by Scotty Smith
Social media was a-buzz with big news in the city of Memphis on Monday. A big-time hire set the local sports world on fire. Fans who were confident about the future took to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to express their approval. This was water cooler talk for the whole city:
USL Memphis landed former Charleston Battery president Andrew Bell.
Now, it is possible that the name Andrew Bell does not ring as loudly as, say, Penny Hardaway in these parts. However, a quick look toward the East will give us all we need to know about the man. If we closely examine the social media comments coming out of Charleston, we get a clear picture of his reputation among those who know him best. This much is clear: they LOVE the guy.
Just read what is being said about him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Note that these are Charleston Battery fans who have observed his work over the course of nearly TWO DECADES. These are not rash judgments. The man clearly made an impression on those whom he knew in and around the Charleston.
And my favorite from the Facebook set:
And, even though I cannot find it right now, one guy wrote a comment about how Andrew called him by name at a tournament in 2008. He had not seen him since meeting him once in 2001.
Note: This is a good article, which we will explore in detail in Vol. 2.
Another note: By success, the author means that the Battery won the USL title in 2010 and again in 2012. Andrew Bell was the president in both of those years.
More comments from Monday:
With all this love coming in, we figured we would reach out to our counterpart in Charleston, @BlackYellowPost:
And, of course, because we love people who are serious about their work, we let it slide.
So there you have it. The good people of Charleston love Andrew Bell.
What does that mean for the city of Memphis? It means its new soccer team is getting a sporting director who is passionate, committed, and dedicated to growing the game in a metro area for a long period of time. As we will discuss in Vol. 2 of this series, Andrew is a guy who wants to be here. We have every reason to believe that he will quickly gain the same reputation in Memphis that he has in Charleston.
The great Maya Angelou often said, “When someone shows you they are, believe them the first time.” The first time Andrew Bell ran a USL franchise, he gained an enormous reputation within his community. The Memphis community should be thrilled with this hire, and give Craig Unger and Peter Freund a big ol’ slap on the back. This is, to coin a baseball term, a home run.
In Vol. 2 of this series, we will explore what we learned about Andrew Bell via the interviews he has done since taking the job.