This series I was able to talk to Brian Taylor, a fan who has a love of the history of Nashville Soccer and one of the co-founders of the infamous Croc Block. It was fun to see his passion for the club of the past and the club we are now:
You are very passionate about the early days of Nashville Football Club/ Nashville Soccer Club. How did you get involved and what attracted you to this club?
I first got involved with Nashville FC after I just happened across their tweets while scrolling through my feed, I followed and kept and eye on things but didn't fully buy in until I saw the article from the MLS which sort of legitimized the movement for me. I had purchased my membership before I finished reading the article. (Proud member of the first 100 members club!) At the time, I was the founder and president of The Blue Zoo, a MTSU student org / supporter group for MTSU athletics, which grew on social media in a very similar way to NFC. Having this passion for fanatical support and experience in running a social media project similar to NFC I decided to reach out (Annoy) club president Chris Jones in early 2014 and asked if they needed a social media intern / Manager. Which led to me running the social media for the club from that offseason all the way up to the USL announcement event.
What was your favorite memory or tradition of the USL / NPSL days?
I always felt like fans singing the entirety of Bohemian rhapsody in USL was something very unique and fun! Its a shame it didn't transfer over to MLS. As for NPSL, there was a great since of pride in the fan ownership aspect of the club. While we did eventually vote to sell the club off to the USL group, its still so cool and unique that we were able to say that WE started this. The fans wanted high level soccer, and we made it happen!
Following the Club for so long; how was the journey into MLS?
It doesn't feel real. This wasn't supposed to happen. Yes, the stated goal of NFC was pro soccer, but we meant
NASL or USL, and we knew that was a stretch. No matter what anyone tells you, no matter what weird "BS" legal technicality some salty fan says, Nashville SC of today IS Nashville FC.
I think there are very few who would argue that. How was it the first time you walked into Geodis, the official home of Nashville Soccer?
I got to walk in the night before the home opener to help set up for the next day and it felt like I was walking into a video game. Again, this whole experience just doesn't feel real, like at all. Every time I walk into that stadium I cant help but think of the rainy nights at Vanderbilt football stadium where we would be lucky to have 200 people, or the times we walked around college campuses handing out fliers asking people to show up to games. That stadium is built on the hard work of every staff member, player and fan who was around prior to MLS.
Speaking of staff and players; what are some of your expectations for the Club this year, both on the field and off the field?
We talk about this often on my podcast "The Nashville Soundcheck" and my expectations of the team have changed a few times already. After seeing 3 matches, its obvious to me that we are VERY strong defensively and that Shaff (Shaffelburg) is the real deal out on the wing. If we can get healthy and stay healthy (And maybe add one more piece up front) I believe Nashville will be a top 3 team in the east.
Off the field, we have already seen that Nashville has some damn good fans! The castle will be a fortress all year long and a big part of that will be due to the fans.
I love how we collectively, as fans, named it the Castle and it has been one. Who is your favorite player? Both past and present.
Past- Elliot Goodwin. (He) Played with pure speed and was arguably too good for the NPSL. Not to mention I became pretty good friends with the guy before he moved on from Nashville.
Now- Hany Mukhtar. He is a god and can do no wrong.
I think most fans would agree with that Hany statement. It was a privilege to get to talk to Brian and his past and his passion of the past. You can find Brian on Twitter @ImBrianTaylor or Twitch at HasBeenGames. You can also hear him co host a podcast - Nashville Soundcheck.