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LLC_16-17 INTERVIEW_LLC-editorial_layout 5/15/13 10:14 PM Page 1

talk with a local • talk with a local • talk with a local • talk with a local• talk with a local


Frankie Hejduk Bleeds Black and Gold cause a guy open to a noontime beer is a good guy in my book. And judging by the reaction of the staff, Frankie is a favorite regular.

JD: It’s a great thing! Beer is great! FH: I love the beer, and it’s a local company. Been here 20, 25 years.

Johnny DiLoretto: Obviously, you come to Barley’s a lot. A place you like to hang out? o tt Frankie Hejduk: Yeah, re Lo Di by Johnny this is one of my locals, The former Columman. When I first moved to bus Crew champ and team captown, we were staying in the hotain known for his ferocious tels over here — and I’m a big mispeed retired in 2012, but he crobrew guy and I asked around hasn’t slowed down a bit. and they sent me in this direcBeing around him is like inhaling tion. And I’d go sit at the bar every night and have my beer good vibes – and, these days, and my food. When you first being around him is easy become to the team, you don’t cause he’s practically everyknow where to go. Luckily, they where. He is now the Crew’s sent me in this direction. I’ve brand ambassador, a connection met some incredible people here. between fans and the team. This whole staff here have become like my second family; I’m We met at Barley’s for a lunchhere that much! I don’t know if hour chat, and I was relieved to that’s a good thing or a bad see he ordered a beer, a Blood thing. (Laughs) Thirst Wheat to be exact, be-

JD: You’re all over the place these days. What’s going on? Where can we see you and what’re you trying to accomplish? FH: I just want to get the brand out. I’m the brand ambassador, you know. I’m trying to get the Crew brand out and about. Not only on the soccer field but in our communities — charity works, just getting all over Columbus, all over Ohio for that matter. I do this “Find Frankie Friday,” where you can win Crew tickets, where I’m driving all over the place. I’ve been to Cincinnati, Dayton, Kentucky and Cleveland doing these types of things where fans try to find me.

Frankie Hejduk is a force of nature; he is goodwill personified. When I met him at Barley’s in the Short North, he was all smiles, hugs and handshakes – every one of them genuine and heartfelt.

I’ll put it on Instagram or

Twitter — “Hey, I’m taking off! Come find me, I’m Downtown somewhere.” We do it every Friday. When Crew fans in Cleveland and Dayton and all these other areas were like, “Frankie you’re too far away, we can’t find you,” I started going out there. Like to the Great Lakes Brewery. I ended up there one day. Cool fun stuff that’s different. That keeps a buzz around the sport. That keeps the community involved. And it gives people a little cool thing to do and at the same time win some Crew tickets. Coughlin Automotive, they noticed I’d been everywhere. [They said,] “Hey man, we give away a car for the Crew every year. This year we want you to drive the car and we’ll give away Frankie’s car. JD: And it’s not just any car, right? This is a badass car.

FH: This is a badass car, dude. This is a Crew Camaro, super Crewed out. It’s got a super souped-up engine. I mean this thing goes fast. It’s everything I stand for. JD: You’re from San Diego, but you’re in Columbus now. It’s your home, right? FH: It’s my home, yeah. My wife’s from here. Two of my kids were born here. My 5-year-old, Coasten, my son. My 3-year-old, Cali, was also born here. And I have a 15-year-old, Nesta, who was born in Florida. But we’ve got roots here; my whole family has roots here. Columbus has been a big part of my life; some of my golden years were here. Especially with the Crew. Winning it in ’08 – I can’t even explain that feeling and how cool it was. To see a city just so proud of a team, we got so much love after we won it in ’08 that I couldn’t

see myself leaving really couldn’t. I w these people are re ate.” About someth passionate about.

I always tell the st my house got toile bunch of kids the d won it. I opened th my paper, and I se kids running away toilet-papered my h and gold!

JD: That is… awe FH: They left a thi garage that said “C tions, Frankie!” It’ family! Because, yo what I said after w said, “I feel like I’m ally big family in C it’s not just my fam whole city. I feel lik this city.” And I ne truly felt that way anyplace. I felt like ally loved me.

2013-05-15 Live Local Columbus  

volume 2 • issue 2 Tour Guides: • Michael S. Brown• Alisa Caton• Johnny DiLoretto• Cheryl Harrison• Brent Hawk• Ryan Kovalaske• Erin McCal...

2013-05-15 Live Local Columbus  

volume 2 • issue 2 Tour Guides: • Michael S. Brown• Alisa Caton• Johnny DiLoretto• Cheryl Harrison• Brent Hawk• Ryan Kovalaske• Erin McCal...