by Elizabeth Tzagournis, ’13


I went to Colorado with a mission: to find out why our neighbors in Texas or Illinois—or even way out in Argentina—think Ohio is where the game Farmville originated. And to discover why the notion exists that cow tipping is our greatest form of entertainment. As trivial and obviously untrue as this all sounds, I was positive I would find at least some measure of truth in these outlandish stereotypes by interviewing people from across the country about their thoughts on Ohio

Turns out, nobody really cares or knows much about Ohio. Shocking, right? Though I talked with people from Arizona to Australia, their responses did not include “land of the farmer” and “home of the hillbilly.” Did this deter me from my goal to reveal Ohio’s endearing charm anyways? Of course not.

Ohio is the home of aviation. Where would we be without our friends the Wright Brothers? We would be cooped up in a minivan with our families for days, trying to make it to the beach before Spring Break ended. Nobody wants that. Admittedly, cars have yet to go out of style completely, but I wouldn’t count it out for the future. Who knows what our fellow Ohioans will come up with next?

And, we all know what comes after planes:: spaceships! Ohio is home to 24 astronauts, one of the highest of any state, according to NASA. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, took his first steps here in Ohio. What other state can say that? Now, our friends up in Michigan may say we have the most men going into space because they’re trying to escape Ohio—but I see it more as wanting to spread the Buckeye Spirit to infinity and beyond.

To some, Ohio may seem like a mundane state with little to do and even less to appreciate, but they are wrong. Though 85 UAHS students gave Ohio an averaged rating of 6.5 out of a possible 10 for being an enjoyable state in which to live, Pearson Education revealed that Columbus was number 15 by population and ranking as a place to reside. With 275 cities to beat out, Columbus is in the top 5 percent. Columbus also ranked higher than Denver, Washington D.C. and even Ann Arbor. (The home of the Wolverines ranked at 228. No surprise there). Ohio is a state that deserves respect and admiration. It is not only our home and state capital, but also a highly prestigious city. Our state has turned out seven presidents since our addition to the Union in 1803. A fellow Ohioan has led this country for a collective 26.5 years. This is merely one more example of why Ohio is more than meets the eye.

Of course, I couldn’t go without mentioning one of Ohio’s most obvious claims to fame: Ohio State University sports. OSU produces more NFL players than any other Big Ten Conference school, with 47 Buckeyes currently playing in the NFL, according to 10TV news. The Buckeyes have won seven national championships and have seven Heisman Trophy winners. What’s more, the OSU men’s basketball program has the number one standing in the Big Ten and is ranked third overall (at press time) according to website the Buckeye Grove. As you can tell, the Buckeyes bring the game. We are the Buckeye State.

The Buckeye State may vary for different people. If you have ever been near a buckeye tree in autumn when the buckeyes were just ready to be picked, you would know that a spiky outer shell must be cracked before the smooth buckeye is retrieved. That’s what our mantra as Ohioans should be. The weather is less than stellar and sometimes you may feel like there’s nothing to do, but when you take a minute to peel off Ohio’s shell you just might find something special inside.