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The Sports Page: Crew Win First Match of Season

 Corey Barnes
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Columbus Crew Week in Review

The Columbus Crew followed up their disappointing home opener against the New York Red Bulls with a dominant performance against FC Dallas on Friday to the tune of a 2-0 win. The victory was the Crew’s first on the season and moves their record to 1-1-1, and four points.

The first half between these two clubs was scoreless but not without activity. Dallas had Crew keeper William Hesmer busy in the first 45 minutes; he ended the half with four saves and finished the day with seven. Early in the game, Fabian Castillo managed a decent look against the Columbus defense but his shot sailed wide. After about a half hour, the Black and Gold gained a man advantage after two back-to-back penalties to Dallas’ Jackson Goncalves resulted in his expulsion from the game. In the 55th minute, FC Dallas was called for a penalty in their own box giving a penalty kick to the home club. Andres Mendoza leveraged the PK for the Crew to give them a 1-0 lead. The game was put away for good courtesy of a strong shot from Eddie Gaven from the top of the box during stoppage time. Columbus will return to action this Saturday when they travel to California to take on Chivas USA at 10:30.

Columbus Blue Jackets Week in Review

The Columbus Blue Jackets will not be playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 2010-2011 NHL season. Now, most of you presumably already knew that, but in case you were not certain the Jackets’ play of late certainly confirms it.  The Unionmen went 1-1-2 in the past week recording four out of a possible eight points. They were victorious in a home game against the Florida Panthers, fell in overtime to the Capitals in DC, lost a home shootout against the Blackhawks, and were dismantled in Nationwide Arena by the St. Louis Blues 6-1.

Finding motivation to play with heart and conviction this late in a lost season is often difficult for players and usually frustrating for the fans. This disparity underlies the difference in perspective between the two parties. For us, the game is a passion and a way to develop a sense of civic pride. For the gentlemen paid to carry the flag, it’s a job and the reality of the game says that it is entirely possible a player will be calling a different city home in a few months. But for now, so long as Ohio’s capital is home for the Blue Jackets, I have a simple request of the men in Union Blue: Play For Pride. There are only three games left in the season and even though no possible math-magic will get Columbus into the playoffs the games must be played. Even if the desire to suit up may not be as strong as it was back in January, I ask that you proud men lace up anyway and play for pride. Not only for yourselves, but for all the thousands of Ohioans who live and die with their team and take joy in victory and despair in defeat. Because you see, we are a part of your team. When citizens ask neighbors how the game went they ask, “How did we do?” not “How did they do?” as if they had to leave the ice after the second period and were curious what happened. Now we cannot suit up with you brave men, but you have our support. Remember, that flag on your chest is Ohio’s and even if you were not born here you are one of us now. So when you go to Dallas and Nashville this week dig deep and play for the City of Columbus. Because the Jackets are our team, just as much as yours.

Columbus till we die.

Columbus till we die.

We know we are, we swear we are,

Columbus till we die.

Corey Barnes is a third year at The Ohio State University studying business. He hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has a profound understanding of sports suffering and mediocrity. In addition to this column, he also writes sports things at buckeyenerd.tumblr.com and can be followed on The Twitter @Corey_Barnes.

Crew Photography was provided by Matt Ellis at Three-Songs Photography.

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