The Heart of the Matter

Not a bad weekend to be an Ohioan.  An undefeated season for the Buckeyes is just another showing that Ohio is better than the other states.  Especially the one up north.

Sure, I’m biased.  My vision is colored in scarlet (and gray) colored glasses.  I am very proud of my state.  I love that Ohio has the most unique state flag.  Hearing Carmen Ohio chokes me up.  I want to go on a buckeye tree planting spree like some kind of modern Johnny Appleseed.  Jonny Buckeyenut?  It could work.

But look at history and the fact remains.  Ohio is one of the most influential states in the nation.

In 200 years, Buckeyes have firmly established their names in the history of our country.  And while every state will have their heroes, the number of Buckeyes seems to be concentrated.

Let’s start at the top of our national pyramid.  Presidents?  Seven.  More than any other state besides Virginia.  And they had a head start on us.  Ohio breeds leaders.

Speaking of leaders, Generals Sherman (Lancaster) and Grant (Point Pleasant) led the Union to ultimate victory over the Confederacy.  And when the war was over, they worked to rebuild the nation.  No vengeance or animosity towards those that fought against them.

“When peace does come, you may call on me for any thing,” Sherman said.

In the war rooms of the business world, Les Wexner (Dayton) is the latest in a line of influential Ohio businessmen stretching back to Rockefeller (grew up in Cleveland) and Marcus Hanna (New Lisbon).

America’s two pastimes have important roots here.  Baseball went professional with the Cincinnati Red Stockings.   And the NFL was born in Canton.  That heritage still holds strong.  Ohio is home to nine baseball teams between MLB and the major farm systems, and Ohio is second only to Texas in number of Division I FBS schools.

Ohioans push into new frontiers.  An Ohioan became the first man to fly.  And flying in the air was no longer a challenge.  So an Ohioan became the first to orbit the earth.  And when earth’s orbit was no longer big enough, an Ohioan became the first to step foot on the moon.

Look in any field and chances are you’ll find an Ohioan that made their mark.  Edison (Milan).  Bob Hope (grew up in Cleveland).  Jack Nicklaus (Upper Arlington).  Woody (Clifton).  Even Bo Schembechler (Barberton) and Brady Hoke (Dayton).  How bout that, Michigan?  Your legendary coach came from the great state of Ohio.

So when an East Coaster or West Coaster tries to play us off as flyover country, simply smile and say, “You’re welcome.”

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