Any Kantuckean worth their weight in black gold holds a special disdain for our neighbors to the north, the state of O-ha-uh. Yes, making fun of Ohio is a treasured Kentucky past time, damn near a birthright.
It’s an interesting juxtaposition, us and them, one separated by about a quarter mile of polluted river and Mason-Dixon’s dotted line. The great bridge of course is Cincinnati, with its trusses extending well into the Bluegrass State which makes for an interesting pot of slightly sweet chili that is Northern Kentucky. Part good ol’ Kentucky Redneck, part Ohio Valley River Rat, blended with professional suburban transplants and heaps of German Catholic pride, NKY is a curious concotion of accents and infrastructure, countryside and sprawl. But that’s another post for another day.
Buckeyes invade our lakes, you see. They shift presidential elections. F that noise. They single handedly keep Aeropostale in business. They root for Ohio State like no one’s watching, pointing and laughing (some claim to root for Cincinnati and Xavier, but little evidence exists to back this up). On any given holiday weekend the left lane of I-75 resembles a crawling stampede of loggerhead turtles instinctively marching up the beach to roost. We take our hard earned vacations and there you are, Ohio. All of you. You mean I need TWO LICENSE PLATES?! WHAT?! “Hey, you guys’ playing cards? Let’s play Euchre!” Let’s not. “Wanna go to Dayton?” For how much?
The most ardent and narrow minded Kentuckian believes you’re only gettin mugged if you go downtown (Cincinnatuh, that is), and while that’s in many ways true, it’s still a hotbed of culture, commerce, activity and fine meats for all to conveniently enjoy. Plus, the Reds.
See, I’m not here to hate. I understand the absurdity of throwing blanket comparisons on states so demographically staggered. I realize like every famous person in history hails from Ohio. Your significant other probably does too. You have a brother in Ohio, your mom was born there, your sister went to this quaint little lib arts college up there where it was autumn all year and grades were given on a need to know basis, and blah blah blacksheep. Buckeyes birthed flight, ya know…literally, just birthed an airplane from its fertile womb. Ohio makes our tires so we can drive to Kings Island and see the Eiffel Tower and every overweight person in tank tops on earth. P&G this, P&G that. Mad props Ohio, mad props.
All I’m focused on at the moment is Ohio’s top export, at least ‘round these parts, D1 football talent. Kentucky does everything better than Ohio except grow D1 athletes. For this we must outsource and what a source it is. Ohio is a football fertility clinic and the modern globalization/domination of the SEC is particularly advantageous for UK. As the closest SEC school to Ohio, it’s an obvious and effective sales pitch. Spend your Saturday mornings wallowing in West Lafayette or enjoy a starring role in primetime between the hedges. It’s a strategy we’ve been begging for since Jeff Snedegar’s Senior Day.
Now with Ohioan Mark Stoops & Co. at the helm, 6 of the 9 commits in the class of 2014 hail from the Buckeye State, a class that’s well on its way to being the most heralded in UK history. For reference, UK had 6 Ohio commits combined from 2008-2012. Sure, it’d be nice to pull some bayou raised, NFL-ready defensive lineman from the clutches of the SEC elite, and certainly there’s no reason to stop searching for the proverbial Georgia/Florida diamond in the rough, but just as it is during election season, Ohio is now the battleground.
So even though you clog our beaches, interstates, arteries, and employ Gordon F. Gee, as long as the football pipeline is open, we cool, State of Ohio, we cool.
Now let’s all go dump our waste in Indiana. Nobody will notice.