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An Ohio state of mind

Meet three hometown heroes from across the state of Ohio, and what’s fueling them.

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What does Ohioan pride look like to a pro baseball player living out his childhood dreams in Cleveland? Or to a folk trio finding success with their first single literally named after their home state? Or to a former football player bringing Cincinnati back to playoff glory? To these notable Ohioans — the Cleveland Indians’ all-star pitcher Corey Kluber, the Columbus band CAAMP, and former Cincinnati Bengals player Rudi Johnson — the state of Ohio is shaped by one driving force: the determination of its citizens.

“Drive is something that [Cleveland residents] embrace,” Kluber says. “That’s what’s expected of the people that live here and that’s what’s expected of their teams.”

“Ohio is a heads-down state,” says Johnson. “It’s a mindset from within.” The pursuit of hard work is something that Ohio residents embrace, he says.

It’s the same mindset fueling perhaps Ohio’s best-known beer brand, Miller Lite. The brewery started brewing Miller Lite in 1991, and since then has continued to innovate and do right by its home state. Thanks to the hard work of its 500-plus Ohio employees, the Miller brewery hasn’t sent any garbage to a landfill since 2009 and sits upon managed prairie grass and land used by hundreds of local farmers.

But the success of Ohio’s best and brightest, from sports to the arts to food and drink, can’t just be chalked up to hard work. Pride in their home state, coupled with authenticity, is what motivated CAAMP to pen its single, “Ohio.” And the band credits their love of Ohio to the people. “It’s a place to be proud of,” guitarist Matt Vinson of CAAMP says. “There’s a lot of real people, and I think that’s what makes good musicians [here].”

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