Ich Bin Ein Cincinnatian

By Johnny Ginter on April 15, 2013 at 3:00p
70 Comments
COULDA USED YOU THIS WEEKEND DUDE
First pitch, synchro style

Cincinnati is an interesting place. Because of its proximity to Kentucky, Toledo-esque lack of loyalty to Ohio State, and the fact that for some reason people in Columbus seem to lean toward being Cleveland pro sports fans (despite Cleveland sports teams being somehow worse on average than their counterparts from the Nati), many Buckeye fans have a hard time getting over the idea of the city as an unholy Benedict Arnold/Vidkun Quisling joint enterprise.

Well, let me drop some knowledge on you Doubting Thomases. I was born and raised near Cincy. I have friends and family who went to UC. I grew up rooting for Bob Huggins and the Bearcat basketball team.

And dammit, today I am here to inform you plebes that you are absolutely, one thousand percent correct about your suspicions concerning the Queen City.

But this isn't something to be smug about, guys! Yes, the "bUCkeye state" shirts were endearing and hilarious in a "three-legged puppy with a big leaf on its head" way, and it's always fun to knock a front-running fanbase down a peg (like, say, in the NCAA Tournament, or on our way to a national championship in football), but truth be told, it actually sucks pretty hard for Ohio State in the long run.

Because as hard as it might be to admit, the Buckeyes need Cincinnati firmly in their corner, and last Saturday's game in Paul Brown Stadium was the first in a series of moves that started almost as soon as Urban Meyer was hired. A battle plan, if you will, to ensure that the assorted forces of Eastasia (in this case, Notre Dame and assorted SEC schools slumming it up above the Mason-Dixon Line) are never able to keep a foothold in our precious Midwestern stronghold. 

Kyle wrote about why Cincinnati is an important target for Urban Meyer and Ohio State a few days ago, and though that is interesting — especially given the abundance of football talent coming out of Catholic high schools in southwestern Ohio — I'm more interested in the how, because that involves a lot of subtle and cleverly subversive PR moves to get a bunch of fickle Cincinnatians back to rooting for the side of light.

Meyer himself has done a decent amount of this. I wrote last year about the Pigskin Roundball event that he spoke at with Thad Matta near Mason, and throwing out the first pitch at a Reds game, as awesome as that would be for anyone with a beating heart in their chest, also nicely doubled as a way to say "HEY WHAT'S UP BROS" to a bunch of flabby pale dudes drinking Moerlein in cut-off Affliction tees.

That, and taking his team to the usual Cincy hotspots like Graeter's and Montgomery Inn and the Reds Hall of Fame is all excellent Soft Diplomacy that will hopefully endear the people who live near the river to a team they've never really claimed as their own, at least on the whole. Keep in mind, also, that Urban Meyer was asked by the University of Cincinnati to help pitch them to the ACC when it at one time looked like a smart thing to do.

But that's not enough. Championships are won through recruiting, and that's why Meyer made the excellent move of hiring Kerry "I would fight a dude over the Buckeyes" Coombs to be his defensive backs coach from local Colerain HS. If I know one thing about Cincinnati, it's that they almost always prefer to stick with the devil they know rather than the one they don't. Keep in mind that this was a city that actually seemed to like Jerry Springer the politician more after he was found to have paid for a prostitute.

Don't hate on new money :(
FORGIVE THEM THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO

Not that I'm comparing Kerry Coombs to a hooker, but it can't be underscored enough how much familiarity means to people. So even though I think Ohioans have a tendency to think of this as a "small" state, there are real and important cultural differences between the northeast and southwest corridors of a state with nearly 12 million people living in it, and it's important to bridge that gap with a hyperactive ride-or-die OSU lifer who also happens to be from the west side of Cincinnati.

With that said, coaches and platitudes and winking acknowledgements of Skyline Chili's clear superiority to all other chili sauces can only get you so far.

What you really need is results on the field, and players that you can point to and say, "Oh hey, that kid is from Taft. I know his stepbrother's aunt, she works with my mom." Which is why the maturation of guys like Adolphus Washington will be so important for future recruiting. Admit it: I'm sure you love all OSU players equally because you are a kind and caring superfan, but don't lie to me and tell me you don't get a special thrill when a kid from your hometown makes good.

I mean hell, being from Middletown, I got a thrill when I saw Andre freaking Amos play on the punt coverage team, and I can't imagine how it'll feel watching a genuine quality kid like Jalin Marshall strut his stuff out on the field as a featured part of the offense. And I didn't even go to Middletown High School, which just goes to show how far (and weird) this kind of "ownership" can go, as long as the fan has some sort of connection to what's going on in the game, no matter how tenuous.

So I hope that you, non-Cincinnati area Ohio State fan, gives the area a chance and supports Urban's re-annexation of the lower Miami Valley. Sure, it's infested with Johnny-come-latelys and people with a greater loyalty to their high school than their country and has a lot of latent racism and has those weird lizards everywhere and a lot of crime and an insane labyrinth of side streets and back alleys leading to nowhere.

But dammit, the food is good, the zoo is awesome, and the football is very, very good. Ohio uber alles. And that includes the most German city of all, which as Urban says (honestly or not) is "...partly my hometown."

70 Comments

Comments

DefendOhio's picture

Toledo-esque lack of loyalty to Ohio State? Toledo is a pro OSU town. I know scUM is 45 mins away, but don't be fooled. It really doesn't compare to Cincy in that regard. 

buckeyedude's picture

Johnny is exactly right, DefendOhio.    
                                                                                                                                                                     I've lived here 48 years, and it's nauseating. If I chose not to associate with UM fans, I wouldn't have a job, half my family, and half the friends I have. Way too many TTUN fans here, but what can you do? At least my kids are Ohio State fans, 19 and 22. The 22 year old is a senior student at BGSU, just FYI.
*btw, I didn't hand out the downer. ;)

 

 

MediBuck's picture

You raised your kids right, BuckeyeDude. Though I was born in Columbus, my folks (both OSU alums) had to raise their kids in Pac-10 country. I grew up a rabid Bucks fan. My little sister--not so much. It was a hard childhood having to be the only kid with a Scarlet shirt during ASU-OSU Rose Bowl week, but I've come to appreciate it over time. Good work, and keep trucking!

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

Ttownbuckfan's picture

Absolutely agree, and when we beat them, you can't find those SOB any where around Toledo! 
 

Doc's picture

It's because they are fair weather fans and most of them are fans of AACC to be contrarian like Hokey Pokey.

"Say my name."

cinserious's picture

@ DEFENDOHIO:
Toledo= prob 35 to 50% scUM (I've heard)
Cincy= a mix of several CFB teams including OSU, ND, UC, etc. (but mostly not a CFB town)
Yeah, I'd say Toledo is a bit less loyal.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

45has2's picture

GLASS CITY in the house!! Defend is correct, T Town is Buckeye Town. I grew up there it was a Buckeye city then and when I go back to visit it is very clear that it is still a Buckeye city. Go ask Jack Mewhort or Dane Sanzenbacher if Toledo is a weasel town. Sure, there are a few weasel infiltrators, you have to expect that with proximity to that stinky state and Detroit auto execs sending spies into Buckeye territory.
I suspect that many of you, author included, have never even been to the Glass City. Hell, our favorite off season past time is loading up the Dana axled, LOF glassed, Champion Spark Plug equipped Jeep, crossing the border via Secor road and running over weasels. Then we pile the carcasses on a Toledo Scale to weigh the damage.
Our northwestern border is secure, concentrate on those quasi rebels to the south.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

NC_Buckeye's picture

For some reason, I'm really enjoying the Toledo vs Cincinnati smack talk.

chitown buckeye's picture

I'm reading your post in my head like a radio DJ and simply loving it. You sir, have a lot of pride for Toledo!

"I'm having a heart attack!"

gwalther's picture

Ohio uber alles.

Class of 2008

Earle's picture

Did Urban proclaim himself to be a bowl of chili?

Italics are for emphasis.

Buckeyeneer's picture

My mind went to the same place. I was about to post my snark quite proudly but you beat me to it. Well done.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

Earle's picture

Low-hanging fruit like that doesn't last long around here. If it wasn't me it would've been someone else. You still have the whole universe of 3-way et al and jelly donut humor available to you (think Hoke).

Italics are for emphasis.

Crimson's picture

I assumed there had to be a hot dog reference here.  I'm going to assume it means a hot dog covered in Skyline chili.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

If that's so, then we shouldn't let him near Brady Hoke

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

shadybuck's picture

I have thought about this quite a bit, 2 of my best friends growing up were hardcore OSU fans. well I along with another of our crew and quite a few other friends went to OSU and they went to UC.  suddenly 2-3 years later its like OSU is the worse than scUM.  I think when they went to the sugar bowl they probably got in a lot of arguments about UC being better than OSU (which they were not).  even a few years out of college for both of them i still dont know if the OSU fandom can be repaired.
And to Johnny's point about an affinity for players from your home town making you proud, it's true, thank you aaron craft. (no thank you ben roethlisberger, you can keep saying you are from "corey-rawson"(not a real town), ohio)

osubuck57's picture

Only thing better is if Urb would have had on a tribe jersey.lol

SCOTTC.

awwwwwwop's picture

Like this?

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Urban was quoted that night saying that he has fond memories of those days as a kid when he would go to the Muni to watch the Indians in the spring/summer. He's a lifelong Tribe fan.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Poison nuts's picture

I'm from Columbus & I always backed the Cincinnati pro teams....Bengals & Reds. Where I grew up (mostly in Westerville) I think that was the norm, as opposed to the other way around. Maybe things have changed, but I never noticed a bigger Cleveland following. Nowadays, I back both cities sports teams, but my loyalties are still with the Cincy teams.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

coke's picture

I had a different experience.  I grew up in Columbus (just outside of UA), while there were a lot of Cincy fans, Cleveland fans always outnumbered the Cincy fans.
My only question is where did all of the Pittsburgh fans come from?  I hardly saw any growing up and now I see them all over Columbus and all over the East-side of Cleveland when I visit my fiance

NoVA Buckeye's picture

That'll change once the Browns bring back annual sweeps against Pittsburgh. Haven't seen as many Steeler fans recently thanks to them missing the playoffs.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

AJW_16's picture

I agree. The Steelers presence here is nauseating.

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

IBleedSandG's picture

The amount of Steeler fans in the Dayton area make me feel the same way. They're like a plague.

"You pick up the rifle and go as hard as you can possibly go."
-UFM

AJW_16's picture

I have wondered if it is just a band wagon. Although the Bengals are respectable, my Browns have been irrelevant for a decade and a half. People like to root for a winner, and we saw a lot of Michigan fans in the 90s (one of my best friends picked Michigan to root for when we were in elementary school; he was none too pleased when the tables turned on him during the Tressel years :) ).

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

NC_Buckeye's picture

Maybe relocated West Virginians? Back in the 80's hillbillies seemed to be everywhere in Ohio where there were jobs to be had.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

West West Virginians for sure, but East West Virginians sure love them some Redskins.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

cinserious's picture

I moved from Cincy to Columbus 15 yrs ago and from what I've seen, Columbus is staunchly Browns for football, but its easily Reds Country for baseball. Of course you have Bengals, Steelers, and Indians fans as well but it goes to show that Columbus has identified itself with the history and tradition of the Reds, Browns, and Steelers.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

It seems to me like there are a lot more Browns fans in Columbus than there are Bengals fans.  It seems more even between Reds/Indians.  Call me weird, but I cheer for the Bengals and Indians.  There were no Browns when I started getting into football.  I'd probably root for the Reds in the World Series, unless they were playing the Tribe.

Class of 2010.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

THAT's weird. It seems like there are more Browns/Reds fans here.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

OSUStu's picture

Probably nearly a fifth of the state geographically (east and southeast Ohio) has been a Pittsburgh television market for a very long time.  You will find more fans of Pittsburgh sports teams there than Cleveland or Cincy teams.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

NC_Buckeye's picture

I'm from Tuscarawas County originally. So pretty much mid-eastern part of the state. Before the Modell-move everyone was a Browns fan.
Not sure what the preferred team is now as I moved out of state before the new Browns formed.

OSUStu's picture

New Philly is probably about right at the edge of the area I was thinking of geographically: east and south from there.  Appalachian Ohio generally.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

lamplighter's picture

Heck I even remember cheering for the Cincinnati Royals, with Jerry Lucas.
I lived there recently for about 2 years.  Not a whole lot of gushing love for the Buckeyes, but from what I saw not a great deal of hatred.  Maybe more like the jealous younger sibling?

Michael Citro's picture

I dated a girl from Cincy while at OSU and she showed me many of the city's charms. We'd go down for Riverfest, take in a ball game, and of course there were concert trips. Cincinnati, I'll gladly eat your chili any day. Also, all your recruits are now belong to us. #UrbanUberAlles

TBDBITL0509's picture

I also dated a Cincy girl while I was at OSU. She went to OU and had an unquenchable hate for OSU. She even actively rooted for scUM. Probably some combination of an OU little brother thing and something that started back when she was growing up in Cincy. She was a bit obnoxious about my OSU fandom. We didn't last too long.
I did get to see the Nati and learn about its redeeming qualities: Skyline, Terry's Turf Club, Graeter's, the Newport area nearby, and some nice ballparks and concert venues.

BuckeyeNationProblems's picture

I would have broke it off in a text. Did you?

Matt

chitown buckeye's picture

Its comments like this that make this site so damn good! Plus 1 to you good sir for making me laugh!

"I'm having a heart attack!"

NC_Buckeye's picture

Doesn't Cincy have a hell of an Oktoberfest? I seem to recall it being mentioned in some publication (maybe the AAA magazine) as being one of the top Oktoberfests in the nation.
Something about girls in dirndls serving beer seems so right.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Urban showing Denard how it's done on the football field and the pitcher's mound.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

AJW_16's picture

Lived in Cinci before moving to Columbus. A good comparison of the city would be to St. Louis: people who live there have lived there forever and are "very set in their ways" so to speak. I'm not sure if I every see Cincinnati being part of the OSU fold like Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, and Akron, but I like what Urban has been doing. The reality is that high school football in that part of the state is excellent right now (always has been), and so having more of a presence down there would be nice. Maybe having more Buckeyes from the Cinci area will turn some apathetic Cincinnatians into OSU fans.

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

btalbert25's picture

I wouldn't ever expect Cincinnati to be more pro OSU than Columbus, I mean Ohio State is the only show in town.  I'm not buying minor league baseball or mediocre to bad NHL hockey either.  I don't think you could compare any of the cities in Ohio to Columbus in terms of their Pro-Buckeye mentality.

AJW_16's picture

Oh I definitely agree. Obviously Columbus will always be Buckeye-central in terms of attention and fandom, but I think that the coaching staff can make in-roads in Cinci.

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

painterlad's picture

St. Henry's is the most German town in Ohio. Unless you mean a place that has more than 8500 people.
That being said, Ohio State doesn't have to make smooch-smooch to any city to get their recruits. Every other major program (except LSU) has an in-state rival with which to compete, and OSU has none. Kids will go where the wins are and Meyer will provide the wins.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

Orlando Pancakes's picture

I would add Nebraska to the short list of elite programs that don't have to compete with another in-state school for recruits, though not nearly the talent of Louisiana and Ohio. Your point is well-taken though that that point allows a distinct advantage for OSU (and LSU) to gain recruits. The influence in Cincinnati in this regard definitely diminishes, but as far as in-state competition there is still no comparison.

bergy22's picture

Minster and New Bremen are pretty German too. Most of Mercer/Auglaize county celebrate their German heritage.

daytonbuckeye's picture

Bono is pretty German too. All 30 of them.

45has2's picture

I thoght Bono was Irish ;)

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

btalbert25's picture

Kids go where there is a lot of buzz.  Right now Ohio State is at the top of the list with anyone else.  Unfortunately, Notre Dame and Michigan have a lot of buzz too, and those are two programs who have always been able to snag players from Cincinnati in the past as well.  Clearly, Urban knows Cincinnati is a huge city to own in recruiting, and he's been laying the groundwork from day 1. 
 

Johnny Ginter's picture

i said dammit twice in this post, clearly have some issues i need to work through

SilverBulletInCincy's picture

Cincinnati born and raised, the only loyalty i have ever had was to the UC basketball team back in the Huggins days.
I am particularly partial to the Kerry quote about fighting people for the buckeyes, because i would do it in a heartbeat.
I have about 10 die-hard UC football buddies who i almost get into fist fights with every year.  They are the most arrogant, cocky sob's to talk football with.
I have never had any loyalty to the UC football program because it was garbage growing up, hell when you bought basketball season tickets they forced you to get football tickets as well.
I cannot tell you how cool it was to see 40000 Buckeye fans sitting in Paul Brown Saturday.
I had goose bumps looking around at all the scarlet and grey walking around the Nati!
I am all buckeye till I die!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

cinserious's picture

^^I'm with you 100%^^
After Huggins was done wrong by UC and Zimpher (who left anyway), I pretty much gave up on the program. I still want them to be successful in B-ball, but won't waste any time keeping up with them. The university presidents took a good thing and pissed it away.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

rightfield's picture

OSU and Urban pulled off quite a coup having the spring game at Paul Brown Stadium and all the periphery activities that went on before and after the game. I can't think of a better PR move than what  has been taking place already. The Republican and Democratic parties  are envious of how this "opinion changing operation" has been implemented so far. 
   Hopefully the Buckeyes have more of this type of PR maneuvering for the Queen City and other Ohio battle grounds.

Its good to be the king

RedStorm45's picture

How many people do you think drove down for the Spring Game from Columbus? 15,000? 20,000? More?  We put the spring game right smack dab in the middle of the city and the result was 37,000?  I just don't think the passion is there, and that's fine.  I know Urban and Coombs are trying to turn that area somewhat into an OSU-pipeline, but I just don't know if the kids from that area grow up dreaming of playing for OSU like virtually the rest of the state does.
 
I find Urban's claim of Cincy as his partial hometown interesting.  We know he grew up in northeast Ohio, but went studied undergrad at UC.  I don't know his whole biography so perhaps he moved south in between childhood and college, but you never really hear him talk about the Indians or Browns like he does with the Reds and Bengals, perhaps because they sucked for so long, I don't know.

buckeyedude's picture

I'm from Toleda, and I mutha fricking love Skyline Chili.
End of story.

 

 

KennyRdBuckeye's picture

Really better than Tony Packo's?  I don't know I've never liked that skyline taste with like cinnamon or nutmeg in it.  I know if I said that in cincy I wouldn't make it out alive though.

If you will it, it is no dream 

buckeyedude's picture

I like them both. Packo's offers a full menu with excellent stuff like Chicken Paprikas and other dishes. Their chili dogs are better than Skyline, IMHO. But I think Skyline's chili mac is the best I've ever had. Just love that shit. As a matter of fact, I buy the $3.00 cans at Krogers and grate my own pile of shredded cheese, onion and beans(on occasion).
I'm not an expert on it, but the key ingredient in Skyline is chocolate. I've done some research on this subject on the 'nets.

 

 

thatlillefty's picture

So we're all in agreement? Cincinnati = greatest city in Ohio.

O - H - I - 0 ! 5 - 1 - 3 !

Crimson's picture

Watch out!  Someone might accuse you of chanting a gang slogan if you put in an area code like that ;-)

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Maybe in the Miami Valley/North Kentucky, but not Ohio.
Besides, everyone knows Columbus is the best city in Ohio! (Right?)

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

mcollier's picture

Buckeyes put 37,000 in PBS for a spring game 90 miles from campus.
If it was UC, how many would slow up in their own back yard??

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Less. Much, much less. Less than half of Michigan's attendance.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

toad1204's picture

Cincy would be lucky to get that for a real game.  No seriously.
Side note: Nippert Capacity: 35,097

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

DannyBeane's picture

I'm from the Dayton area and am familiar with making day trips down to the Nasty Nati. I love that place. I love the Reds. I root for the Bengals but Columbus/Ohio State will always be the center of my sports universe.

BuckeyeAsylum's picture

My girlfriend was anti-OSU until me. Nearing 2 years in, next season I will have her fully converted to pro-OSU. She grew a disdain because of the obnoxious fan base of fantards around the state. I showed here there are level headed fans that are reasonable and not like that, Urban sure as in hell gets a big assist as well. Winning makes everything an easier sell.

I'm just north of the Cincy area and there seem to be a good amount of OSU fans around. Also anytime I travel into Mason for a game there is a decent fan base, but there are usually some dbag UC morons there rooting against OSU. The great majority of my experience w/ UC fans has been pretty heavily negative, massive little sibling issues.

BuckeyeAsylum's picture

Oh and concerning the game being at PBS this past Saturday. I was unable to attend, but girlfriend, couple lady friends, and me headed down for Cyclones playoff game. The area was still pretty buzzing w/ OSU people 4 hours post game, that kind of thing is just money in the bank for getting it in people's minds.

216ToThe614's picture

I don't care what Urban does to expand our recruiting footprint, I thought this was a great move to go to Cincy just as long as he never loses northern Ohio to scUM

Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!
WB

MediBuck's picture

I have to say that I was ignorant of how much Cincy antagonized OSU until I met my med school roommate. I'd assumed that most Ohioans would be pretty supportive or even neutral of the Buckeyes, but I believe he has a real chip on the shoulder regarding the good guys from Columbus. I suppose the little brother rivalry is the most bitter...

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

45has2's picture

Evidently UC has delusions of grandeur and they have sucked in quite a few locals. People I have met from every other Ohio college are either overwhelming Buckeye fans or neutral. My business partner was captain of the UT basketball team and he is a HUGE Buckeye fan. The few UC people I have met absolutely hate TOSU. Whatever. Urb will get every true Buckeye that he wants and quite a few blue chippers from around the nation. It's Urban warfare, bitches. Prepare for battle.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

nickma71's picture

What a disappointing picture. For shame.