Friday morning, October 12, 2018, Morgan and Pam walked down their street to local café Fox in the Snow for breakfast. “We were just going to take a breath and relax. Pam was going into work late so we could have a moment together. As soon as we ordered I get a call from Andrew King.”
“I was meeting a mentor for coffee at eight that morning,” said King. “As I’m walking in, I receive a phone call from a reputable source who corroborated what Morgan had heard and said that an announcement would be made that afternoon that a deal was being finalized. Everything went numb, I was hardly able to stand. I’m the type of idiot who laughs absurdly when I’m on rollercoasters or in other extreme situations, and all I could do in that situation was burst out laughing and try not to cry in a public parking lot.
“I then called Morgan and asked him to give the rest of STC leadership a heads-up in Slack. My thought process was that the leadership group should hear it from him, as the person who had spearheaded the effort from day one, and we needed to begin strategizing internally about how to handle this news and next steps. I remember that he asked me for 45 minutes because he was at breakfast with his wife.”
“Pam was about to kill me,” said Hughes. “She just wanted to have some time alone together to eat our sandwich in peace and not have to save the Crew, at least for a moment.”
“I agreed to give Morgan 45 minutes,” said King. “But my adrenaline gave him approximately 45 seconds. The only thing that I could think was how everyone in STC poured their blood, sweat, and tears into this movement, and I would be damned if the rest of the leadership team learned of the news from anyone other than one of our own.”
“So,” Hughes said, “We sit down, and I take one bite of my sandwich and I get the alert on my phone immediately that Andrew had posted on the Slack leadership channel: Morgan Hughes, go ahead and do the honors.
“And I’m like, fuck, motherfucker. I put my sandwich down and picked up my phone. I got on the leadership channel: Ladies and gentlemen, we have saved the Crew. I put my phone down and kept eating my sandwich. I thought it would be this grandiose statement, but people just had a ton of questions. They weren’t just going to take my word for it. I told Pam I had to go home to get on Slack. Being able to tell people it was over was the most rewarding thing in my life.”
“After I told Morgan, I had to turn my phone off so I wouldn’t see all the Slack notifications,” said King. “I had to try to focus on my meeting. I remember walking from the coffee shop to work and I was laughing out loud and crying. It really hit me on that walk. It was surreal. It was one of the proudest and happiest days of my life. When I die, if this ends up being my biggest accomplishment, that is a life well-lived.”
Everyone had agreed that Endeavor was the place to go, and they’d need them to open early. Donny Murray posted that he would call owner, Scott Talmage, and ask. “But, Morgan beat me to it,” he said.
“I called Talmage and told him we were coming down to party. He said, ‘We’ll be opening up around 1:00 but we won’t have all the bartenders here yet.’ I said, ‘You don’t understand, the whole city will be descending on you.’ He said, ‘Okay, okay, I get it.’ He opened at 11:00 and brought in his entire staff. It was his 40th birthday.
“Talmage then tweets out: In case anyone was wondering, we are opening early today, #SaveTheCrew.”
People kept tweeting @Endeavor, asking if they were open yet. Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas retweeted Scott’s message, so word got around the soccer universe pretty fast. “The Endeavor tweet had to be their most retweeted tweet of all time,” said Murray.
Hughes said, “The day of the 2015 MLS Cup final, Phil Goldfarb (director of corporate partnerships) gave me a magnum of champagne and said, ‘Don’t open this until we win.’ He literally ran out to the parking lot with it and found me at the tailgate, gave it to me, and ran back into the stadium. But we lost. I was not going to open it until we won something that was significant. In order to keep it good and to make sure the cork didn’t dry out, we had to occasionally tip it on its side. It was such a pain, sitting in our kitchen for three years, stubbing our toes on it. I realized that when #SaveTheCrew started, that champagne bottle was made for the moment we would win.
“Pam said, ‘You can’t open it until I get there,’ because she had been stubbing her toes on it for three years, too. I brought it to Endeavor. That day, I put my STC scarf on it and took a picture. I threw it in the car and kept it there until Pam got there.
“By 11:00 the word was getting out. When I walked into Endeavor and saw Donny, I gave him the biggest hug. I got to see the first 100 people who came in not really knowing anything for sure, and they saw us hugging and celebrating and they were like, ‘Is it real? Is it happening?’ And I said, ‘Damn right it is.’”
David Miller was the communications director for Conservation Ohio at the time. It was an election year, so he was up early working on a statewide canvassing operation. “I’m on my way to work and Morgan posts the message on Slack. I immediately u-turned and headed back home to change into my STC jersey and get my STC scarf. When I got to the office, I told my boss I would need some flexibility that day. When he saw me in the Crew jersey, he understood what that meant. I still had work to do that morning though, so I had to finish some stuff up.
“When Endeavor tweeted out they were opening early and tagged #SaveTheCrew, all hell broke loose. I’m the communications director, so I’ve got to have my finger on the pulse of all this. But there were things happening without me.”
After much deliberation between Zidar, Vuchenich and Roediger, and without being able to consult with Miller, at 1:03, they could wait no longer.
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