Magazine picks sport that it feels best represents Ohio

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Sports Illustrated magazine has announced it will celebrate its 50th anniversary year by featuring a different state each week and the sport that best represents it.
So what sport does the magazine thinks best represents Ohio?
Football, with the national champion Buckeyes and other college and high schools that have produced legendary players and coaches?
Nope.
The magazine has chosen the All American Soap Box Derby.
So, in the Aug. 4 edition that will underscore Ohio, the longtime sport for which Akron is best known will get top billing.
A magazine spokesperson called the derby "a defining event within the state that taps into the true passion for sport in the state."
It comes at a time when enthusiasm for restoring the event to its former status has begun to generate significant support, said derby promoter Bob Earley.
NASCAR announced a multiyear partnership with the derby, holding out the possibility of a return to the level of national exposure that was lost when Chevrolet dropped its sponsorship in 1972.
"There's all kinds of people who have jumped on the bandwagon in the last few weeks simply because we've formed this association nationally with NASCAR," Earley said.
Race day this year is July 26, but festivities turn the derby into an event almost a week long.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)