Rivalry Week 2015

Ohio Is Better Than Michigan, Hands Down*

Because there's nothing quite like a good old-fashioned fight, it's Rivalry Week. Keep tabs on simmering feuds across the country right here.

There are lighthearted, chuckle-and-give-an-ol-nudge-to-the-ribs rivalries, and then there’s this one: as Ohioans, we’ve been at the throats of our northwestern “neighbors” since they were just a territorial gleam in the eye of America (which must have been seriously intoxicated at the time). This thing goes deep. Sure Michigoans (Michigoths? Michigunners?) have some totally serviceable cured meats and craft brews, but no matter what some lifestyle site that rhymes with “illest” says, Ohio is better than Michigan. Seriously, here are 12 reasons we make it look like nothing more than a sweaty palm**... 

We won the war

In 1835, the two states got into a skirmish over a 486-mile “strip” of heaven needed to control an important inland shipping route from Lake Erie. After taunting each other across the Maumee River and firing some shots into the air, Ohio won both said strip and the international gem that is Toledo. But not until after one of our dudes, Two Stickney -- wait. Two? His name was Two? Huh. -- stabbed one of Michigan’s dudes with a pen knife, drawing the only blood in the conflict. But, hey, at least Michigan got the frozen, moose-infested Upper Peninsula as a consolation prize! Lucky you guys!

We have better presidents

We wouldn’t want to embarrass Michigan by naming all of the amazing, powerful presidents who came out of Ohio, but we’d love to embarrass it by talking about the only president to come out of that state: Ford, Gerald. He has the distinction of never being elected, and he pardoned Nixon. So there’s that. Also, technically not from Michigan.

We also have better loners

Our loners are the awesomely amazing Amish. They make crazy-cool furniture, and candy, and ride around in buggies, and are generally just a pleasure to be around. You have the Michigan Militia, who are armed to the teeth and have a wolverine as their mascot, which is in no way a joy. Like, at all.


No, not the football team (wait for it... we’ll get there). We’re talking about chocolate buckeyes, which are like peanut butter cups, but five thousand times more delicious. Plus, they looks exactly like the tough, inedible nut they're named after. You guys have… um… not buckeyes. 

Halls of fame

Ohio is home to both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which are basically dedicated to the two most kick-ass things America has ever produced. Now, if only we had, say, a Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Oh SNAP! We obviously do.

Cleveland: “We’re not Detroit”

This attempt at a Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video ends with the above wry observation, but there is some truth to it. While Detroit is cringingly (seriously, it’s tough to watch) clawing its way out of bankruptcy, Cleveland is experiencing a renaissance. You couldn’t even set our river on fire now if you tried! We have world-class restaurants everywhere. LeBron is back. Our Downtown is attracting scads of brilliant millennials. It’s enough to make us feel guilty -- until we go to East Fourth and partaaaaayyyy!

Cincinnati chili

We don’t care what you say, there is nothing on Earth that can remotely hold a candle to this amazing and exotic dish. All-meat chili with a kind-of-spicy, cinnamony undertone, served over spaghetti noodles and topped with cheese? Yes, please! And give us some more in a Ziploc bag that we can take to Michigan, because those poor backwards yokels have no idea what good eating is.

Lake Erie surfers

Sure, you can surf Lake Michigan, too, if you’re looking for something super-duper easy. But we’re talking Lake Erie, brah. It’s more industrial, more dangerous, not quite as clean, and you can catch a lake wave as you ride towards the Cleveland skyline. Perfect winter day, dude.

Cedar Point

There are more horrifying, stomach-in-the-throat vertical drops here than just about any other roller coaster mecca in the US. And it’s home to the Millennium Force, the world’s first giga-coaster, with a 310ft peak and top speed of 93mph. Michigan’s biggest thrill is an island where people ride horse-drawn buggies.

Ohio’s flag is wayyy better

Seriously. Our flag is one of the coolest flags ever. Not only does it have an awesome pennant design, but it’s also freaking perfect for decorating cornhole boards. Oh, on the other hand, just what’s going on with Michigan’s flag? A moose and an elk trying to have a three-way with an eagle? Seriously. WTF?

America owes us

If it weren’t for Ohio, you wouldn’t be flying in that fancy plane, and you’d still be reading by candlelight, and you’d have never eaten a hot dog, and no one would have developed crazy conspiracy theories about NOT walking on the moon. If it’s an American accomplishment, it was probably invented in, or by someone from, Ohio. You’re so very welcome. 

And oh yeah, football

It comes down to this last and most unassailable fact: we are the first College Football Playoff National Champions. Michigan? Well, they most certainly aren’t. And their coach wears goofy pants. Case closed. 

*Get it? Because Michigan looks like a hand!
**Get it? Because Michigan looks like a... oh, never mind.

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Patrick Coleman (follow him on Twitter: @patrickacoleman) is a former Thrillist editor, who lives in Cleveland, and is obviously pissed that some of his former co-workers think Michigan is better than Ohio.