As Lebron James said to a packed Progressive Field to motivate Cleveland and their beloved Indians fans before heading into The World Series, “It is us against the world. It always has been. It’s Cleveland against the world.” And Ohio has shown it is more than Cleveland, but the entire state that has dominated the sports world.
Looking at any professional or collegiate sport rankings or champions, the four letter Buckeye state is in every single one. All top performances in MLB, NBA, MLS, NFL, NCAA Football, NHL, and UFC has an Ohioans footprint somewhere in this season, whether it’s record breakers, finals, top ranked players, or World Champions, Ohio has it all.
Although some seasons for Ohio were a heartbreaking rollercoaster, the future does look bright for the Cleveland Indians, Columbus Crew, Cleveland Browns, Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Indians made it through the regular season, ALDS, ALCS, and Game 7 of the World Series only to fall short to the Chicago Cubs, who ended their 108 year drought, leaving Cleveland now with the longest championship drought. The Indians are hungry for a title this year and definitely want to avenge the hard loss this season.
Cleveland has shown that it is resilient and that making it that far into the postseason and falling short motivates them for the next season. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost the 2014 Championship, but then came back in 2015 and went all the way by overcoming a 3-1 game lead against the Golden State Warriors.
During the soccer season, the Columbus Crew made it to the 5th round of the finals and ranked 8th in their league. Several of the players throughout the year have been called up to play with the United States National Men’s Team. The team has a very positive outlook on next season is hoping to continue to climb the ranks.
With the Cleveland Browns, their season has been heartbreaking for diehard fans, but with every storm is a rainbow for next season. They’ll have the first round draft pick and with the talent from colleges coming up, there chances for a savior is looking great.
Now the biggest heartbreak to the Buckeye state was the Fiesta Bowl game. The OSU Buckeyes were shut out by Clemson and stripped of their dreams of a second National Championship. But The Buckeyes have been in two out of three playoffs and with a season ending like that, there is no doubt Urban Meyer and his Buckeyes are motivated and determined to storm through everyone in their way of to The 2017 National Championship.
In the world of hockey, the Columbus Blue Jackets were one win short of breaking the NHL record for the longest winning streak with 16 game streak. They are going to continue dominating on the ice with The Stanley Cup and many more wins on their mind’s.
Currently the fastest growing sport is the UFC and Ohioans are not leaving that untouched. Stipe Miocic and Cody Garbrandt are both World Champions and Claymount-made Garbrandt is an undefeated champion with a record of 11-0.
Although there has been heartbreaks, joys, and frustrations, there will always be motivation, determination, and pride. Ohio is a comeback story of it’s own.
When Ohio’s athletes fall, fans are behind them to pick them up and don't make them feel as if they have failed. When they are at their highest, Ohioans are there to let the teams know they never gave up on them. It's not the athletes and teams versus the world, it’s Ohio against the world.
I love the Browns.