Know Your Enemy: An Interview with a Crew Superfan
The Post is, first and foremost, a publication with a journalistic mission. That mission includes a commitment to fairness and diversity. With those guiding principles in mind, The Post’s Grayson Chalmers reached out to Columbus Crew superfan Dahmer Jeffries for an open-minded conversation to see if some understanding can be reached between the two fandoms. The following is a lightly edited transcript of that discussion.
The Post: Dahmer…
Dahmer Jeffries: Call me DJ.
The Post: OK, DJ. Why don’t you start by telling our readers a little bit about your background? Where you’re from, what you do, that sort of thing.
DJ: Sure. Well, I’m from what you would say is the Columbus area, Findlay, Ohio. I grew up on a farm, and really only went to the city for the State Fair – I showed pigs. Now, I live in the city – Powell – and I have a job with Nationwide.
The Post: What do you do at Nationwide?
DJ: I’ve had a few jobs there, but nowadays I’m an assistant vice president in loss prevention, meaning that my job is to prevent the company from losing money by sitting on all of the insurance claims for three months before denying them. I work 15 hours a week, most of which I spend posting comments on Eleven Warriors. I make $275,000.
The Post: That certainly sounds like a very real job.
DJ: Oh, it is.
The Post: You mentioned you lived on a farm. What did our family grow?
DJ: So, to be more precise, it was land designated as a “farm.” Primarily, we were paid $13 million by the government not to grow anything, to prevent corn prices from dropping too low.
The Post: Got it, got it. So did you discover the Crew while going to Columbus for the State Fair?
DJ: No, sorry, I wasn’t super clear on the timeline. I was going to the State Fair from like 1998 until about 2014, so there wasn’t really soccer in the city yet. But we did have a nice field by this empty stadium, where I used to park. I played a high school football game there once, which was pretty cool. Well, I didn’t play, exactly, but I dressed. In warmups – we didn’t have enough pads for everyone.
The Post: Were you a soccer fan growing up at all?
DJ: Not really. I mean, we had a girls team at my high school, and I certainly like the girls, if you know what I mean.
The Post: I know that’s right.
DJ: But nah, I mean, I remember when that woman took her top off at the game, and I thought that was pretty good, but I wasn’t much of a soccer fan.
The Post: What about other sports?
DJ: The nice thing about Columbus is it’s right in between a bunch of cities, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Indianapolis, and you can just root for whoever is doing best at the time. Which makes things like the Super Bowl this year hurt even more, because I had gotten really invested in the Bengals that season and I remembered how good it felt when the Colts won the Super Bowl, and once you have that feeling it’s tough to get so close and lose.
The Post: I can imagine that was really hard for you.
DJ: Yeah, definitely. But also, mainly I’m an Ohio State fan, going back to when I was in school.
The Post: Oh! I went to Ohio State. What year did you graduate?
DJ: Oh, sorry, I meant grade school. I didn’t go to Ohio State. But I’m a pretty big diehard, and you could say that it’s actually more authentic to be a fan when you didn’t go there because it was by choice.
The Post: You could say that, sure.
DJ: Right. So that’s really where I learned how to be a fan, from following Ohio State football. And there’s a lot you learn following a team like that. How to spell states, mainly.
The Post: Then how did you come to the Crew?
DJ: Yeah, so, I want to say it was, like, 2017 or2018, I saw an ad on Columbus Craigslist looking for people to show up to some demonstration at the statehouse. I’ve kind of always been interested in that type of thing from when I lived in Florida in 2000 and it seemed like a nice opportunity to get some extra cash. The ad said you had to wear black and yellow, which I had around because the Steelers are one of my teams sometimes.
The Post: Naturally.
DJ: So I got to the statehouse and people were all dressed like me, and they had scarves, which I thought was neat, and they started singing that song “Can’t Help Fallin’ in Love,” by Elvis. And Elvis has always been really big in my family, since he invented rock and roll and everything, so I was hooked right away.
The Post: Did you happen to catch that recent Elvis movie?
DJ: I did, I did. I thought Tom Hanks was great.
The Post: Of course.
The Post: So then what happened?
DJ: Then they started to tell me that they were trying to have a soccer team here, and they wanted to build a stadium by the Arena District. I thought that was a great idea. I mean, Brother’s is like the best bar in town, so it just makes sense to have something else going on when, like, there’s not a Clippers game or something.
The Post: And you’ve been hooked ever since?
DJ: Well, I wouldn’t say hooked right away. But then we started talking about the stadium plan, and with my experience with the farm subsidies and everything, I figured out a way to help fund it. We got, like, I dunno, $100 million from the state or something.
The Post: Well done.
DJ: Yeah, and have you seen the area around the stadium? I bought a couple of houses there real cheap and made big money. Paid for like a third of CJ Stroud’s NIL rights.
*A 3 hour discussion about Ohio State football ensued, which has been cut for time.*
The Post: So what’s your gameday ritual?
DJ: First, I drive to campus and pick up some Buckeye Doughnuts. Then, I drive to the Short North. The nice thing about our stadium is there are at least six or seven bars within three miles. I grab a couple of beers at North High brewing, and then I eat at one of the local restaurants like Bakersfield, or the Eagle, or Nada. And then I take an Uber to the stadium.
The Post: Must be nice having so many bars and restaurants just an Uber ride away.
DJ: Oh absolutely.
The Post: And then when you’re at the game?
DJ: I sit in what’s called the “North Deck,” which means the northern part of the stadium. And our main job is to cheer, kind of like the Block O section at Buckeyes games. So we’ve written all of these original songs, exclusive to Columbus. We do Seven Nation Army, we do Oles, we have a song to the tune of Yellow Submarine.
The Post: Seems like you have something special going on there.
DJ: Oh, absolutely. It’s one of a kind.
The Post: And what do you think is the defining characteristic of being a Columbus fan?
DJ: Well, I think it’s really impressive that there are so many Crew fans, since the team has only been around since like 2019. But that’s the thing about Columbus, once we get invested in something, we go all in. Like nuclear energy.