It’s suddenly chic to talk about Ohio sports!
No, I’m not referring to Ohio State’s anticipated resurrection to BCS prominence under new coach Urban Meyer.
Nor am I alluding to any news pertaining to the state’s professional football, basketball, soccer or baseball sports teams.
However, I am enthusiastically reporting on the buzz that the NCAA college basketball tournament has brought to the Buckeye state.
Sports talk on every media outlet across the country now centers on the state of Ohio, surprisingly supplying one-fourth of the participants in March Madness’ 2012 Sweet Sixteen. So, from Cincinnati to Sandusky, Athens to Akron, Dayton to Toledo, and Cleveland to Columbus, the Buckeye State is beaming with pride.
By this weekend, expect American sports fans to become better acquainted with Ohio geography and fast familiar with four of the country’s best basketball teams.
The Big Ten’s Buckeyes from Columbus, the Big East’s Bearcats from Cincinnati, the A10’s Musketeers also from the Queen City and the MAC’s upstart Bobcats from Athens, all competing in the field of 16 later this week, will force casual sports fans to quickly forget about last year’s “Decision” by LeBron James in Cleveland, this year’s Bearcats – Musketeers’ brawl in Cincinnati and decades of unfulfilled finishes with the NFL’s Browns and Bengals…because NCAA college basketball has the state brimming with excitement.
Why again will all eyes be on Ohio this week? Ohio boasts four teams while rival states like Kentucky count two, neighboring states like Indiana tally two, Michigan posts one and Pennsylvania none. Even the country’s most populated states like New York, Florida and Texas can only muster a single entrant and California can’t compute a one.
So, whether you like to float your boat on Lake Erie in the state’s north or simply glide down the Ohio River in the south, the tide of fan sentiment has universally turned to the Buckeye state. Where it’s now chic to talk about Ohio sports!
Straight talk. No static.
MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!