Soccer fandom is a thing of beauty, but no other fandom can compare with that of The Craven Crew. This fan base solely places their fandom into one man and one man only, Oklahoma City Energy FC forward Andy Craven.
Ever since dawning OKC’s colors last season, the forward has been an instant hit with the Energy’s fanbase. But before he made his arrival to OKC, he already earned a group of worthy apostles.
Big D Soccer caught up with both Andy Craven and one of the creators of The Crave Crew, Noah Riffe, to further discuss the fanbase and what it has to offer.
And a few questions about donuts…
1. Who created The Craven Crew?
Noah: “I would say the Craven Crew founding fathers are Danny (aka Banter-king) Andy Craven and I. We were the first members and have been building it ever since. But if I was to have to pick one person I would have to say it was Danny it was all his idea.”
2. How did the fandom come about?
Noah: “There was a group of us fans who would watch Andy's Twitch live streams where he would play games and chat with us. We had a pretty devoted group and we decided to make a group chat. From then on we called ourselves The Craven Crew and never looked back.”
3. What is the purpose of the donuts?
Noah: “Andy loves donuts plain and simple so we adopted and embraced that as kind of a show of support that can't be mistaken. It's kind of become an Andy Craven brand, you even see the clubs using the donut emoji on their social media when mentioning him.”
4. What is Andy’s favorite type of donut? Favorite donut shop?
Andy: “My fav donut is chocolate cream filled. The white whip cream filling. None of that brevarian or custard crap.”
5. To end the age-old debate, is it spelled donut or doughnut?
Noah: “Most of the Crew including Andy say ‘Donut’, personally I'm a ‘Doughnut’ guy. I guess the world will forever be divided on that.”
Andy: “I'm a donut guy, not doughnut. Way easier to type out for social media.”
6. Which city that you have played in has better donuts: Seattle, Cincinnati, or Oklahoma City?
Andy: “This is tough. I've yet to find my OKC donut spot so I'm open to suggestions on that end. This may be a shock but Cincy might take the crown here. It may be the fact that I had some really good places within walking distance to my home though.”
7. Does Andy Craven play any role in The Craven Crew?
Noah: “He for sure does he's involved in a lot. Anytime we need help with promoting anything at all he's always there to help. As well as when he scores one of his signature celebrations is the cc chest pound. Pretty much he makes a C with his hand and bangs it on his chest giving a shout out to the Craven Crew. Andy has been actively involved in the Craven Crew since day one since he was one of the first members himself.”
8. What merchandise do you sell on the site?
“We only have one product up right now and that is the Craven crew scarf. We have worked really hard to design and create an awesome scarf and now it's up for pre-order. All we are trying to do is hit the minimum threshold so we can make the scarves a reality. In the future, we're going to sell patches, shirts, and much more.”
“You can find our store online at cravencrew.bigcartel.com”
9. What can fans expect out of Andy Craven and the Craven Crew for the rest of the 2017 season?
Noah: “For the Craven Crew, you can expect us to be on Twitter, be at the games supporting Andy and the Oklahoma City energy. we will definitely be continuing our doughnut ritual where we give Andy donuts after the end of the game. At the end of the day, we're just here to celebrate one of our friends and his success. But there's definitely more to come and you guys should join the Craven Crew so you can be a part of it.”
Andy: "Well you can expect goals and game impact from me, but The Craven Crew you never know man. These guys are awesome and came out with a craven crew scarf for order so the sky is the limit with these guys.”
10. Where can fans interested in both Andy Craven and the Craven Crew find you?
Noah: “On Twitter and Instagram at @TheCravenCrew if you are at all a fan of the USL or the Energy I would recommend following, were a really fun easy going group. And of course, we can't fail to shout out our boy Andy Craven on Twitter @andymcraven Instagram @acray99 and on twitch at twitch.tv/quakejumper .”
All in all, a big shout out goes to both Noah Riffe and Andy Craven for answering my ridiculous questions about “donuts,” soccer, and fandom. We here at Big D Soccer wish nothing but the best for you guys!
Make sure to catch Andy Craven on the field this Saturday, June 24, as the Oklahoma City Energy take on the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 at UBC Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, Canada. The match will kickoff at 5 p.m. CT and will air live on Youtube.