It is true that success has many mothers and many fathers. And when Columbus achieved what no city in modern professional sports history had ever done in saving the Columbus Crew, many mothers and fathers deservedly shared in the success. But none more deserved, more effective, and more tenacious than the people who led the grassroots movement of #SaveTheCrew.
I’ve been an avid fan of the Columbus Crew since I moved to Columbus in 2007, and I’ve accumulated a closet full of yellow and black scarfs, ties, and pairs of socks to support my Crew allegiance throughout the years. And although I have season tickets to nearly everything in Columbus, my favorite are my field seats at the Crew and soccer was my one of my sports as a kid, so I always felt like a knew a little more about the game that most others. So, when news broke that then Crew owner, Anthony Precourt, planned on pulling the team from our city, my emotions mirrored those of the team’s most loyal followers. I implicitly understood that the job, and perhaps blame, of navigating this moment would largely fall on the shoulders of the city’s public and private sector leaders, me included.
The special people who formed and led this movement inspired us, the leaders of one of the fastest growing cities in America, a city where leaders from around the world come to study our collaborative practice we call the Columbus Way, to believe in itself…. to ban together to do the impossible. They dared to challenge city hall, the business elite, a major league sports commissioner, an interloping city in Texas, and the silver spoon of a professional sports owner and his unsavory agents. But for the organizers of #SaveTheCrew, none of the rest of us would have had the opportunity to do our parts, small and large, in this amazing community success. This is uniquely their story.
Many have asked me to tell my story. Mine is a story of chess, politics and deal making. Perhaps someday, after the statute of limitations will have passed, I’ll take the time to do so. In the meantime, this is the story of a grassroots movement… the movement that created the opportunity for a city to do the impossible.
To save the Crew.
10% of proceeds from books purchased direct will be used to support the Community Assist program, which provides Crew tickets to underserved, refugee, and immigrant children of Columbus.
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