Thursday, January 06, 2011

I'm Certainly Not Simple

I've taken to listening to the San Diego sports talk station. Mostly because they don't talk Lakers Basketball the entire day. In fact, they mostly talk about NFL football and lately about Big Ten football as the San Diego State Football coach (Brady Hoke) is rumored to be courted by Michigan to be their next football coach.

It discussing just that situation when the radio host was talking to a former NFL player originally from Illinois. Here's a snippet of that conversation:

Host: You're from one of those Midwest states, right? Iowa?

Former NFL player: Illinois.

Host: Yeah, I knew it was one of those states in the middle that start with an I. I don't really care about those states. They're just flatlands that I fly over when going from coast to coast.

(The host was smart enough to state that he was probably going to get killed for that one). The host then went on to ask the former NFL player from Illinois if he could explain what it meant when other people described coach Brady Hoke as a "Midwest guy."

Host: What does that mean? When I think of the Midwest, I think of people who just want to move to the coasts. Nobody moves from the coasts to the Midwest. Hoke wouldn't want to move to Michigan to shovel snow. So, when I think of someone being a "Midwesterner" I think of them as simple.

Former NFL player: Well, now I'm offended at that.

And so was I. Frankly, I realize that no one think of the Midwest until election night when they're the country that decides the fate of the election. Or until a snow storm hits Chicago and delays flights. But really? Simple? That's ridiculous. And I take offense to that.

Here are things about being from the Midwest that I would describe as being inherently Midwestern. All of which are better descriptions than "simple."
  • Hardworking
  • Strong work ethic (according to Wikipedia, the Midwest has a higher employment to population ratio than the Northeast, the West, the South or the SunBelt states)
  • Humble
  • Smart
  • Quietly strong
  • Speaking "standard" English- no accents here
  • Genuine
  • Truthful
  • Honest
Those are just off the top of my head. A none of them are offensive. So, radio host of 1090 a.m. in San Diego. Get a thesaurus and an open mind before you open your mouth.

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