Why one of the founding clubs of MLS may soon cease to exist

Why one of the founding clubs of MLS may soon cease to exist

Barring a change of heart by their owner the Columbus Crew will soon be no more

MLS has had a slow rise in terms of popularity. For much of it’s history it languished miles behind all of the other American sports in terms of attendance and viewership. Recently things have been looking up for MLS, with attendance records being smashed by newcomers Atlanta United and an all time high viewership. While this newfound success should be celebrated, the clubs that toiled through years in an unpopular league shouldn’t be forgotten. These clubs provided the base that allowed the league to grow into what it is today.

One of these clubs is the Columbus Crew. The Columbus Crew were one of 10 founding teams in the MLS in 1996. For the first five years of its existence MLS bled money, resulting with a few teams folding due to financial difficulties. Despite this the league continued to persevere and expand. The Crew played a vital role in this by building the first ever soccer-specific stadium in the MLS. The clubs commitment to expanding the presence of the sport in Ohio has also lead to development of a professional soccer team in Cincinnati.

The Columbus Crew has had mixed success, with their only MLS Cup success coming in 2008. Despite this they have had a consistently dedicated group of supporters. While the core supporter group remains active and loyal overall attendance has not been stellar compared to other MLS teams, partly due to the relatively small capacity of the stadium (approximately 20,000). Because of this the owner of the club, Anthony Precourt, has decided to uproot the club and move it to a more profitable market: Austin, Texas. The deal has not been finalized as of yet, but all indicators point to it being finalized after the conclusion of the city.

An additional part of Precourts motivation to move the crew is that he wants a new stadium built, preferably with the money of the city of Columbus. The Mapfre stadium that hosts the club is less than 20 years old, making a significant investment into a new stadium an unjustifiable expense for the city of Columbus. This trend of sports team’s owners demanding new stadiums funded by public money is not a new trend, and has been seen for decades in the NFL and NBA.

If this were allowed to happen in the MLS it would potentially undermine much of the progress that the league has made over the last two decades. It takes time to develop and maintain new fanbases as they come into the league and the knowledge that any of these teams could be taken away at the whim of an owner could make potential supporters wary. If MLS wants to approach the levels of fandom enjoyed by the best clubs in Europe it needs to adopt a model that puts the supporter first instead of the owner. Many clubs have developed their fanbase over the course of the last century, MLS supporters should be given this chance too.

While their future lies in the balance, the Crew are making the most of their season despite the turmoil surrounding the club. They’re currently in the midst of a deep playoff run, hoping to at least bring one last trophy to Columbus.

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Kevin Durant Gives The Cavs An Absolute Beatdown, And Other Moments From The NBA Finals

Game-by-game analysis of the 2018 NBA Finals featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.


The NBA Finals are here once again and for the fourth consecutive year the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors face off to see who'll win the championship. While this is the first time in NBA history two teams have met four times in a row for the NBA Finals, this may be the last time considering LeBron James' upcoming free agency which may pull him away from the Cavaliers. Reputations, legacies and some players' futures are on the line. Below you'll find my game-by-game analysis of this year's NBA Finals.

Game 1

Cavs 114 - Warriors 124

This game made me hopeful that Cleveland can actually make this series interesting, which essentially means avoiding a sweep at this point in time. The Cavs looked great in the first half, with impressive performances from the entire team. At the half the game was tied, but everyone knows the Warriors are a 3rd Quarter team and came out strong outscoring Cleveland 22-28 and taking over the lead. I've always said for the Cavaliers to win during the playoffs they just need one other player to have a good game in order to win considering LeBron has averaged over 30 points in the playoffs this year (29 points during his career so far). But considering the Warriors are so lethal, I'd say at least two other Cavs players have to perform. Unless LeBron drops a historic, NBA playoffs record 51 points as he did tonight. For the Warriors, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant continue to quietly dominate and share the spotlight scoring 29, 24 and 26 points respectively.

The end of the game, however, featured a scenario which I hope is not indicative of the entire series. Multiple missed calls by the referees including a personal foul and a controversial reversed blocking foul against LeBron James. There are some complications, however, as the foul which was originally a blocking foul against Kevin Durant was open for review. NBA officials have been able to review block or charge foul calls in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or during overtime since the 2012-13 season. The general conception during and post game was that the referees could not review charging/blocking fouls unless players were in the restricted area within the paint. George Hill and JR Smith stole the show when Hill missed the game-winning free throw which was rebounded by Smith in which he proceeds to dribble out the clock. Whether he actually knew the game was tied or not, the level of incompetence from Hill, Smith and Coach Tyron Lue who could have called a timeout was astounding and my be indicative of the team this entire season.

Game 2

Cavs 103 - Warriors 122

Comparatively, this game was a beat down for the Cavs. In their defense, it's difficult to win when the world's best shooter goes off for 33 points at 42% from the field and makes an NBA Finals record nine 3's. LeBron continues to do what LeBron does scoring 29 points off of 50% from the field. However, compared to his previous, historic game, a large majority of his points came from right near the basket as opposed from deep or mid-range. The key to success in this instance appeared to be running the pick-and-roll to switch LeBron onto a weaker defender such as Steph or Kevon Looney so he could drive to the basket. Once again, Kevin Love puts up an impressive stat line scoring 22 points on 38%. It was a similar story for Kevin Durant. Since the beginning of this series he's played incredibly efficiently, avoiding the ISO style of play he was stuck in during the Western Conference Finals. He scored 26 points on 71% from the field and knocking down two of his three three-point attempts. He's proven he can be dominant even if he isn't the star of the show and is certainly in contention for Finals MVP if he continues at this pace. Hopefully the Cavs can take Game 3 at home and bring this series within reach or, for the fans sake, avoid a sweep.

Game 3

Cavs 102 -Warriors 110

Similarly to Game 1, this one was right within the Cavs reach. Instead of a historic performance from LeBron, the competitiveness came mostly from lackluster performances from Steph Curry and Klay Thompson who scored a combined 21 points. The real star of the show, however, was Kevin Durant who lead the Warriors in rebounds, shooting percentage and points with 43. Coming off a record-breaking nine threes from Steph, it was curious how he followed it up shooting 1-10 from beyond the arc this game. Nevertheless, Kevin Durant pulled the slack and made six of his nine three-point attempts all while shooting 65% from the field and making all seven of his free throw attempts.

It appears the storyline for the Cavs changed just slightly with turnaround performances from Rodney Hood and JR Smith. I'm continually surprised by Tyron Lue's decision to not play Kyle Korver more, however. He's by far the best shooter on the roster and his shooting was the primary reason why they wanted him from the Atlanta Hawks in the first place. LeBron's passing ability should be enough alone to get Korver some open shots, as LeBron has been able to feed the ball to the rest of his starting five, who just haven't been performaing to their level. Per 36 minutes this playoffs, Korver has averaged 13 points off of a 41% both from three and from the field in general. Kevin Love continues to produce, coming up with a double double with 20 points and 13 rebounds. If Kevin Durant didn't step up and absolutely take over the game. Another frustrating loss for the Cavaliers which now puts them in a position for elimination.

Game 4

Cavs 85 - Warriors 108

This was just an absolute beatdown, no other way to say it. Steph Curry bounced back to score 37 points on 44% shooting and making all six of his free throw attempts. Kevin Durant continued produced another MVP-worthy game scoring 20 points making 41% of his shots and leading the Warriors in assists and rebounds with 12 and 10 to complete a triple double. In doing so, he earned his second straight Finals MVP award. Steph Curry has yet to earn the accolade, which was awarded to Andre Iguodala when the Warriors won in 2015, even though it appeared Durant was basically trying to give it to him as he was feeding him the ball through most of the second half.

LeBron had slightly less of an impressive game by comparative standards to his other games this postseason, but still managed to put up 23 points on 53% shooting, seven rebounds and eight assists. He continued to lead his team in minutes with 41 but checked out with four minutes to go in the 4th for what many think will be his last time in a Cleveland jersey. Regardless, he showed that his best years are not behind him as he put on one of the greatest postseason performances of his career. He can opt out of his contract for this upcoming season, which means LeBron recruiting season is upon us.

As for the Warriors, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant's contract will both expire at the end of the 2018-2019 season so it appears the Warrior dynasty will remain for at least one more season. As for LeBron, he's at a point in his career where getting another ring is definitely in the question but it wouldn't be out of the question if he chooses to symbolically pass the torch to the younger generation.

Cover Image Credit:

Instagram @stephenasmith

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