Where the Heart is

By Ramzy Nasrallah on July 16, 2014 at 11:15a
2003-04 OSU backcourt: Lebron & Brandon Fuss-Cheatham

LeBron James and Dwayne Wade taking in Ohio State's throttling of Duke during the 2011 B1G-ACC Challenge

113 Comments

Jerome Baker and LeBron James already belong to several of the same elite clubs.

LeBron was Ohio's top-rated basketball player 11 years ago (beating out Andrew Lavender and Ivan Harris at home and every other basketball player abroad) while Baker is currently Ohio's top-rated high school football player.  

They're both native Ohioans, which is a blessing neither chose. Both are/were spectacular prep stars. Both are/were sought after by schools far and wide. That's rarified shared air right there.

You can choose to believe LeBron's I-would-have-gone-to-Ohio-State story if you'd like (I do) but he had no intentions of ever going to college or staying in Ohio: He even tried to declare for the NBA draft as a high school junior. Only through the serendipity of the NBA draft lottery did he end up finding a job so close to home for seven years following his commencement.

Last Friday Baker announced his intentions to play college football at the University of Florida. A linebacker that good, from Cleveland, growing up and walking away from an Ohio State scholarship offer with Urban Meyer running the Buckeyes in favor of a program that's, eh, not doing so well: Had LeBron not trampled that decision with his Decision, we might be making this into a louder recruiting panic.

But sometimes it's not about depth charts, academics, stadiums, conferences or climate. Sometimes it's just about being somewhere else.

Baker's explanation for choosing Florida was vague enough to be Tresselian. He declined to take questions following his press conference, so it seems he said everything he wanted to and wasn't all that interested in potentially revealing what he didn't. That's his right. Perhaps his decision was in conflict with other Jerome Baker stakeholders.

"maize" "rage"
There's a word in there that needs editing.

The people at home generally want you to stay there. At least that's the case with recruits, and it's definitely how it goes with world-class NBA free agents.

When you arrived on earth, you didn't get to pick your parents and you weren't allowed to choose where you were from. Everything else you could at least try to influence. My parents were great. By the grace of our divine creator I get to hail from the Buckeye State for the rest of my life. I graduated from high school in Columbus.

Then I left Ohio. That was first big decision I ever made for myself. Just needed to be somewhere else; wasn't even sure where.

Sure, there were plenty of visits - I even attended Ohio State during summers to steal some relatively cheap credits toward my undergraduate degree. But I was gone, baby. Those great parents of mine were snatched away from Ohio a few years later and suddenly I didn't even have a home to go back to.

It took a few more football seasons of visiting - and shacking up with whichever friends would have me - to come to the realization I had grown to love Ohio more after leaving than I probably would have had I never left.

I was reminded of my own realization while reading LeBron's explanation for why he was returning to Cleveland. Explicitly, it was the rationale for his return, but tucked into his essay was the subtext for his departure, ironically, four years ago:

Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids.

Bron had never left home. Sometimes you just need to be somewhere else, and it doesn't hurt if two other top-five draft picks happen to already be where you're going.

He had to leave Ohio to love it more. He admitted it when announcing his return. It's not homesickness, and it isn't that grass-is-greener stuff either, but it happens with a lot of Ohioans who wander off to somewhere, anywhere else.

That's why it's not uncommon to see conspicuous, vocal and obnoxiously beautiful Ohio pride in any corner of the world. We leave Ohio, realize we unknowingly took a big chunk of it with us - and then that chunk flares up inside of us. Even if there is medicine available for this condition nobody seems to be taking it.

LeBron has already gotten to see the world outside of Akron and Cleveland - you could do worse than a bronze medal tinged with shame from the Olympics in Greece; he probably can't. Other places aren't necessarily always better, but they're definitely different - and sometimes different is what you need. 

It's not uncommon to see conspicuous, vocal and obnoxiously beautiful Ohio pride in ANY corner of the WORLD.

Baker has seen Gainesville exactly once, which is one more time than Kenny Guiton saw Columbus prior to him making his college decision. Gainesville isn't Cleveland and Houston isn't Columbus. They're all quite different - and sometimes that's all it takes.

Granted, Urban probably isn't conceding Baker to Florida yet, but maybe this one isn't about the depth charts or the programs. If it were, Baker might have said more with all of those microphones in his face - microphones he invited to his voluntary, public announcement.

If he sticks with Florida, Jerome might find that his visits home to Cleveland will be accompanied with some extra feelings he wasn't anticipating. Hopefully he will also find an enormous amount of value in having lived somewhere else, because no matter what he does with his college years and all of the years that follow, he cannot change where he is from. People sometimes try to do this. It's impossible.

LeBron is, in essence, choosing to return home after college. I left Columbus 23 years ago, have since lived in some lousy and great places - but the one thing that doesn't change is the warm, euphoric feeling when returning to what will always be home - even if home for that weekend is a hotel room or someone's couch.

Because home is like nowhere else. Especially after you find yourself somewhere else.

113 Comments

Comments

OSUClub_Baseball27's picture

Awesome article. Actually moved to NYC in January for a co-op to see what it's like outside of Columbus and Ohio in general. Loved every second of it, but it wasn't "Home". Just moved back and it's just something about this state that makes it special and I'm glad to be back!

+12 HS
BierStube's picture

Come January .. this will be the scene if Florida ... JB may rethink his decision with plenty of time before signing day.

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+38 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

That's horrible. lol

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+7 HS
MauricXe's picture

hahaha that's great

+2 HS
chemicalwaste's picture

How in the hell does that gif come into existence? Is beautiful!

+1 HS
BierStube's picture

Gifs happen

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+1 HS
apack614's picture

Great article, it hit right at home for me. never knew what you had until its gone.

"If we worked half as hard as our band, we'd be champions." - Woody Hayes

+3 HS
thowen79's picture

This is good stuff right here. Great read Ramzy!

+2 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

You really hit me at the core, Ramzy. I have been gone from Ohio for nearly 30 years, but I still love Ohio and the Buckeyes as much if not more than ever. 11W has been a big part of my home away from home. You can take the kid out of Ohio . . .

+11 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

A lot of truths here. I CAN ATTEST: It took me leaving Ohio for two years immediately after high school to fully realize how ballin' this state is. 

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

sharks's picture

If it was depth chart, Baker wasn't going to admit that had he taken questions.

Hatin-Ass sharks has had a change of heart after reading the SI piece, which I found thoughtful, humble, and seemingly truthful. We'll welcome Benedictine's finest back too when he flips.

The postgame show is brought to you by... Christ, I can't find it. The hell with it...

+6 HS
ab42beerman's picture

Always an enjoyable read.  Thanks Ramzy.

+2 HS
Buckataltitude's picture

Great article!

I have lived in Kentucky and Colorado the past 7 years. I never realized how much I missed Ohio (Kentucky also) until we moved to Colorado. Colorado is fine but it is not home. The biggest issue I have is when I tell people here that I miss Ohio and can't wait to get back, they give me this weird look like I am crazy or something. They try and tell me Ohio is miserable (even though they have never been there). I argue about green grass, fall colors, having actual 4 seasons, and a culture of college football that Colorado is lacking.

Hopefully my wife and I will get to move back home, but we have to see where jobs will take us.

+6 HS
Michael Citro's picture

I left Ohio in 1996 and have missed it ever since. I'm seemingly trapped in Central Florida now, but if an employer comes a'callin, I'd go home in a heartbeat.

The few days I spend there each fall coming home for a game are the best days of the year.

SLVRBLLTS's picture

Ditto. I go to one home game each year, and cherish every second. It is rather nice, however, to watch the November games in shorts.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

+1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

He had to leave Ohio to love it more. He admitted it when announcing his return. It's not homesickness, and it isn't that grass-is-greener stuff either, but it happens with a lot of Ohioans who wander off to somewhere, anywhere else.

This is where I fled to...

Pure beauty. I've always loved the outdoors and heading to the mountains of Western NC, I promised myself I'd never tire of their view and what I was surrounded by...

None of that changed but I eeked out a tough 3 years before taking a 65% cut in pay to return to The Great State of Ohio.

Does it make me weird that I missed the dreary overcast gray skies of Ohio??

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+20 HS
bukyze's picture

Upvote just for the freaking awesome picture.

+2 HS
osu07asu10's picture

I can't take credit for the photo, I know the guy who snapped it though.

My house was tucked up into the hills there right on "Lake" Hickory (it is actually the Catawba River but folks in NC for some reason call their section of it a Lake and give it a separate name). That picture was taken the day after Christmas 2010. Snow isn't rare up in the mountains but it is pretty rare there on the lake.  The picture was taken from another hill top called Chigger Ridge.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+1 HS
NCBuckeye1's picture

Fantastic picture brother. I spent my whole life in North Carolina, save two years that I lived in Cleveland. North Carolina will always be my home, but there is a lure back to Ohio that I just can't shake for some reason.

Western NC is great. Was fortunate enough to graduate from Appalachian State (App State, and never Appy State), was there when they beat TTUN, and celebrated by depositing a goal post on the dean's lawn (the weekend after I got engaged). One thing is for sure, if there ever was an opportunity to move to Ohio, I would have to consider it.

Of course, that opportunity would come after the opportunity to move to New England, where my wife's family is from, and I think she calls dibs first over me.

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -- Woody

+3 HS
osu07asu10's picture

That's awesome. The asu in my handle is for app state. I went there for grad school, visited for the first time the summer before the game against ttun and had been accepted when they beat em, it was the cherry on top.

In many ways, I'm the opposite of you where I spent all but 4 years of my life in Ohio but I left a big part of me in NC and will some day go back.

Ohio is home though and for all the reasons Ramzy outlined, my wife and I came back to the great state

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+1 HS
spqr2008's picture

I have the best of both worlds.  My parents just retired to Brevard, NC, and I still live in Ohio.  I get to visit the great outdoors and enjoy their view (especially in the morning, the futon I sleep on there looks out over the Smokies to the west through an awesome picture window), then come back to Ohio afterwards.

+3 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Brevard is a great little town, sits on the Nantahala National Forest and is surrounded by a bunch of other State Forests...the waterfalls are insane!

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+1 HS
spqr2008's picture

Have you ever done Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest?  That's some cold water, especially the year we went in June.

+1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

No! Unfortunately I have not. The years i lived there the state was in a massive drought and the number of days we could have went were few and far between.

It is definitely on my bucket list.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

daveyt11's picture

That'd make a nice christmas card...beautiful!

+3 HS
osugreg04's picture

Somebody must be cutting onions in here again

+12 HS
dwcbuckeye's picture

"I had grown to love Ohio more after leaving than I probably would have had I never left."

So true Ramzy.  I grew up in Columbus but eventually moved to the West Coast in the early 90s.  Love it, but my fondness for Ohio and especially the Buckeyes has only grown.  Great article as usual

+8 HS
osu07asu10's picture

This article had Ramzy written all over it, however the images strayed from his norm...

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+1 HS
Denny's picture

Because home is like nowhere else. Especially after you find yourself somewhere else.

I'm still doing a lot of internal searching about where 'home' is, and where Ohio fits in relation to that, if that didn't come through in the thing I wrote the other day. I'm pretty sure it's going to take me a long time to figure it out, if I ever do. To a certain extent, home is wherever there is good company.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that home is, for me, maybe more about people than it is a physical place.

Taquitos.

+7 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

Yup. You beat me by a few seconds, but I feel the same way.

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

THE Ohio State University

tracyre's picture

Yeah I get it. Having spent more time in CA than OH going back and forth can b strange. Nothing feels quite like "home" and sometimes I feel a little stuck in no mans land, then u get into ur flow wherever you are because of the people...

Buckeyeneer's picture

Great article as usual. It struck a chord with me. I spent my 20s traveling all the time for work . . . sadly I was usually by myself. I saw a lot of great and terrible places in the country; but I found myself more lonely when I was in the great places than the terrible ones. Something about being somewhere awesome but not being able to share it with anyone was in some ways worse than suffering a couple nights in a fleabag motel in some shady area of Detroit. That said, I found beauty and things to enjoy about almost everywhere I went, and that granted me a gift. It made me realize that I could be happy just about anywhere, and in the end, it comes down to people. They make a place special for me. While I could make new friends in other places, the vast majority were in Ohio, so that is where I chose to stay. Now that I am married with children my roots are pretty well locked in place. Whenever I hear someone make a derogatory comment in person or see one on a message board about Ohio, or really anywhere else, I just smile; because I know that its people, not places, that make life wonderful.

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

THE Ohio State University

+16 HS
Gametime's picture

I agree with all of this: Home is about cherishing the relationships you have with people as much as it is the place it happens! Nostalgia is a powerful feeling and I'm sure other places have those same unique things as well, but as progressing state in general, Ohio is vastly underrated. 

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

+2 HS
Buckeye1996's picture

You freak'n nailed it.

+1 HS
vitaminB's picture

I was born in Kettering, my dad was in the Army, and now I am, so I've lived in every corner of the country and overseas.  To me Ohio was/is this magical place where my grandparents lived, where small town American life was defined for me.  It will always hold a very dear place in my heart.

+8 HS
Oldschoolbuck's picture

Great article, Ramzy. It really hit "home" (pun intended).

Grew up in NW Ohio & couldn't wait to get out of the Buckeye state after graduating from tOSU. I vowed then I would never return unless I could live in C'bus or the Queen City (wifey went to UC and I came to really like Cincinnati).

20 years after leaving we moved back to the 419 (BG). I didn't realize how much I really missed Ohio and, yes, even the flatlands of NW Ohio. It was nice to live in other states and experience other cultures (especially when we lived in Miami) - but Ohio is home!

I can't blame a young man like Jerome Baker, who has the opportunity to experience life outside the environs of "home", for exploring those options. I think he will be a great player and I hope he succeeds wherever he finally ends up (and I'm not counting out UFM's ability to convince him to stay).

But Thomas Wolfe was wrong, you can go home again, and many times it's better than imagined.

+9 HS
thatyoungdude's picture

I am currently a junior at BG.  I'm working an internship in Miami, and have been alone the whole summer.  I agree with others that have said it's about the people, not the places. I'm in freakin' Miami, and bored all the time.  I want to live in some other states right after college, but being in Miami this summer, and Dallas a couple semesters ago, I know I want to go back to Ohio.

+2 HS
LexingtonBuckeye's picture

So much truth to this. I was certainly a buckeye fan growing up on the outskirts of Columbus, but it took my college experience at UK to really galvanize that passion.

+5 HS
AJBor41's picture

Lexington (UK) was my getaway from Ohio as well.  Loved the campus, made some amazing friends there, but ultimately knew Ohio was where I wanted to be and came back to finish up at OSU. Something about being able to walk up and buy a $5 football ticket just didn't seem like home!

+4 HS
Buckataltitude's picture

Agree. When my wife got free student tickets, it felt weird.

+1 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

It's weird how much this hits home for me.  I left in 2009 for the Navy and have wanted to come back ever since.  Had it not been for my wife being stationed in the DC area that dream would have been reality this spring.  She knows how badly I've wanted to come back but doesn't understand it.  I have to tell her "unless you're from there, you just won't get it."  Finally, after months, hell years, of begging she has at least entertained the idea and is actively discussing it.

+8 HS
BuckeyeLawyer's picture

Great article as always. I have never lived outside of Ohio but I had the same feeling of home with the Columbus suburb I live in. 20 years ago, when I graduated high school, I couldn't get out of the Columbus area quick enough. I moved to Cincinnati and, 5 years later, degree in hand, I couldn't wait to come home. 2 years after that I returned to my original hometown. There are nostalgic moments that lead to great stories with my children but it is so much more. It's home.

+2 HS
Bucksfan's picture

I also can attest.  Left for the pacific northwest in 2005, and lived there until last year.  It is really awesome up there in a lot of different ways.  But, Ohio never left me.  Looking back on it, I'm sure I annoyed the hell out of everyone up there with my OSU/Reds/Bengals pride, about which I was highly vocal and it never mellowed.  It is great to be back in the land of Skyline, goetta, brats, metts, local butchers, creamy whips, real Oktoberfests, church festivals, and the Redlegs.  It's really great to be able to say I lived out there in a really "cool" place for a long period of time.  But I really identified with what Lebron dictated in the SI article, much like Ramzy and others have reflected here.  Sure, Lebron may have been enticed by a few #1 draft picks, but how is that any different from being attracted to the burgeoning microbrew cultures and urban renewal developments that the 3 C's are experiencing?

Ohio is home.  And it's also becoming a cool place to live beyond that.  If Ohio is good enough for the best college football coach and the best basketball player to call home once again, then it's good enough for a schlub like myself.

+6 HS
WC Buckeye's picture

I haven't lived in Columbus since 1995, but I do try to get back as often as I can and will very likely retire there someday - at least for summers. For a lot of us, Columbus or the OSU campus are where we "grew up", no matter where we spent our youths leading up to our being there, and therefore we always will have a special fondness for the place, even if/when it changes beyond our recollections and imagination, as it certainly has.

You folks who have been lucky enough to stay in the area should be thankful, mostly, although I have to say that not having snow in my life has changed my view of it pretty permanently. GO BUCKS.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

+1 HS
RedStorm45's picture

"Home is where the heart is."

(Apologies for one of the most overused cliches known to humanity.)

+2 HS
ChimdiCheckyaselfbeforeyawreckyaself's picture

Great read - I travel around Europe/Americas for work, I have seen some pretty cool places, but nothing compares to the feeling of getting back home to Columbus!

A little is better than nada, sometimes you want the whole enchilada

+3 HS
BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

About a third of the way through this article, I realized it was Wednesday and I must be reading another Ramzy masterpiece. So much truth in everything he says here, I've been in Orlando for 8 years and have recently found myself looking at potential job opportunities back in Columbus. I'd move back without hesitation. Ohio Is home, and always will be.

+4 HS
CharlieBuckeye's picture

I have been in Florida since 1994. First in SE Florida and now in Clearwater/Tampa area.  Although I run into Buckeyes all over the state there is nothing like coming home to Columbus to visit family and friends. 

Ramzy - Thank you for a wonderful respite from what is a very grey and rainy day here in the Tampa Bay area.

"To have a great life simply follow this rule:  Do not bring undo conflict into your life..."
Charlie Baker - OSU - 1986

+5 HS
theopulas's picture

come back home JB....we will always care....come on home.....

Theopulas

DCNick's picture

This article really hit home for me. I'm from Cleveland and went to college outside Columbus. I live in DC, which is a pretty cool city in my opinion. Now I'm expecting my first child and thinking about the Midwest again. I married a Michigan woman and could totally see us moving to Cleveland, Columbus, Ann Arbor or maybe even Detroit (I'm an urbanist). There's something about going back to where you are from and it's even more attractive when it has a lower cost of living. My siblings and parents have all left Cleveland but I would love to live in Ohio City or Lakewood. 

+6 HS
Denny's picture

FWIW, I'm excited as hell to raise my daughter in DC.

Taquitos.

+1 HS
DCNick's picture

Depends on your in boundary school! I expect to stay but the idea of cheaper childcare and banking some money when selling the house is attractive.

bucndc's picture

I have a feeling that once your daughter turns 5 and is ready to start school, you won't be able to leave DC fast enough.

I live in DC now, but raised my daughters in Columbus (Olentangy HS). They are still there. I live in Dupont. I couldn't imagine raising a kid in this hell hole.

+1 HS
Denny's picture

Be the change you want to see in the world, guy who describes where he lives as a 'hell hole'.

Taquitos.

-1 HS
bucndc's picture

I would say worse things than that but its probably not appropriate.

The only reason I am here is for the money. The traffic, people, politics all suck butt. I recently bought a condo in the Arena district. One to have a place when I visit Columbus. Two to have a place to live in Columbus.

DC is appealing to 25 year old and gays. I am neither.

By the way, let me help you with that Quote you botched.

                                                                            A man sees in the world

                                                                           What he carries in his heart.

                                                                                          - Goethe-

-1 HS
Denny's picture

I would say worse things than that but its probably not appropriate.

Okay.

The only reason I am here is for the money. The traffic, people, politics all suck butt. I recently bought a condo in the Arena district. One to have a place when I visit Columbus. Two to have a place to live in Columbus.

It's nice that you are making money! It is unfortunate that you don't like DC. I don't drive a lot, have very nice neighbors in a quiet neighborhood, and don't worry much about the politics. Congrats on your purchase in Columbus.

DC is appealing to 25 year old and gays. I am neither.

You live in Dupont Circle. I'm not sure what other vibe you would expect.

By the way, let me help you with that Quote you botched.

                                                                            A man sees in the world

                                                                           What he carries in his heart.

                                                                                          - Goethe-

I didn't attribute the 'quote' to anyone, as it is an aphorism that cannot be 'botched'. I'm not sure why quoting a Gotye song is appropriate here, but that quote says more about you than it does me.

Sorry to hear you don't like the District of Columbia. Try as you might, you're not going to convince me that I don't like it here, or that I'll want to flee for the suburbs when my kid gets into school, or that I'll be a bad parent for not doing so. I'm quite happy and comfortable with my decision to live and raise a family here.

Taquitos.

-1 HS
bucndc's picture

Some say cliché some say aphorism, it's still a take off from the master.

I do not care if you like DC or not. I know many people who do. It was simply an aphorism. Even you could understand that.

I just hope for your wife that your love of the city is because you are 25.

-1 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Like so many on here, I would love to go back home to Ohio, whether in Columbus or Cincinnati.  I just hope when I graduate from grad school that will be a real possibility.  Central Illinois and Chicago can be great, but it is not home.

Home is where the heart is and Ohio is...

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

+4 HS
BroJim's picture

Ohio Forever!

I season my simple food with hunger

+3 HS
3GB's picture

I left Ohio in 2011 after graduation and I've missed it ever since.  Last week (prior to LeBronathon 2k14) my wife and I made a commitment to return to the Great State in 2016 to settle down and start a family.  Feels good man.

Ramzy, you're so right about carrying that pride.  I'm on the opposite side of the country but I always hear from my coworkers asking why I go back and visit Ohio so much.  "Who would ever want to live in Ohio?"  LeBron's essay is all I'd have to show them.  I can't wait to come home.

Go Bucks

+10 HS
BuckeyeChief's picture

As some  of you know, I dropped out of Ohio State and joined the Navy in 1996...I have been in Virginia since 1997. I have no relationship with my family (long, sad painful story) and I have basically lost contact with anyone and everyone I have known prior to the Navy. I miss Ohio, and my wife and kids won't ever have the same love or see the same experiences I have there. My home of record is still Columbus. I immeditately strike up friendships with whoever at my current command is from Ohio (First question is "Are you a Buckeye fan?"...then I am honorbound to look out for them!). I miss it, but in my case, it is safer and smarter for me to stay away.

 

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

+13 HS
daveyt11's picture

Thanks for your service to our country!

+3 HS
BuckeyeChief's picture

Thank you!

 

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

+1 HS
IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

I left Ohio in 2007 for work and my career has really taken off and I've never been happier in my life, but I do get excited when I fly home to visit family in Scioto County and when I drive up to Columbus to visit friends. I seriously disliked Ohio winters so only thing weather wise I miss about Ohio are the autumn Saturdays during football season when the leaves change and the night air is a little crisper. The air has a different smell to it and warm apple cider and wagon rides are the perfect weekend evening thing to do after watching the Buckeyes stomp somebody earlier in the day. There is nothing like it and there is nothing like home.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

+8 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Left Ohio at the age of 15. 28 years now in Florida with brief stops in California & yes a year back in Ohio when I was 20. When I go back - it's home. Unequivocally. I'll always consider myself an Ohioan regardless of all this time in this godforsaken, hot, humid, rainy, backwards place. If anyone has a need for a good photo/video guy in Columbus - let me know. I'd come back in a minute...

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

+6 HS
Michael Citro's picture

Sounds like we need a support group for Ohioans that need a job offer so we can come home.

Poison nuts's picture

Here, here!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

+1 HS
IH8UOFM's picture

I check at least weekly on Ohio job boards. Soon.

PasadenaBuckeye626's picture

So you're telling me that Lebron had no intention of going to college?

Go Bucks!

+3 HS
roamingbuckeye's picture

I had grown to love Ohio more after leaving than I probably would have had I never left.

I dont know what it is about Ohio that makes this so true but pretty much every Ohio native I know would agree.  I've transplanted to Texas and the form that state pride takes down here is completely different than what I know from home. Most of the Texas state pride I've seen takes the form of "this is the absolute greatest place in the world and you're crazy if you would ever want to live anywhere else EVER", to the point where they can be downright rude when finding out other people's backgrounds/origins. (I've gotten a lot of "oh I bet you're glad to be down here now!" and "welcome to the heart of southern hospitality, I bet its a refreshing change from back home" when they find out I'm from the "northeast"). Interestingly, the most fanatical devotion seems to come from a majority of people who have never left the state of Texas (yes, there are a lot of those).

On the other hand, growing up in Ohio, most of the people I went to school with couldnt wait to leave the state and get away.  And a lot of them did, whether for school, or later, for jobs.  But now a lot of them are back or trying to get back.  It helps that Cincinnati and now Columbus have started to catch up with the urban revitilization trend thats been rebuilding urban communities across the country.  But even before the Short North expansion or Over the Rhine rebuilding, Ohio has been drawing people home. I would be back in a heartbeat, if only my career choice existed somewhere in the state.

"I just cant wait to play football." -UFM

+6 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

definite word.  I grew up in Yellow Springs and wanted to get as far away from Ohio as possible.  Once I got that there I realised the starting point was the best place.  Ironically now I work even further away... but I follow the Bucks more closely now than even when I was a student.

Funniest memory coming back was at a cousin's wedding (pre wifi days) on a football saturday (I know! the sacrilege!) at which my mom was blatantly wearing a radio earbud during the ceremony to listen to the game.  rather than be appalled the rest of the family kept stopping by for score updates.  Of course there are many generations of inveterate Buckeye alumni in our family.  My own kids grew up on NCAA xbox playing the beloved scarlet and grey while humming the fight song.  brings a tear  of pride to my eye.  indoctrination complete.

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+5 HS
tracyre's picture

Great insight, great article. Having left Ohio for west coast too a long time ago I only love Ohio more. Went to the Maldives a few years ago for my honeymoon and went back to Columbus for a game last year.  I uttered to my best from college at the game as the band marched in that there was no better place on earth than right there. 

I meant every word.

+2 HS
TMac511's picture

Being an Ohio State student, and reading this article, it sounds like I have some thinking to do. I have always wanted to move somewhere warmer and with more opportunity for my chosen profession, but I know I will miss everything about Columbus and my Buckeyes.

+3 HS
tracyre's picture

Do well in ur profession and u can come back all the time!

+2 HS
WC Buckeye's picture

Go see the world, just remember where you're likely to want to return. You can't fully appreciate it until you've not had it for awhile. Some might think that's not the case, but I sure do - I would pay to see an Ohio State archery match if I only had the chance.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

+1 HS
Rob Reese's picture

Good to see another Buckeye here with a taste for archery.

+6 HS
WC Buckeye's picture

VERY NICE!! Thanks for the gift on a boring Thursday morning!

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

Denny's picture

Go out see things. Learn about other people and places. Find out what it is you enjoy and a place that makes you happy. And then if you want to return to Ohio, bring the spirit of those other places back with you. 

Taquitos.

+2 HS
sgehrich's picture

I can attest to this. I moved to Florida in 2002. I met my wife here and have created a great life here, but I always miss home - Ohio. I get the same feeling of being home as soon as I cross the border, and would move back in a heartbeat. 

One question, unrelated to Ohio. I keep seeing where people say Baker is the top player in Ohio. I wonder why that is. Hilliard, in terms of rankings, is the top rated player in Ohio. I have no ill will toward Baker and wish him the best, but let's call the guy that committed to us the top in state player, since the rankings back that assertion. 

+1 HS
AngryWoody's picture

I think either Scout or Rivals has Baker ahead of Hilliard, but most would agree Hilliard is the top player.

Our Honor Defend!

bleedscarlet's picture

I assumed Baker was considered the top Ohio player because he has great value at LB and RB, where as Hilliard, as far as I know, plays strictly LB.

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

@OSUDefender's picture

Lived in the Florida Panhandle for four years after graduation from OSU and had a similar experience to most who have commented. Fun time, but not home. 

Been back almost 15 years.

Ashtabula's picture

For 22 years a group of five friends have vowed to return to our hometown. Stops in Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, New York, Kentucky, and Indiana have not disrupted the dream. Three of us have made it back home and the other two continue trying to make our dream a reality.

+1 HS
thatlillefty's picture

Great article and great thread. I always knew I wanted to experience living somewhere outside Ohio. So after college, I moved to DC. It's a tremendous city in so many respects, and I'm very happy I moved here. But since leaving Ohio, my affinity for the state has only grown. I don't know when or if I'll ever move back to the 513, but I can't wait to fly back next week and see all my family and friends. Ohio is home and it's always great to be back.

+1 HS
AngryWoody's picture
+3 HS
buckeyedude's picture

OMG that hilarious! They just don't make movies like that anymore. Maybe for good reason?

 

 

XUbuckeye's picture

Great article Ramzy! This really hits home for me, I was born and raised in Ohio where I lived for the past 27 years. I recently took a job in Florida, dying to get out of Ohio... And boy do I miss it now.  It took me leaving to fully appreciate what being an Ohioan is, it's something that stays with you forever and something I'll always appreciate. 

"So when you get knocked on your butt, get up, get over it, and then next time, kick their ass." - Woody Hayes 

+2 HS
sb97's picture

I agree with what so many others have already said.  I have been living in Austin Texas for the last 5 years.  Great town.  Lots of energy.  But Columbus is still my home

+2 HS
Crumb's picture

I tried to leave Ohio when I was 19, it took me less than 3 weeks in Utah to realize that Ohio is the best place I could ever live. I spell home O-H-I-O.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+2 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I have never lived outside of Ohio and I don't want to.  I do return to my actual hometown fairly frequently (Mansfield), but Columbus is home now.

Class of 2010.

+3 HS
Rob Reese's picture

I was contracted for several years out in San Diego, CA. It doesn't get any more beautiful than that.  Still, despite having every opportunity to stay, I couldn't get back home fast enough.

+2 HS
bucndc's picture

Great article. I currently live in DC. I have been trying to get back to Columbus for about 7 years now. The difference in income between the east coast and Columbus has made that impossible. I come back each fall for the games and get very emotional each time I walk into the shoe. I love you Columbus, but dammit, why can't  I get paid in Columbus what I get in DC.

+1 HS
Urban Nation Army's picture

Stephen A. Smith's quotes in the background of this video really hit "home" in relation to this article. There's no place like home.

Bet you can't say "Bert Bielma is a bumbling buffoon" five times fast.

+1 HS
Young_Turk's picture

I don't buy what Lebron has said about home-coming.  I think he figures Miami is done-for, and Cleveland was his best shot for more championships.  The combination of the young talent that Cleveland has, the cap room to acquire more talent, and most importantly to the Whore from Akron, a nice short contract so he can hold everybody hostage next year about his free agency.  It is the singular recurring theme, from where would he go to high school, to The Decision, and again most recently with Miami.  He's got Brett Favre syndrome and we're all suffering.  Otherwise, nice article. 

-4 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

He only took a two year deal with the early option so that he can maximize his earnings as a new max contract with Cleveland will likely increase greatly when the NBA gets a new TV rights deal, etc. which will increase the salary cap and amount of a max deal.

Just makes business sense for him to do so.  

I'm not a Cavs fan, but I do believe LeBron coming home and trying to get a championship for the people of northeast Ohio is part of it.

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

+1 HS
Rob Reese's picture

Yeah, there's simply no way other way to take the man but at his word.  It seemed genuine to me and to nearly everyone else who read the *essay* to S.I.  Moreover, he's surrounded by super smart people who understand the financial ramifications if he were to leave C-Town after 2 seasons.  I'm not sure anyone here could truly wrap their heads around the monumentally negative impact leaving would have on LBJ for the rest of his career.

The King has come home. 

+2 HS
Young_Turk's picture

I've found that "truth" is not a rifle-shot, but rather a shotgun spread.  I agree that the truth in "the decision 2.0" has an aspect of revenue maximization.  I'm sure there is an aspect of it related to home-coming.  For me, it also has a much-larger aspect of him wanting his ego stoked by all the attention.  It also gives him power in the organization.  Hire this coach or I'll leave.  Fire this coach, or I'll leave.  Acquire this player, or I'll leave.  Um, Lebron just a quick question, how much of your salary is for Lebron-the-player, vs. Lebron-the-GM?

I guess I can't see a way to forgiving him for having a coach and a GM fired from an organization, then quitting that same organization.  Way to ruin a couple peoples lives so you can have your big moment on ESPN.  

btw, not my down vote on the "oh hell no" guy above.  

-1 HS
northwest_buckeye's picture

I can absolutely appreciate the sentiment with moving back to Ohio. I grew up in a small town in NW Ohio, went to a college in a little larger small town in NW Ohio, and moved to Columbus after graduation. I took a promotion to move to Atlanta a few weeks after I turned 25, so I packed up and headed south. I had 4 insanely awesome years living in Atlanta, and loved every minute of it. I was in charge of the entire Southeast for my company, traveling every week, only to come back to Atlanta and party my balls off every weekend. I met a lot of great friends and spent my mid 20's the way they were supposed to be spent; I mean, I did it right. Drunk lunches at Joe's on South Beach, oyster shacks along the Gulf, some of the best barbecue you could ever imagine... You name it, and I got a chance to do it while living in Atlanta and stomping all over the former Confederacy. But every time I'd come home for the holidays or an OSU game, something inside always clicked. For some reason, I was just happier inside the friendly confines of Ohio's borders. So at age 29, I got a chance to take over our Midwest region, and couldn't pass it up. I moved back to Columbus with my girlfriend and had another great year living in in the Arena District. But it still wasn't enough... So last fall, we bought a house in the same boring hometown I grew up in, about 8 houses down the street from my parents.

I still travel every week for work (currently in Nashville... The polar vortex makes for very pleasant conditions in mid-July), but the drive back home from Detroit Metro is one of the best feelings I've ever had. Crossing I-75 into Toledo, that gorgeous shithole along the muddy Maumee, is still my favorite part of the week. There's something to be said about home. It never leaves, and resisting the urge only made it stronger. Sure, I can't have sushi delivered at 11pm any more (or even get sushi within about 25 miles), but I can also drive my golf cart down the street and see the same faces I've known for 30 years... As they flag me down for a quick cocktail in the garage served out of a red plastic cup. I'm no Cavs fan by any means (hate if you want), but I'm glad to see LeBron back where he wants to be. And I can totally understand it.

Because that's why I came home.

I've never said I 'hate' anyone because that would imply I had any emotion for them whatsoever.

+3 HS
nuke's picture

After leaving Ohio I served six years in submarines and was stationed on the west coast, east coast and Spain. I met people from all over the country and was always proud to tell them about the Buckeyes. There were choices as to where to put down roots but never a doubt. It was home here in our great state.

+2 HS
another-navy-buckeye's picture

How true this is. I've been away from home for over 13 years since I went active duty. Lived in some great places and may never live there again, but there isn't a month that goes by where I don't miss it.

DenverBuckeye

+1 HS
cajunbuckeye's picture

I left home in '81. 3 continents, 6 countries, 8 states. Buying what's left of the family farm at the present. I'll be an Ohio resident in 2017. I've been trying to get back since 2005. All of my cherished memories and some of the best people I know, are tied to a county in OHIO.
 

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

+2 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

So at the end of the day, I have three questions:

1. Why is Ramzy so damn gifted as a writer?  2. How are we so fortunate to have him commenting on this site?

3. I know that I cannot go back to my home town of Warren, since my job does not exist there. But is there not a ton to be said about planting the OHIO flag across the globe? I work with three other people from Ohio who are all huge OSU fans, and we all agree that, even though we live in Minnesota, Ohio and OSU are still the very best.

+2 HS
phxbuck's picture

Mansfield------>Columbus----->Phoenix------>Chicago....and now find myself finding every reason to go back whenever I get a chance.

Shangheyed's picture

Nothing wrong with a Little OH.... IO, if only to piss of TSUN.

chemicalwaste's picture

Obviously this article went over well.

I'm originally from upstate NY. We moved to ohio when I was 6. New York has a home feel to it still when I go back, but not quite like Ohio. Everywhere we travel to, is always nice to see the "welcome to ohio" sign on the road, or knowing that when the plane touches down again we'll be home.

In my adult life I haven't lived outside of Ohio, but I've found what I need here in ohio. My family, my wife, and big deer. And The Ohio State University. It's been a long time goal to have my degree from osu and soon that'll be the case.

God luck to Mr. Baker. Enjoy the sunshine state.

+2 HS
OSUbonobo23's picture

Currently in Eugene, OR for grad school. The Ducks are great, but the city is boring. I'd give anything to be living back in C-bus right now. Ohio, especially Columbus, just has a natural draw it seems if you were born and raised there. There certainly aren't the mountains and outdoor life I get to experience in Oregon, but it's just not fun here like in Ohio. Plus it's more fun to suffer as a fan of Ohio sports teams with other Ohioans.

I put the The, in The Ohio State Univeristy.

+1 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

Love/'miss Ohio and get back when I can.  SWFL has been home for 14 years now, and it would be hard to leave the backwaters, beaches, and friends.  You have to go where life takes you and try to never regret.   BUCKEYENEER said it well in one of the comments above when he talked about "people".

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

The look on the dude to the left of Dwayne Wade is priceless.

If you ever make it up to Toledo Ramzy, I would be honored to buy you a Sam Adams or three at Fricker's or Dave's(local OSU pub in downtown Maumee).

 

 

+1 HS
Floyd Stahl's picture

Best. State. Ever.

+2 HS
GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I fled to the Marine Corps. I got to travel all over the globe. Wherever I went I always heard people talk bad about where they lived in bars. I realized this is what people do. People find a reason or and excuse to not make the best of where they are from. After spending 5 years in Quantico, I realized how much I missed Ohio. I missed the people, the countryside, the women at that time. I remember I had a few good friends whom went to Ohio State, so every chance I had during football season, I would get off work on Friday, drive 6 hours to Columbus, drink that night at the tail end of the party, wake up and go scalp my tickets..... party all Saturday, wake up and drive back to base Sunday morning. I was taking a huge risk by going "out of weekend boundaries" but at the time I was young, and simply could not handle spending every weekend watching Buckeye games in my barracks room. Luckily I never got into any trouble. I just remember Ohio was my getaway. I wasn't supposed to do it, but after realizing how much I missed it, I knew it was where I belong. I had to travel all over the continental U.S. to figure out what was what I wanted. I now reside in Indiana (boo I know), but I live less than 15 minutes from the State line. It might sound dumb, but even when I cross the State line to go to my parents place, even though its just a stone back road, I still sort of have that same feeling I got when driving through the night in West Virginia thinking I'm getting closer to Ohio. Sounds lame, but I think most people here would agree there is something special about Ohio. It's the people.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

+1 HS
NW Buckeye's picture

Moved to the Puget Sound area in 1977.  Above is a view from my living room.  Love it here.  However, every time I travel back to Columbus for a game or otherwise I feel like I am at home!  Sometimes I think I can see it from my living room - you probably can too, it's just over the rainbow!

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

I was so desperate to leave Springfield that I got on a plane 4 hour after graduation for Chicago. I was a nanny for a year, but came home and went to college. The day of my last final, I jumped in a moving truck and headed south. That was 1998 and I've been here ever since.

I love Ohio. My family is still here and I make the 900 mile drive 3-4 times a year. No matter what, when I'm crossing the Ohio River on I-75, I get all giddy when I see that 'Ohio Welcomes You' sign.

My daughter starts college in the fall. tOSU was always the plan, but some health issues are keeping her close to home. She and I frequently talk about going home once she finishes medical school. She was born in Ohio, but we moved when she was just 3--but make no mistake--she is Ohio thru and thru.

I am always amazed how many Buckeyes are here in Panama City. I guess sometimes clichés are just snazzy ways of telling the raw truth: you take a person out of Ohio, but you can never take Ohio out of the person.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.