Of course this season would come down to this
We made it, Crew fans. The last game of the 2018 season is here and it's not — thank the soccer gods — the last game of the Crew, ever.
Hallelujah, we've been saved! (At least tentatively.)
No one in Columbus, of course, has missed out on this good news. How could you? Half the city, it seems, is still hungover from celebrating at Endeavor Brewing Co.
But guess what? A potentially even bigger party waits.
I'm talking about the Nordecke's Mega Tailgate to End All Mega Tailgates. This Sunday, Oct. 28, Mapfre Stadium parking lot.
I'm talking about the Columbus Legends Reunion & Soccer Match at the Ohio History Connection, being put on by former players Kyle Martino and Dante Washington from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
I'm talking about growing the legend of this movement by clinching a playoff spot and going on an MLS Cup run and winning another championship.
Actually, hold up. We've reached the part of this column where it's time to fret about the state of the Crew on the playing field.
Following a controversial loss to Orlando City SC, the Crew isn't exactly riding a wave of momentum.
The good news is that the Crew largely controls its playoff fate heading into Sunday's regular-season finale clash against lowly Minnesota.
Thanks to a two-point cushion over Montreal, the Crew's in the playoffs if Montreal fails to beat New England. If Montreal wins, the Crew must also win Sunday.
This was all unthinkable a few weeks ago. Prior to the Orlando City SC game, in fact, the sports-data-analytics website FiveThirtyEight gave the Crew a 99 percent chance to make the playoffs. (Those odds now sit at 81 percent.)
But then again, this is all rather fitting, too.
Of course the Crew would be saved before the penultimate regular-season game, which is an away game. Of course the regular-season finale would be a home game with the playoffs on the line. Of course a dozen or so Crew legends will be in town for the game.
This weekend's game — just like the season itself — will be as dramatic as any daytime soap opera. (Lies! Betrayal! Hypocrisy!)
And like any good legend, we know how it ends. (Redemption! Hometown heroes! Victory!)