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Doc wrote this? - eroc - 03-21-2012 06:27 PM

Quote:Column: Why Cincinnati area doesn't care about Ohio State

By Paul Daugherty

The Cincinnati Enquirer Wednesday March 21, 2012 6:13 PM

BOSTON -- We here in the Republic of Cincinnati, Hybrid, Ohio, USA don’t much care about The Ohio State University. If we are being honest and candid and not flexing our legendary politeness, we will admit to mass indifference when it comes to the Buckeyes and their quasi-amateur athletes. Sam Wyche -- philanthropist, philosopher, mad genius, occasional football coach – said it best:

“Ya don’t live in Columbus! Ya live in Cincinnati!’

Uh, Paul.

Yeah?

It was, “Ya don’t live in Cleveland.’’

Oh. Well. Columbus. Cleveland. The rest of the state. Same (in)difference.

I won’t say we’re provincial. But there are some of us who don’t realize there is civilization east of I-75. How are we supposed to find meaning 100 miles up I-71?

Don’t ask me. Ask my colleague Howard Wilkinson, who has covered politics for about 1,000 years, and grew up in Dayton. “People here have come to recognize themselves more as Cincinnatians than Ohioans,’’ he said. “That’s not necessarily the case in Lima.’’

There are some who resent Ohio State’s bigness. They find the Buckeyes’ unwillingness to play UC in basketball snobbish and smug. They took great pleasure in the Humpty Dumpty-ness of Jim Tressel, the real-life Wizard of Oz.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

For those people, THE Ohio State University is in Clifton, case closed, thankyouverymuch.

The vast rest of us?

Eh.

It’s not resentment, if you really don’t care. It’s like getting worked up over socket wrenches or peas n’ carrots.

(Before TOSU subscribers to the Enquirer start a bonfire with their newspapers and A. Griffin comes after me with a blocking sled, allow me a shocking disclaimer: The erstwhile Kid Down The Hall graduated last May from Ohio State. He received a very good education, particularly his last two years, especially for the price. I was mightily impressed with Ohio State, in all respects. So there is that.)

The Buckeyes have to play the Bearcats Thursday night. They can’t buy their way out of it. It’s the agreed-upon format of the NCAA tournament. You can bet they’re not happy about it.

"Scheduling is something we work on continuously," said Thad Matta, the Ohio State coach and Xavier turncoat. "Our philosophy has been to schedule home-and-home series outside the state of Ohio to give our program more national exposure whenever possible."

What Matta really means is, UC is not an acceptable loss for the Buckeyes. It couldn’t be explained to the alums and the fatwallet boosters. There is no “upside’’, to borrow a jock-o-matic term. Ohio State does not need to play Cincinnati, so it doesn’t .

In football, TOSU’s willingness to play Ohio schools is seen as a benevolent act, a nice payday for Akron or Youngstown St., for the chance to get clobbered. Basketball includes no such charity, because on any given evening, UC, Xavier or OU could beat the Buckeyes.

That doesn’t explain our overall ambivalence with much that is Buckeye. Maybe this does:

We have our own stuff here. Cleveland is a big Buckeye stronghold. Cleveland has no college sports of its own. Akron, Canton, Toledo etc.: Not much to cheer for if you’re not singing Carmen Ohio. Dayton has the Flyers. Every little blue highway between here and Ashtabula loves its Bucks, because there’s nothing else.

Cincinnati has two schools playing in the Sweet 16. And we’re supposed to get excited about The School Up North?

Some do. Most are on campus in Clifton.

“On campus, it’s absolutely not indifferent. There is no love for Ohio State at all,’’ said Chris Phillips, the head of the history department at UC. Phillips has researched local history extensively, and edited a magazine devoted to Cincinnati history. “Cincinnati feels it’s a little sister of the poor to Ohio State. There is a very vested interest in this rivalry-that-isn’t .’’

To the rest of Bearcat Nation, Ohio State is the next wall. As Yancy Gates put it Wednesday, “It’s not about Cincinnati versus Ohio State. It’s about advancing to the Elite Eight.’’

The Republic of Cincinnati comes by it naturally. Literally. We’re down here in the far left corner, surrounded by hills and a big river. We can see two other states from here. In Columbus, they see silos. We have far more in common with Louisville than with Cleveland. We are southern; Cleveland is Eastern. Columbus is Midwestern, kind of, thanks to its affiliation with a Midwestern sports league.

Ohio State defines Columbus. UC enhances Cincinnati.

Phillips said, “The feeling among longtime Cincinnatians is that the rest of the state is latecomers.’’ UC archivist Kevin Grace even suggests our provincialism owes to a big Appalachian influence. Mountain folks are clannish and suspicious of outsiders.

Yeah, maybe. Either that, or we simply don’t fawn over the Buckeyes the way the rest of Ohio does. We don’t need to. Personally, I think we deserve points just for acknowledging the rest of the state exists. As Mick Cronin noted Wednesday, “Cincinnati is a different city. We live in our own little world inside 275.’’

It’s not resentment or jealousy or any of the baser emotions. It’s indifference, wrapped in ambivalence, covered in apathy.

Go Bucks. Somewhere



RE: Doc wrote this? - ctipton - 03-21-2012 07:29 PM

An absolute great line:

Quote:Ohio State defines Columbus. UC enhances Cincinnati.


Quote:Cincinnati has two schools playing in the Sweet 16. And we’re supposed to get excited about The School Up North?



RE: Doc wrote this? - JackieTreehorn - 03-21-2012 07:34 PM

I guess the dude can really write when he puts his mind to it. Didn't know he had it in him.


RE: Doc wrote this? - vabearcat - 03-21-2012 07:36 PM

Like a lot of his stuff, it's not that well-written, nor even very accurate in a lot of respects. As a graduate of UC's College of Business and College of Law, I never felt that UC felt like it was a "little sister of the poor compared to Ohio State". Every one who knows anything about the quality of certain schools knows that UC's Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Architecture, CCM and Departments like Geology, Romance Languages, Environmental Health Sciences, etc. are as good, if not better, than OSU's. Our College of Law was almost always superior, at least until our current ACLU-embracing, class warfare-loving. Pinko-sympathizing embarrassment of a Dean took over. Now scholarship and merit have been cast aside for political correctness, far-out left wing dogma and too many "critical legal studies" professors whose practical legal experience was in Moot Court three years ago at Georgetown. In any event, much of our disassociation for things O$U stems not only for its brazen and unbridled arrogance in athletics, but also how its political allies in state government and in its legions of fawning alumni in the Ohio General Assembly shower countless millions on O$U's research facilities, buildings, libraries, and infrastructure while the remainder of the state's public universities grovel for the remaining crumbs off the table. Its not a coincidence how Columbus has grown to be the largest city in population and per-capita income in the State while the remainder of the State suffers population loss, income loss and unemployment not seen since the Great Depression. While Columbus and O$U prosper, the rest of the State has suffered mightily economically. Not 40 years ago, Cincinnati's population, manufacturing base, regional GDP and national prominence dwarfed that of Columbus. Today, Cincinnati lags, as do Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Dayton and other once prominent economic communities. Part of the problem, of course, is that folks in Columbus are clueless and feel that OSU's stature, to the extent that it exists (Every school in America wants to be in the Big Ten, right? Just ask Rutgers) is the natural order of things. In reality, OSU academically is no better than the 6th or 7th strongest institution in the Big Ten, and that might be charitable. You would think that a University (UC) which ranks among the top 50-60 research universities in the country, that has roughly 40,000 students, which is the largest employer in the region, that maintains a $1 billion endowment, that has won more national basketball championships than O$U, and has been to just about as many BCS Bowl games in recent years as its "big brother" would be afforded just a grudging amount of respect. But, Nooooooooooooo! We are INFERIOR, folks. Just ask those paragons of virtue, Thad Matta, Jim Tressel, Gordon Gee and Gene Smith.


RE: Doc wrote this? - cmhcat - 03-21-2012 08:11 PM

Columbus is the largest "city" but not the largest MSA. The Cincinnati MSA remains healthy and has never shown a decrease in population in any census. Population within the city limits matters only to politicians. Economically speaking it's the market population that matters, and Cincinnati at 2.3 million remains superior to Columbus at 1.7 million.


RE: Doc wrote this? - Bearcat 1984 - 03-21-2012 08:37 PM

Doc is not from Cincinnati, and never will be. He is an outsider.

But he is right that Cincinnatians generally don't identify with Columbus or the wider state of Ohio. Part of that is that at least one-third of our region's population is in Kentucky. They are just as much "Cincinnatians" (in a regional sense) as those of us on the north bank of the river. But Cincinnati is older than the rest of the state, and was a real city and a big city long before Columbus was even a goat crossing.

Ohio up there is flat and boring and full of flat and boring people.

I could go on, but I don't really care.


RE: Doc wrote this? - ohio1317 - 03-21-2012 08:45 PM

The part about seeing three states is an underestimated point. You can see the differences in the major cities in Ohio and its reflected in sporting realities.

Cincinnati is the tri-state area. People live and work in three states. State pride doesn't mean as much in those circumstances.

In Columbus, we are split for either the Bengals/Browns and Reds/Indians (with the Reds and Browns traditionally being the slightly bigger ones I'd guess). We go to Cedar Point in the north and Kings Island in the south. Our weather reports either shows the whole state or a good portion of it. A large number of people relative to Cleavland or Cincinnati moved here from further north or south.

Cleveland has a ton of local pride, but it's a purely Ohio city not a tristate area. Like the rest of northern Ohio, it's close enough to Michigan though that the rivalry between the states is real. It's lack of success at the professional level also helps Ohio State, which is often the biggest winner the city has.


RE: Doc wrote this? - Racinejake - 03-21-2012 09:02 PM

(03-21-2012 08:11 PM)cmhcat Wrote:  Columbus is the largest "city" but not the largest MSA. The Cincinnati MSA remains healthy and has never shown a decrease in population in any census. Population within the city limits matters only to politicians. Economically speaking it's the market population that matters, and Cincinnati at 2.3 million remains superior to Columbus at 1.7 million.

Agreed. Columbus continually annexes towns to keep its population 'growing.' The land area of Columbus is now over 210 square miles whereas Cincinnati's is less than 80 sq. miles. Columbus is really a suburban city.

Great article by Doc, though. Really encompasses how people in Cincinnati feel. I will disagree with him in Cincinnati being more of a 'southern' city. I work a lot between cities throughout the midwest as well as Louisville and I see Louisville (at least in business) as a much slower pace than Cincinnati. I see Cincinnati as more similar to cities like Pittsburgh and even Milwaukee.


RE: Doc wrote this? - ohio1317 - 03-21-2012 09:16 PM

(03-21-2012 09:02 PM)Racinejake Wrote:  Agreed. Columbus continually annexes towns to keep its population 'growing.' The land area of Columbus is now over 210 square miles whereas Cincinnati's is less than 80 sq. miles. Columbus is really a suburban city.

I remember reading about this for a geography class (hated most those for being so liberal, but this one was OK). Columbus is more like a Sunbelt city in this respect. Most older more developed Midwestern and northeastern cities are landlocked, while Columbus is more like more southern cities which has grown more recently and spread out as it wasn't already completely surround.


RE: Doc wrote this? - Bearcats#1 - 03-21-2012 09:36 PM

wow second good article in a row from Pdoc....nice