1. You feel any sports fan whose professional team hasn’t put them through decades of agony isn’t really a fan.
Bengals, Browns, Cavs, Reds, or Indians. You know true pain. When fans of the Yankees or the Colts complain about a bad season, you want to tell them, “Okay, talk to me after 27 years of a constant disappointment so deep and raw you start to subconsciously equate it with your own shortcomings and failings.” You also have long-standing grudges about whether Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame and whether LeBron James should be exiled to Siberia the second he sets foot back in Cleveland.
College sports, on the other hand…well, college sports aren’t too bad.
2. You have, at some point, considered your spelling skills a point of state pride.
3. You think the South has it all wrong. There’s only one state up north.
Yes, Alaska’s farther north. So are Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. But those aren’t up north. Those aren’t the state-that-must-not-be-named. Also, you’ve been known to omit the letter M from professionally important documents if you’ve written them during a specific week in November.
4. You let people merge in traffic.
This honestly shouldn’t be a trait specific to Ohioans, but if you’ve ever lived elsewhere in the country, you know it’s pretty much fact. Because, for Ohioans, being polite and neighborly isn’t contingent on whether or not there’s a plate of shatterproof glass between you and the people you’re interacting with.
5. You’ve physically winced at the words “flyover state” before.
And the phrase was inevitably uttered by someone from New York, a place you’ve described, on several occasions, as “a nice place to visit, but not somewhere I’d ever want to live.” In fact, there’s a pretty solid chip on your shoulder towards anyone living on the coasts, and you’ve been known to be hypersensitive about any slight directed at the middle of the country.
6. You know good beer doesn’t come from Milwaukee.
Seriously, why does Milwaukee get all the credit here? Have they tried Milwaukee’s Best? It tastes like every other city’s worst mixed into some sort of awful, watery skunk brew.
Cincinnati, on the other hand, still has 19th-century beer cellars under the streets of Over-the-Rhine. Columbus is practically leading the craft beer revolution. And Cleveland’s Great Lakes is showing up everywhere. Forget Wisconsin and forget Colorado. Hell, forget Germany. Ohio’s where it’s at.
7. You’ve stood next to an astronaut in your grocery checkout line.
Ohio’s been home to 25 astronauts, including greats like Neil Armstrong and John Glenn. Hell, we invented flight (though North Carolina keeps trying to steal the credit).
The joke out-of-staters like to pull out is, “What is it about your state that makes people want to flee the planet?” But they always seem to forget that the astronauts have a tendency to come back to Earth and become Ohio politicians. It’s okay, everywhere else, jealousy totally looks good on you.
8. You consider highways without borderline-insane religious imagery to be drab and boring.
Whether it’s the terrifying “HELL IS REAL” sign on I-71, or the Big Butter Jesus on I-75 that, in an act of God, was struck by lightning and burned down to rebar to become Terminator Jesus.
9. You’ve voted for the lesser of two evils.
Look, states that don’t decide every single presidential election have the luxury of voting for someone they truly believe in. You, on the other hand, have to unplug your phone line every fourth year in October and have been known to TiVo sports just so you don’t have to watch political ads.
10. Your class field trips weren’t to zoos or museums, they were to halls of fame.
Okay, and maybe to some zoos and museums (Cincinnati and Columbus are home to two of the country’s best zoos), but, seriously guys, when you can go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, why would you go watch a caged animal shit and nap?