It's all come down to this: the number one moment of the 2014 season. You might have guessed what it is by now; in fact, you probably could guess because this might rank as the one of the best moments in the history of the club, let alone the season. That's right, it's the October 8 rebrand event that revealed Columbus Crew SC to the world.
Before you read any futher, rewatch the following video:
I've watched that video numerous times and it still hasn't gotten old. It harkens back to the feelings that made the downtown event at the LC Pavilion so memorable and so important.
If you were at the event, you know exactly what I mean. The facility was absolutely packed. The energy was off-the-charts. The guest list was star-studded with Anthony Precourt, Don Garber, Gregg Berhalter, Andy Loughnane, Michael B. Coleman and Brian Dunseth all among those who spoke.
The build-up with the #NewCrew campaign had gone on for several weeks, and it's sometimes hard to match that kind of hype, but I truly believe this event did. Really, that three-week period and the lasting impressions it made are all encompassed in naming this the top moment.
Most importantly, this event ranks at the top because of the far-reaching effects it had. I remember when Berhalter was speaking about the club's playing style while at the podium, and I remember the exact quote he used to cap off a powerful sentence: "We want to bring Columbus to them." When he finished that sentence, the cheers broke out, a good representation of the optimism and the pride that this new identity as Columbus Crew SC brings to the club's future.
There was universal positivity both in that regard and in regard to the actual aesthetic appreciation for the new badge. You couldn't name one thing about this night that didn't proclaim that Crew SC was here and everything about the club was only going to continue to improve.
To me, sports are great because they give meaning and draw out emotions to activities that, on their own, would not elicit those types of reactions. That's exactly what made this event special for me. On the surface, the event was an announcement of a new brand and a new badge. But it was impossible to travel home from the LC Pavilion that night and not feel as if it were about so much more than that. It's about the future of the club and continued upward progress. When I look back at 2014, that's what I'll remember most: that this is where Crew SC all began.
So there you have it: the top five moments of the 2014 season for the Black & Gold. To review the full list:
1. The birth of Columbus Crew SC
There were many, many other possible moments that could have easily made my top five. The obvious snub that comes to mind is the late, stoppage-time victory at Seattle. I tossed and turned with that against the win at Red Bull Arena before ultimately deferring to what win had the most impact on the Playoff race. That's why the PPL Park comeback made the list as well. I don't think there should be much of an argument with the top three at all, but I can understand if you'd swap the Seattle win in. The season-opening win at D.C. United also certainly deserves an honorable mention.
What are your thoughts?