You know, when I started doing this, lo these many months ago, I swore to myself that I was going to write on a day-to-day basis in such a way that people who didn't know me would never suspect that I am a longtime Crew fan.

Well, I sure picked the wrong year for that.

Between the idiot who recorded himself using a racial slur (which, it turns out, was his game all along) and the streamers deal and the West Ham dustup and - oh yeah, the team playing great soccer and Barros-Schelotto having an MVP caliber year and on and on, it seems sometimes like they're ALL I write about.

(Well, other than Toronto, but they're just so damned entertaining)

So this whole Las Vegas investor thing, carrying with it the threat of waking up one day and reading that The Crew has become The Croupiers, was not only an emotional problem for me but also one more Crew piece I felt obliged to write.

Today, however, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch* IS REPORTING THAT, FAR FROM BEING A HOSTILE TAKEOVER the whole deal may be the early edge of the push to get local ownership in place.

It appears that Paul Caligiuri, who is now refusing to answer phone calls, emails or, probably, his doorbell, spilled some beans that weren't even his to spill, as the Noorzai group currently negotiating with Hunt Sports for a piece of the Crew isn't even the same group Paul works - or, if competence is any criteria, used to work - for, but rather something called "Crew Sports Holdings, LLC".

Which makes some sense anyway, since hiring Paul to be the public face of a group trying to get involved in Columbus sports is kind of like hiring Adolf Eichmann to handle PR for a kosher deli in Tel Aviv.

Nonetheless, his comments precipitated a piece yesterday by Columbus Dispatch columnist Michael Arace who, not coincidentally, was the beat writer covering the Hartford Whalers when that whole ugly mess went down.

As a result, his "I smell a rat" reflexes are unusually well-honed, and yesterday he HAULED OUT A BIGASS CANNON and started blasting away at everybody in sight.

This in turn appears to have forced the Columbus group to offer a peek at their cards well before they were ready to do so.

However all that may be, while this provides me with something of a respite, both fan-wise and blog-wise, I have to admit that there are still a couple of Crew pieces I hope to get to do yet this year.

If you get my drift.