You know what’s so great about volunteering with Save The Crew? You get to hang out with friends, or strangers who become friends, while talking about your favorite thing, and introducing your favorite thing to new strangers, who might become friends someday. This past weekend, several of us brought the Save The Crew tent to the Columbus Italian Festival and did just that. A huge thank you goes to Joey DiNapoli who made all the arrangements for Save The Crew to participate. I hope you got to enjoy some cannoli, brother.
I teamed up on Sunday with Peter Shehata, Karen Crognale, Shawn Hooker and the incomparable Morgan Hughes. It was hot and humid, but the high points were super. We had visitors from all over Ohio. A couple guys in FC Cincinnati tees were excited to tell us how much they’re looking forward to the Hell Is Real derby. A lady from the Cleveland area took the pledge saying she would make the trip a few times if it helped keep the team in town. There were out-of-state visitors, too: A family visiting from Georgia took a bunch of stickers to deliver to their neighbor (a Columbus transplant) and a man from Austin, who until that moment was unaware that his city was potentially on the receiving end of a relocation scam. He’s now aware, and supportive of our movement.
Joey had some great stories from Saturday as well. His team of volunteers met some folks from Atlanta and Seattle that just moved to Columbus and have taken the Project 2019 Pledge, and another gentleman brought his friend to the tent just to sign up and wouldn’t let him leave until the pledge was confirmed. It’s no doubt that our tent encouraged new pledges over the weekend.
While some people hung around the tent to reminisce, most of our time was spent answering questions, deflecting skepticism about our situation, and assuring the doubters that “no news is good news” right now with regards to the lawsuit. We talked to a lot of people who don’t follow soccer, but understand the impact that losing the Crew would have on Columbus, and they aren’t happy about it.
For those who don’t follow me on twitter, I’ll share my favorite interaction, which happened towards the end of the day on Sunday. Traffic was slowing down, so when this woman suddenly burst into the tent, she took me by surprise. She was making a face, and it was an angry face. I was honestly worried we were going to have a situation, and I had no idea why.
“Look,” she said, pointing her finger at us and scowling. “I don’t know anything about soccer, but so help me, if Precourt tries to take this team….!”
Whew. Yeah. That was unexpected. I smiled at her and said, “You understand soccer a lot more than you think.”