On February 6, current Columbus Eagles CEO and Head Coach Mark Wise arrived at the Columbus’ Stars Indoor Complex with everything his team needed to step onto the pitch for the first time since 2019. Well, almost everything .
With 20 minutes left to kick off, and the Eagles warming up on the field, Wise chatted with the production team he brought in to broadcast home games online. From their conversation came a question that caused panic. “So, do you have a camera for me?” ”
It was at a family member’s house, an hour outside of town.
“He looked me with horror in the eye,” said David Foust, the cameraman of the match. “We thought he was joking.”
Lucky for Wise, they came prepared. Ahead of the start of the season, the production team, which is made up of members of the Columbus Crew fan group, the Golden Boys and Girls of Greater Columbus known as GCGBAG, trained with multiple cameras to provide different angles on goals. Moments before the game started, Foust sprinted across the field, set up one of the goal line cameras in the middle of the field, and began broadcasting the Eagles’ 6-6 draw against the Cincinnati Sirens. .
Without this preparation and quick thinking, fans would have missed an outstanding performance from goalie Lauren Demarchi, two assists and a goal from Alivia Milesky and three combined goals from rookies Deijah Swihart and Susan D’Isidoro.
Before the start of the season, Wise and Foust had a conversation about the Eagles’ need to produce games. In previous years, they’d been streaming their games, but Columbus was looking for a way to improve the game-day experience for those watching from home.
âI may or may not have offered to do the Eagles airing,â Foust said.
The production of football content has been a staple of GCGBAG since the group began in 2017. Although the members do not produce games, their marriage of football and humor has manifested itself in the form of video rankings, d video game previews of team matches, post-match parking. comments, podcasts and more. As the group jokes, they’ve always been known for pro-level production but questionable content.
From the perspective of those watching the feed – over 800 people in total and never less than 100 at a time – the quality was anything but questionable. On the call, Darren Van Paris as color commentator and Bart Logan of Massive Report Podcast called out all the action in the game. They see their work as a little way to help football grow in Columbus.
âWe want to be able to help them and help the Eagles develop the game,â Logan said. “There’s a soft spot for a lot of us because the Eagles were such a big part of the Save the Crew movement.”
âYou will get passionate fans who will get into women’s sport,â Van Paris added.
The Eagles’ involvement in the Save The Crew movement included supporting on social media and hosting their own Save the Crew party during their 2018 Women’s Premier Soccer League season. While the Eagles have been in the community since 2014, Foust and the production team have recognized the impact of Save the Crew on their football fandom.
âThis whole Save the Crew saga that we’ve been through, I think it made them think about what the sport means to them in their community,â Foust said of Crew supporters. âIf sport is so important in your community, you want to get involved and promote that community and share this passion for sport. “
Matches producer Tyler Kendall sees no difference between supporting the two Columbus black and gold teams.
âMale or female, it doesn’t matter to us,â he said. He hopes their shows can spread his love of the game to the people of Columbus.
As part of their production, the GCGBAG had on-screen graphics, commercial break graphics promoting the team, and a free live broadcast. This was just the start of their plans. While they are keeping some of them a secret, they have shared a few with Massive Report.
Future PASL matches will include more camera angles on the goals. Later in the season, perhaps during the WPSL summer season, they will be able to interview players and potentially comment before and after games.
The production level is a rarity in PASL and WPSL. It is often difficult to find information on teams in the league, let alone watch their games. The mission of the Columbus Eagles is to bring professional women’s football to Columbus, but to this day there have been amateur players on the team in hopes of rising through the professional ranks. A broadcast of their games, and Columbus’ focus on their players, can go a long way on that journey.
The GCGBAG sees their use of creative outlets as one of the many ways to help the Columbus football community grow, but there are also benefits for the group itself. Specifically, spending time together as friends. It was a theme throughout their interview with Massive Report. As Ohio’s COVID-19 cases are on the decline, they are finding joy in moving their hangouts away from virtual meetings and next to the field.
âFor me it was so much fun being able to be behind the mic and doing it with three of my best friends,â Logan said. “It’s the closest I’ve been to the Nordecke in over a year.”
Fans can watch the Eagles’ home games, produced by GCGBAG, on the site of the Eagles of Columbus throughout 2021. The team returns to the PASL competition this weekend in Chicago against the Mustangs at 5 p.m. ET. Unfortunately, the Mustangs do not have a GCGBAG production team, so the away game will not be broadcast.