Ohio, known as “the mother of modern presidents” for being the birthplace of seven former U.S. presidents, has had a huge impact on United States history. In the early 1900’s Ohio was booming with industry. Unfortunately, when the Great Depression hit in the late 1920’s, Ohio took a massive blow to the gut. Thousands of people were without jobs and the moral throughout the state was at an all time low. With nothing else to look forward to, the people of Ohio had no choice but to turn to entertainment. One of the biggest forms of entertainment in the world is sports. Despite the lack of success in Ohio sports, Ohioans still found a piece of happiness in watching their sports teams. To this day sports are a vital part in the lives of Ohioans. With that being said, here is 7 reasons to be an Ohio sports fan.
1. Ticket prices are lower than most professional sports organizations
It is clear that based on their recent success that the Cleveland Cavaliers are the most popular sports team in Ohio. During the 2015-2016 NBA season the average ticket price for a Cavs game was $48.12. This price was lower than seventeen of the other thirty-two NBA teams. Additionally, the NFL carries the highest ticket prices out of all four major sports leagues in the United States. The average ticket price for the Cleveland Browns in 2016 was $69.13. That was the third cheapest ticket price in the entire league. I think the reason for that is obvious based on their record.
2. The Cavaliers ended a fifty-two-year championship drought
In 2003 the Cleveland Cavaliers were gifted with the first overall pick in the NBA draft. With that pick they selected an eighteen-year-old kid coming straight out of high school from Akron, Ohio named LeBron James. This young man would soon become the face of the Cavaliers Franchise. He later left Cleveland, after failing to win a championship, to join the Miami heat where he won two titles. LeBron eventually returned to Cleveland where he was connected with rising star point guard Kyrie Irving, and All-Star power forward Kevin love. During the first year back in Cleveland, LeBron led the Cavs to the NBA Finals where they fell short to the Golden State Warriors. During the 2015-2016 season LeBron and now healthy Cavs made their way back to the Finals where they defeated the Golden State Warriors in game seven after being down by a three to one deficit in the seven game series. It would be the first championship the Cavaliers have ever won and the first title Cleveland has seen in fifty-two years.
3.The Indians made it to the World Series this year and are only getting better
Cleveland sports has had its fair share of heartbreak. For decades professional sports teams north of Columbus have managed to be some of the worst teams in sports history. However, that all changed when the Cleveland Cavaliers broke the curse when they won the first championship in fifty-two years. While the Cavs were on their championship run the Cleveland Indians were right next door playing through the first half of the MLB season. The 2016 season looked bright for the Indians as they had one of the best pitching rotations in the league. On top of that, the Tribe added first basemen, and power hitter, Mike Napoli to the mix to make one of the best lineups the Indians have seen in years. The Indians started the season with a record of thirty-five and thirty which most Clevelanders were content with since the team has traditionally not been very good. Unfortunately, the Indians were faced with multiple injuries throughout the season from star hitter and outfielder Michael Brantley, and pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Without looking back, the Indians accepted what they had and battled all season to win the American League Central Division and advance to the playoffs. Although Cleveland fans couldn’t be happier, the team did not think it was enough when they swept the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Tribe fought hard to bring a World Series Championship to Cleveland, but fell short in game seven to the Chicago Cubs. Although they lost, the city of Cleveland couldn’t have been more proud of their baseball team. To top it all off the Indians have acquired All Star first basemen Edwin Encarnacion to the lineup as well as a healthy pitching rotation for next season. There is no telling what Cleveland cannot do next year.
4. Ohio State Football won the first College Football Playoff and made it back there this year
The Ohio State University is one of the most prestigious schools in the country. Students from all over the country make their way to Ohio to attend the university. Not only are they elite in academics, but they have some of the best sports teams in college sports today. The most well-known team is the football team. Ohio State’s Football team has been ranked in the top twenty-five in seventy-seven of the last eighty years. The team has also been ranked number one one-hundred and five times in its existence. Before 2014 Ohio State had won many National Championships, but when 2014 rolled around the NCAA decided to change the way they do the National Championship game. In previous years the NCAA would select the top two teams from the BCS standings to play in the BCS National Championship. However, for the 2014-2015 season they decided to make it a playoff where a committee would spend countless hours selecting four teams to play for a National Championship. The four teams are selected based on ranking and difficulty of schedule. Lucky enough, the Ohio State Buckeyes were selected to play in the first ever College Football Playoff. The ended up trampling over Alabama in the Semi-Final game and then went on to beat Oregon in the Final game to become the first victor of the College Football Playoff. Unfortunately, they fell short of being selected the next year but were back in the playoff this year where the lost to Clemson in the Semi-Final game. It is apparent that the Buckeyes will be back again soon.
5. The Columbus Blue Jackets have been within the top three NHL teams in the entire league all year
Before the 2000-2001 NHL season started the league added two more teams to its roster. Those teams were the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Even though they are a young franchise, the Blue Jackets have gone 14 seasons without winning a Stanley Cup. Even worse, they have only qualified for the playoffs twice, once in 2009 and once in 2014. Every year the team seems to be getting better but never produces the expected outcome. That is until this year. For the past two years the team has shown much improvement by winning a good amount of their games. The Blue Jackets goalie, Sergei Bobrovski, has turned out to be one of the best goalies in the league. During the start of the 2016-2017 season the Jackets got off to a slow start but battled back to be placed in the top five teams in the league. They continued that hot stretch by going on a sixteen game winning streak where they were one win away from tying the all-time winning streak record of seventeen consecutive games. Unfortunately, they were unable to tie the streak but the Blue Jackets continue to remain in the top three teams in the NHL. Who knows? Maybe there will be a Stanley Cup Playoff in Columbus this year.
6. The newly named Cleveland Monsters are coming off of Cleveland’s first Calder Cup Championship
The Cleveland Monsters are a semi-professional hockey team in the American Hockey League. The Monsters are the farm team for the Columbus Blue Jackets. In previous years the Monsters weren’t always the farm team for the Blue Jackets and they weren’t always called the Cleveland Monsters. Prior to 2015 the Monsters were the farm team for the Colorado Avalanche. On April 17, 2015 they became affiliated with the Blue Jackets. Also, before they became the Cleveland Monsters they were called the Lake Erie Monsters. In 2016 the Monsters had an incredible season where they went all the way to the Calder Cup Championship and swept the Hershey Bears in a seven game series. This could technically be considered the first championship won in fifty-two years but Cleveland fans give the credit to the Cavs. Shortly after the Monsters won their championship the Cavaliers won their NBA title. With both these teams winning championships the Monsters decided to change their name to the Cleveland Monsters to represent the city better. They even took on the Cavs wine and gold colors as well.
7. THE BROWNS WON AT LEAST ONE GAME!
When it comes to sports fans, Cleveland’s are by far the best. For over fifty years Cleveland fans had been watching their teams consistently lose time and time again. Fortunately, the Monsters and the Cavs both won championships in 2016 to break the fifty-two-year curse. On top of that the Indians battled all the way to the World Series that same year. Although they lost, Cleveland fans were beyond proud of their sports teams. Even with all the success going on there was one team that just couldn’t seem to hop on the winning train, the Browns. The Cleveland Browns have been a losing team since 1964. That was the last year the Browns won any sort of championship. The few years after were successful, but the success quickly fell off. From 1964 to 2016 the Browns saw very few seasons above five hundred. The worst of those seasons came this past season when the Browns were two games away from earning an 0-16 record. You would think the fans would be fed up and stop showing up, but Sunday after Sunday the fans showed up to cheer on their struggling football team. On the Sunday of week 15 the Browns somehow managed to pull out a win. Unfortunately, they lost their last game and finished with a 1-15 record. At this point Cleveland fans were just happy that they won one game. Since every year has been a rebuilding year it will be interesting to see what route the organization decides to take.