Cincinnati vs Columbus: The Hell Is Real Showdown

What Makes Winning Hell is Real So Important to FC Cincinnati Fans?

Jim Dedmon | USA TODAY Sports

For the most part, I believe Cincinnati and Columbus get along well. The majority of the 15 hockey fans living within the Cincinnati Metro area root for the Blue Jackets. A large amount of Southwestern Ohioans, including myself, will always love and root for The Ohio State University. There are plenty of Reds and Bengals fans who call central Ohio home. There is no general animosity toward Columbus. I’ve always thought of Columbus as Cincinnati’s little dorky brother, who we get along with even though he gets annoying at times.

This is the first time our cities are truly in direct competition with each other. Please don’t try to tell me that UC vs. Ohio State is a contending rivalry; we can get into that another time. Not since the basketball teams competed in three consecutive National Championships has there been a real rivalry, and one football game every five years or so is not and will not be considered as a legit rivalry.

Columbus may not like the dorky little brother analogy, but let’s look at the facts.

Cincinnati was founded in 1788. Nestled between the Ohio River and seven hills, it was the first western American city. Columbus was founded in 1814, simply because we needed a town for the state capitol, and it was in the middle of the state. Cincinnati organically grew in the heart of the country, whereas Columbus was just sort of built.

Columbus Crew was also just kind of thrown into the MLS when it started.

There were no major league sports teams in Central Ohio and it possessed a large urban area. FC Cincinnati, however, was an organic, home grown team. The fans of Cincinnati made MLS happen. I can understand the jealousy of Crew fans; they have been around for 23 years and want the respect of the new team just down the road. To be blunt, we don’t care because we earned our spot. We appreciate what we have and show up every game because of it. Our city was carved by a river and built at the foot of hills, and Columbus… Well, that was a nice flat area to build a city.

There is one thing I believe all Cincinnati Sports fans can agree on – Columbus is, indeed, the Capital of Ohio.

There is no questioning that. I also think most Cincinnatians could agree that Columbus is one hell of a city if you want to work in the insurance industry. There is also COSI, and who doesn’t love COSI? Sure, we have awesome breweries, beautiful landscapes, The Banks, Fiona, Union Terminal, and all the other things that make Cincinnati the greatest, but Columbus does have a sweet museum, were I learned how to check my nuts for cancer, and that saved my life.

As you can see, we do not hate Columbus.

I don’t grit my teeth thinking of Columbus like I do when I think of that one city that is both of our cities drunk uncle that lives up by the lake. I can say Columbus Crew without the same animus as when I mention that football team in Western Pennsylvania. We just want to beat Columbus. We are nobodies “little brother”.

Why is the FC Cincinnati-Columbus Crew rivalry called ‘Hell is Real’?

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