I am still working with the Massive Report to get the 3 questions piece up and ready tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime, I thought it might be kind of fun for HTIOT readers to be able to share their favorite stories that involve a Fire/Crew game. Many Fire fans will answer Columbus if you ask them who our biggest rival is, and for me the Crew is my favorite rivalry matchup. Obviously proximity plays a role in the rivalry. So does the fact that both fanbases engage in some pretty good banter with each other (though the Chicago fans always come out on top). The fact that hundreds of Fire faithful travel there every year to cheer on the Fire should also tell you all you need to know about this rivalry. The word "hate" is a very fitting way to describe the feelings of Fire fans towards Columbus.
So, what is your favorite moment? It can be a game you watched on TV. Or one you attended (maybe a Firehouse East invasion?). To kick things off, I will share the answers from a couple of our HTIOT members/writers. Please feel free to share your stories and experiences below in the comments.
As soon as I hear back from Massive Report I will get the 3 questions posted up. Mark will have a match preview up soon, and we will have our customary gamethread tomorrow evening for the game. Without further ado, enjoy the stories below!
"There have been three moments for me. The first was obviously USOC 1998. The last was Wanchope's goal in the storm. The other memory for me doesn't really involve the Crew or the Fire, but it does involve the Crew stadium. MLS Cup 2001, at Columbus Crew Stadium. The Fire were the best team in the league and were dead on for the final. Low and behold thousands of Fire fans buy tickets to the game and...the Fire don't make it.
Still, we sang Fire songs until about the 75th minute when slowly but surely everyone realized we hated LA more than San Jose. We started to sing for San Jose. I even went half way around the stadium to get the lone SJ "Supporter" section off their ass and singing. Ultimately Fire fans had 5000+ cheering for San Jose, who won the game.
Singing Fire songs when the Fire weren't there was a blast but ultimately pushing SJ to beat LA was pretty good too. When SJ came to Chicago in 2002 the whole team marched over the the end and clapped/thanked us because they knew their fans didn't do it but Fire fans did. That was an odd moment, getting thanked by SJ on our home field because of the support we gave them the year before."
"My first trip to Columbus was in June 2011 when the Fire hadn't won an MLS match since their home opener back in Late March. This was also my first Fire road trip, (going to college in Missouri meant the chances for road trip tomfoolery had been limited) so I was pumped. We had a great amount of support for that match, but towards the end, it looked as if a 0-0 draw would be the final scoreline. But in stoppage time, Orr Barouch made a dazzling run inside the box before finding Cristian Nazarit for the game-winner. I think I ended up tackling Fire Season Ticket Services Rep Neil Desmond in the post-goal excitement. Thankfully, he's finally forgiven me for that (or at least he says he has)."
"I remember the storm trip of 2007. It was my second ever road trip and I was sick as could be and getting drenched in the rain didn't make me feel any better. I felt awful, but had a blast singing and chanting under the aluminium bleachers that reverberate the noise we made. While we cheered, the only people from Columbus willing to make any noise were a small group of kids. It seemed like a party unto ourselves. When the game resumed, a wonderful long ball from debutant Wilman Conde to Paulo Wanchope gave the Fire a vastly important 1-0 win sending us happy fans home soaking wet on a freezing cold bus and me even sicker than before."
"Due to where I currently live I have not yet had the opportunity to be a part of the Firehouse East invasions of Crew Stadium. This is something i plan to embark on next year. So, for my favorite memory, I would have to go with Cristian Nazarit's late goal last season at Crew stadium. I was having a party at my house for the game and one of my friends brought their friend who was actually a Crew fan. Let's just say that drinking and grilling ensued before and during the game. And lots of trash talk too. It was great to see and hear all the Fire fans that had traveled to Columbus, and that was a fact that I reminded the Crew fan of regularly that day (I don't even remember his name). When Nazarit put in the late winner, my friends and I went crazy, running around and cheering, high-fiving, and hugging. A good amount of beer went flying into the air too. And the soul crushing look on the Crew fan's face was priceless. Although the rest of that evening was a blur, I will never forget that moment of joy against a rival with some of my closest friends."
My favorite memories from Columbus are:
2007- We got to see Paulo Wanchope score a goal on a breakaway! We saw the debut of the good version of Wilman Conde. Also, the rain delays in the concourse.
2011- #FHEAST. The 400+ there. The midnight bus. Cristian Nazarit. 'Nuff said.