a moment this was. All the passionate and sometime colorfully articulated reasons why the Crew should be saved became more than just saving a soccer club - it was for this very moment in time.
Kickoff was at his bedtime, so we didn’t last long. For a kid who has no attention span and doesn’t stay seated long, he slowly chewed his pretzel and took in the first half. Between the occasional “go Crew” and “I want to go down there to play soccer” requests he was locked in. This first match experience was everything I had hoped, as I experienced an immense amount of love for those hours of July 3. It may have been a 0-0 draw, but I went home the winner that evening.
-Matt Lofy, Regular Contributor
CBUS Dads is a community of central Ohio area dads balancing an active lifestyle with being an involved parent. A Saturday for us may involve enjoying morning t-ball, lunch at a new local spot and an evening at a summer festival with our families. We may live downtown, in the suburbs or somewhere between, but our common thread is that we continue to experience the community we love - now as parents.