Why The State Of Ohio Is Actually The Sports Capital Of The World

Jun 22, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; A fan sits atop a tree in front of the LeBron James mural during the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA championship parade in downtown Cleveland. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 22, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; A fan sits atop a tree in front of the LeBron James mural during the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA championship parade in downtown Cleveland. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

Ohio has seen its share of success in the sports world this year. So much so that the state is pound for pound the best.

2016 was not a year to forget if you were from Ohio. Not only was 2016 special, but 2017 is will start off with a bang as well with the Ohio State Buckeyes potential playing in the NCAA College Football Championship game.

For the first time in the college football playoff era, there is a team that isn’t a conference champion. That team of course is the Buckeyes. Football fans have disagreed with that, but the committee made the decision and nobody can change that.

On December 31st, Ohio State is going to take on Clemson in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl with a chance to be in the Championship game on the line.

Formally known as “Mistake on the lake” Cleveland is once again a title town.

Back in June, the Cleveland Cavaliers did the impossible. After being down 3-1 to the heavily favorites Golden State Warriors, who had the first ever unanimous MVP in Steph Curry, the Cavaliers won three straight games to snap Cleveland’s 52 year dry spell of not winning a championship.

It was one of the most terrific moments in sports history. After the return of LeBron James to Cleveland, people outside of Cleveland still thought it would never happen. After losing in 2015 to the Warriors, and then going down 3-1 in 2016, it appeared to have looked like the Cavs were going to have to until next year to win it all.

2016 was different though, after a Game 7 that will never be forgotten. After “The Block” and “The Shot”, the Cavaliers were NBA Champions.

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Shortly after that, it was the Cleveland Indians turn. Following their hot start, the Indians never looked back. Acquiring Andrew Miller at the trade deadline proved just how much Cleveland wanted to win it all. In turn, they were following in the footsteps of the Cavs.

Towards the end of the season, it looked as if Cleveland really was cursed when they lost Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Yan Gomes, and Trevor Bauer. Luck was not on the Indians’ side and nobody outside of Cleveland thought the Indians had a chance to win a game. Yet, the Indians proved to us, it doesn’t matter what other people think.

Upon taking the Chicago Cubs, to an intense seven games, and a rain delay that many will say really ruined Cleveland’s chances of winning, the Indians put Cleveland back on the map.

The Cleveland Browns are obviously having their struggles this year. However, with those struggles come the first pick in the NFL draft.

It isn’t just Cleveland though that is having some luck in 2016. It is the whole state of Ohio.

The top golfer in the world right now is Jason Day who currently resides in Ohio. He turned pro in 2006, and since then has been scaling the ladder of the rankings and now sits as the world’s best golfer.

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In soccer, the Columbus Crew reached the MLS Cup finals in 2015. Going from a 12-17-5 record in 2013, then reached the semi-finals in 2014, before finally reaching the championship game in 2015.

Along with those teams there is the world’s fastest growing sport: UFC. The heavyweight champion of the world, Stipe Miocic is from Euclid, Ohio and fights out of Independence, Ohio. Along with being the heavyweight champion, Miocic also has a 16-2 record.

In the NHL, Ohio is also right at the top. The Columbus Blue Jackets have the third best record in the Eastern Conference and the fourth best record in the NHL. They finished 34-40-8 last season and missed the playoffs the past two years. In fact, Columbus only made the playoffs twice since 2000. The Blue Jackets have a chance to do some serious damage this year.

Hockey has been a success in Ohio in 2016. Along with the Blue Jackets success, the Cleveland Monsters, won the Calder Cup. Since 2007, the Monsters have made the playoffs however just twice.

Last but not least, the Youngstown State Penguins beat the second ranked Eastern Washington Eagles in the semi-final round of the FCS playoffs. YSU’s Kevin Rader caught the game winning touchdown, a one-handed pass that was pinned to the back of an Eastern Michigan defender.

YSU will be playing James Madison in the FCS championship game. The Penguins posted a 13-3 record, which is their best record since 2006 when they went 11-3. During that season they lost in the third round of the playoffs.

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Being from Ohio is not always a bad thing. That especially is the case if you’re a sports fan.