While we take such matters seriously and utterly condemn the actions of those involved, we must not let this mar what has been a positive trip so far and the excellent way we and our supporters have been treated in Columbus.
I strenuously object to the calls that Columbus is the home of hooliganism in America. Yes, American soccer and Columbus suffered a black eye yesterday and give ammunition to people who hate soccer, but I must defend a large core of the Nordeke. While I do not stand with the supporters, these people are passionate about soccer and friendly to Crew and opposing supporters alike. The Hudson Street Hooligans invite anyone to share a beer with them at Ruby Tuesday. Hard Hat Mike goes out of his way to welcome new Crew supporters and the opposing team fans to the stadium, by way of the Crew Union tailgate. While the refrains of these being isolated incidents may ring hollow to some, after meeting these people I would have to say most of these incidents are just that.
The supporter culture in Columbus is having some growing pains, but I have every expectation that the supporter can sort this out. I would love to see better communication and cooperative security so that the supporters, the soccer curious, visiting fans, and the average fan like myself can get along. It is very sad to see this a mere four days after the best atmosphere I have seen in Crew stadium in years. The casual fan, the long suffering season ticket holder, and the supporters all came together to showcase the Columbus Crew on national television on Thursday, but sadly that was wiped away by a few stupid hooligan impostors on Sunday. Don’t lump everybody in with a few drunken morons intent on trying to spoil a good thing.