I had a great time at last night’s awards ceremony. From have a few drinks at the Garage Bar before the ceremony to chatting with a few of my favorite players, I was surprised how much fun I had and how many great people I had a chance to meet last night.
I was happy to see plenty of deserving players were honored for their great work throughout the year. Schelotto was the deserving MVP and Frankie Hejduk had the best speech of the night; accepting the Man of the Year award with beer in hand. I was a little embarrassed when Marshall was deservingly named comeback player of the year. I picked Evans to win the award, as I had forgotten Marshall’s battle with post concussion syndrome that kept him out the last two months of the season last year.
It was truly classy of the front office to rename the Crew fan of the Year trophy after Jim Nelson who tragically died earlier this year. It was another show of class when the entire Nordecke was named fans of the year with trophies going to the three supporters groups, La Turbina Amarilla, Hudson Street Hooligans, and Crew Union. It was a fitting honor for a group that started out of necessity due to the stage and ended as one of the high points to a great (regular) season.
After the awards, I had a chance to chat with some of my favorite players. Brian Carroll is as understated off the field as he is on the field. I thanked him for his play this year and talked about the difference he made in the lineup and he redirected my praise to the rest of the team. He was just a very classy man. Frankie Hejduk and Duncan Oughton have the outgoing nature that you would expect for the defacto spokesmen on the team. Both were eager to chat with me about the season and the respect they have for the fans.
Finally, I loved being able to chat with fellow Crew fans. I had a chance to meet John Clem of Crew Union. I can certainly see how Crew Union has done so well with John and Mike Blankley running the group, they can put the most antsy at ease. I ran into several familiar faces including Sam Fahmi of Studio 79 who’s photography of the Nordecke is just another great thing to come out of the corner. I was sad I did not have a chance to chat a little more with Kristina and Laura, both of whom I have had the pleasure of watching a match with this year.
I talked with people I have only met on Big Soccer, stars of the Nordecke and others, like me, who aren’t always the center of attention. I look forward to watching the next game out with a bunch of fans and getting to know some people who share the same love as I do; the Columbus Crew.