One of my few regrets on September 26, 2015, is that I didn’t get the opportunity to truly soak up the work of the amorphous artwork collective know as #TIFOSWEAT. As I followed the legends on their Frankie-induced race to the Nordecke, I could see the display of hundreds of two-stick banners, but in the craziness of the moment, I couldn’t truly appreciate how magnificent it was.
While it was great to have so many legends in the house for the game and the halftime ceremony, there were so many other worthy Black & Gold legends who could not be in attendance. Some are still actively playing. Others had coaching commitments or personal obligations that prevented them from being able to participate. Here’s hoping that they all get to experience a night like that at some point in the future.
Thanks to #TIFOSWEAT, some of those other legends got to be there, if not in person, then in banner form on 2.5x3.0-foot pieces of fabric pulled wide by sawed-off PVC pipe. Among the two-sticks created:
- 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
- 2004 Supporters’ Shield
- 2008 Supporters’ Shield
- 2008 MLS Cup
- 2009 Supporters’ Shield
- Eddie Gaven
- Guillermo Barros Schelotto
- William Hesmer
- Frankie Hejduk
- Agustin Viana
- Doctor Khumalo
- Robert Warzycha
- Sigi Schmid
- Chad Marshall
- Brian McBride
- The late Tom Fitzgerald
- The LH insignia for the late Lamar Hunt
- The “circle 15” insignia for the late Kirk Urso
- The phrase “We Are Massive”
The banners were created using stencils and spray paint. There was also extensive grommet work and inhumane amounts of PVC-sawing. The work continued all the way up until Saturday afternoon, but it was worth it. #TIFOSWEAT created over 300 two-stick banners for the halftime ceremony, and if you look at the photos and videos in the previous chapter, you can get a glimpse of what the finished product looked like in all its glory.
#TIFOSWEAT member Morgan Hughes was kind enough to send me behind the scenes photos of some of the creations as they were made.
Here is the main “We Are Massive” banner, featuring William Hesmer, Chad Marshall, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Brian McBride, and Eddie Gaven, plus the Lamar Hunt and Kirk Urso memorials.
Here are some trophies…
Frankie and Sigi…
Some psychedelic Hesmers…
Hughes couldn’t have been happier with how the final display turned out.
“Every single person in sections 102-106 that had a two-stick did their job with a kind of flawless passion that continuously makes me proud to be a fan of Columbus Crew SC,” he wrote. “Frankie ran all of the former players past 102-106 and over to the Nordecke, where a celebration took place that I'll remember for the rest of my life. It was truly a very, very special moment that wouldn't have been possible without the help of literally hundreds of Crew fans working together as one team at one perfect moment in time. The atmosphere must have been pretty dusty that night, because my eyeballs were getting all watery and stuff.”
I had nowhere else to put this, but since #TIFOSWEAT made a Doctor Khumalo banner, that is a tenuous link I can latch onto in order to share this photo of longtime Crew SC photographer Greg Bartram wearing an authentic Doctor Khumalo jersey. This was back in the days when the names and numbers were stitched onto the back of the jersey!