Whether you love the Buckeyes, the Blue Jackets, or the defunct teams of the past, Columbus has a little something for everyone. Columbus may not be Ohio’s largest city, but it is its most spirited college ball at the heart of daily life.
Most Columbusites will follow Ohio sports at large, rooting for Cleveland and Cincinnati, depending on the league. The city itself has two major sports teams, the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL and the Columbus Crew of the MLS. Both teams joined the city in the late nineties and are working towards their first championship wins. The Columbus Crew is getting close, finishing third in the 2020 season.
At the very least, the Blue Jackets have their beloved Stinger, a bright green bug mascot that takes to the ice to support the blue. Are his eyes a particularly frightening shade of red? Yes. Do we still love him? Absolutely.
Then there is Ohio State University. The Buckeyes are at the very center of sports culture in Columbus, drawing impressive crowds year after year.
Like most cities, Columbus has had its fair share of failed or folded teams. There was the Columbus Bullies, originally a member of the American Professional Football Association. The team transitioned to the newly formed American Football League in 1940, winning back-to-back championships before the league was disbanded during World War II.
The Columbus Chill was a professional ice hockey team that played under the East Coast Hockey League, still operating today. The team left Columbus right before the NHL’s Blue Jackets, relocating to Reading, Pennsylvania. Still, the Chillers left an impressive legacy in Columbus. Devoted to promoting skating in the community, the Chill became one of the first franchises to build, own, and operate their own arena, introducing the sport to a generation of Ohioans like never before.
One memorable blip in the Columbus sports timeline was the Invaders, an indoor soccer team that played under the National Professional Soccer League. The team lost thirty-five games and won only five, deciding, to the surprise of no one, to fold after one season.
For Columbus, Ohio locals, these sports stories are the stuff childhoods are made of. Sure not every team has the staying power of the Buckeyes, but that doesn’t make them any less legendary.