Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Athletic Club of Columbus

"At the Athletic Club of Columbus, our members are the boss. We are member-owned, committee driven, and Board-approved."

The quote above is from a very real place in downtown Columbus. Founded in 1912, the Club was "interested in promoting both social and athletic endeavors." Notable members over the years have been Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States (born in Blooming Grove, Ohio), William Saxbe, U.S. Senator and U.S. Attorney General 1974-1975 (Mechanicsburg, Ohio) and even Dave Thomas, Founder of Wendy's.

In recent years, it's seen visitors like Randy Travis, Harry Connick Jr, Joe Lieberman, Chelsea Clinton (of whom I have a good story, ask me about it one day), and even Katie Couric.

yellow dot
I took a nice walking trip with my ladyfriend downtown last weekend to get a good look at the painted yellow circle that, according to social media, was on the corner of High and Broad. It was a beautiful day for a walk and indeed there was a painted yellow dot with the text #NEWCREW below it right in the middle of the intersection. Markedly much less impressive in the afternoon daylight, but it was there. Right smack dab in the middle of the only part of downtown that feels like a downtown to me.

As we made our short trek to it I started to wonder what part, if any, the town of Columbus had on this yellow dot. What caused the change. Why it's being done. Why bother? I composed short answers in my head but nothing really stuck.

"Maybe, it's just because I'm not from here," was my conclusion to my conclusions as I approached the yellow dot of paint. A thought that's quickly chased away however, as I have been here, living in downtown Columbus, for what's going on eight years. Some might say that's a decade already.

Once I got to the dot I tried to snap a pic or two of it while crossing the street but that was about all I could muster up. I thought it'd be something more interesting and answer my questions, but it didn't. Of course it didn't.

Part of the reason for my tepid response to actually seeing the dot was due to the fact that I had just passed The 100 year old Athletic Club of Columbus building on my way. It's something I've heard about but never really put any thought into. Turns out this little journey to see a pro sports team's ad promotion got me thinking on it, doing a little bit of research and coming to other, unexpected conclusions.

The one that overrides the rest is that; were this another country, The "Columbus Soccer Club" would have originated in such a place as The Athletic Club of Columbus. Because sports clubs, in the rest of the world, belong mostly to the township, village or city (similar to the NFL's Green Bay Packers). The people. Her badge is that of the town, the steel factory that supported the team or what the town is known for. Perhaps it would be called The Athletic Soccer Club of Columbus, were it here.


The Athletic Club of Columbus... wonder if they are looking to get a soccer team going.

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