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Massive Match Day

By Morgan Hughes

So yeah, I’m getting married on Saturday. If you’re wondering how it took 37 years for me to find someone who would not only be willing to be in a relationship with me, but also involve the government in said relationship, well, allow me to tell you a little bit about myself.

I’m not normal. I mean, okay sure, no one is technically “normal” if you’re going to look at everyone who has ever lived on a microscopic level and critique and catalog their individual personalities and traits. Everyone is unique in their own special way, and it’s one of the reasons why being alive is so freaking awesome.

That said, I’ll stick with my original statement: I am not normal.

Since this is a Crew-related blog post (not to be confused with a vlog post, which is half video and half blog) I’ll go ahead and detail why I’m a nightmare as a partner from a soccer fandom perspective.

The Columbus Crew dominates my life in a way that requires anyone who is my significant other to be either in a coma (and therefore without emotional needs) or the most calm, understanding, and selfless human being who ever lived.

At times, my Crew fandom is a seven day a week gig. Between tifo projects, supporter group meetings, Nordecke prepping, crappy podcasting, tailgating, the actual games themselves, and approximately 1,996 other commitments, I have a tendency to be M.I.A. when a normal significant other would be present and accounted for. If there’s a box to check when filling out a dating profile and the question is, “do you require your significant other to be around sometimes”, I don’t think there are very many people who would ever click the “nah I’m good” box.

So there I was in my early thirties looking for someone who would not only click that box, but was also selfless and understanding and calm and didn’t have emotional requirements. Simple enough. Oh, and a Crew fan of course – they would have to be a Crew fan. That was actually the first requirement because if they weren’t a Crew fan, none of this stuff that they would have to put up with would make any sense.

Convinced that person didn’t exist, I headed to the stadium to meet my friends for a game against the Red Bulls on Saturday August 10th, 2013.

When I got there, my friend Erin introduced me to her friend who had just broken up with some guy and was there to unwind, relax, and most importantly of all, forget about guys in general. Her name was Pam, and yeah, she’s the one I’m marrying on Saturday. She’s the one, period.

When you ask any set of old married people how they knew they would spend the rest of their lives with the people they ended up marrying, each will answer with some variation of “when you know you know”, which is frustrating to hear as a single person because it literally doesn’t mean anything, and even if it did it would mean something slightly different to each of those people – but it doesn’t mean it’s not true. I instantly knew that Pan was “the one” because…

  1. She didn’t seem interested in me (wouldn’t need me around).
  2. She wasn’t fazed by any of the outrageous things I was screaming in the Nordecke (she was calm).
  3. She gave someone who had a headache some Advil from her purse (selfless, and also a hoarder).
  4. And most shockingly and important of all, she was a Crew fan.

That game where we met was the first instance of the now-legendary Pipa Chip, and after the camera cuts away from an annihilated Luis Robles, it cuts to the Nordecke where you can see Pam and I standing next to each other, going nuts over the ridiculousness of the goal. Pam’s smile, which is as contagious as it is lovely, can be seen next to the Fox Sports logo which is thankfully covering my entire sweaty, greasy face. If the logo weren’t there, you’d see some idiot screaming and smiling, partly because of the goal that he just saw, but mostly because of the girl he stood next to when it happened.

This is to say, the life we’re building together will exist because of the Columbus Crew. This wedding on Saturday, the honeymoon in November during the scheduled break in the MLS Cup Playoffs, the house we’re going to make into a home, the kids that Pam wants to fill that house with, the decades of my life that will be spent with this person; none of it would exist if we both weren’t standing in section 141 of Columbus Crew Stadium on August 10th, 2013 cheering for the Yellow Soccer Team.

In fact, most of our big “couple moments” involve the Crew in some capacity. Our first date was painting banners at #TIFOSWEAT for the 2013 edition of Dos a Cero. Our first kiss was after Higuain’s second legendary chip goal (thanks for everything, Pipa). The first trip we took together was to Houston for an away game. The first gift I gave her was a Crew jersey (she doesn’t wear it, rude). Pam was the one holding the camera that live-streamed the #SaveTheCrew rally at City Hall back in October. The matron of honor at our wedding is the Crew fan who introduced us. The guy who’s marrying us is that guy you see in the Chad Marshall jersey wearing a Buffalo Bills hat at the MEGATAILGATE. And by my count there will be over 100 season ticket holders there to celebrate with us.

On Saturday I’ll be marrying that girl I met at a Crew game, so when I talk about saving the Crew, you need to know that it’s more than just a soccer team to me. It’s my community. It’s my family. It’s my life. It’s my past and my present and my future, all rolled into one perfectly massive black-and-gold thing, and I refuse to allow that thing to be taken away.

Because, when you think about it, “Columbus til I die” is just a different way of saying “til death do us part”.

Editor’s Note: This originally was published before their July 28, 2018 Crew-themed wedding. Congratulations from all of us at #SaveTheCrew. Also, the Crew beat the New York Red Bulls 3-2.

5 thoughts on “Massive Match Day

  1. This is an awesome story. Congrats Morgan and Pam!
    Columbus Till I Die!!

  2. Good story
    True story
    Save our Crew

  3. #savethecrew, good for you man, the #SaveTheCrew folks, we truly are one family united, we refuse to let Precourt and Garner rip our hearts out!

    1. Excuse me, Garber! I always forget the names of OUR enemies!

  4. This is my idea of a fairy tale…screw Disney. 😉 Still ooking for a Black and Gold digger to share my good seats someday…congrats to Morgan and Pam!

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