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It’s Hard Not to be Bromantic About Baseball: Laurel Wilder for Governor of Brohio

| On 16, Jan 2014

Governor of Brohio Candidate, Laurel Wilder

Hello, my name is Laurel Wilder, and I am ready to be the first Governor of Brohio.

I have all the qualities necessary to be the best possible governor of Section 117. I know, when you hear the phrase “Governor of Brohio,” you automatically think of a boy. I am not a boy. I will be upfront about that shortcoming. However, this small fact aside, I still embody the characteristics of bro-ness needed to run Brohio.

I’m not taking about embodying the characteristics of a stereotypical frat bro or something along those lines. No, I mean bro in the best sense of the word. To be a bro means to be upbeat, carefree, to not let the potential for failure or difficulty diminish you. It’s why Nick Swisher is the perfect embodiment of the bro; he is constantly enthusiastic and always looking for the next way to make someone smile, even if he’s had a rough day himself.

These are the qualities you want to look for in your next governor of Brohio.

When I first heard about this contest, I thought it sounded cool but didn’t give it much of a second thought. I knew I had the qualities needed, but felt a little intimidated by the prospects of others applying. It wasn’t until Mike emailed me later in the day, encouraging me to apply, that I figured, “Why not?” I had just finished a massive project at work and was getting used to the idea of new-found free time. What better way to spend a few evenings than running to be the Governor of Brohio?

After much brainstorming with my friends and coworkers (and politely turning down the idea of performing a rap battle with myself), I decided to just sit and talk to the camera about why I would make the perfect candidate for the next Governor of Brohio. As you will see in my video, I share pictures and stories of my Indians pride, knowledge, involvement, and passion.

There’s more to why I should be selected as the governor, though, than just what is in the video. I know this story may not have any impact on whom the Indians select to be part of the small group of finalists competing for the position during Tribe Fest on January 25, but I figured a deeper look into why I, a girl, would want to win the title of Governor of Brohio would be a smart move.

You want someone leading that section who is happy to be there and who looks forward to every Indians game, regardless of record, weather, or opponent. I’ve been there and I’ve done that, and I can do it again. I was there for the epic rain delay last May. I willingly covered games against Detroit and other difficult teams during 2013. I worked at Progressive Field during the summer of 2012, one of the most difficult seasons to attend nearly every game. There was a point during that season where fans did nothing but gripe to us as employees during the game and, instead of joining in and agreeing with their woes, I encouraged them to look at the positives that could be found and went to work every day with a smile.

The Governor of Brohio needs to be someone who can spread this positivity, who can rally this section and get fans excited about a game in which no one else may be cheering along. I can do that for the bros in 117 and throughout the ballpark. I’ve spent much of the past few years trying to spread enthusiasm for the Indians wherever I go. I talk baseball with all my coworkers and have been called the biggest Indians fan at the law firm where I work. I never went to a baseball game with the same person twice last season, instead inviting a different attendee every time in order to cultivate the largest Indians’ fan base that I could.

To me, the ballpark is about far more than just sitting and watching a game. It is about belonging and uniting with a group of people who share something and using that bond to forge a deeper connection. That is what Brohio is all about – uniting fans and bringing an energy to the ballpark through that unity. As cheesy as it sounds, Cleveland baseball has given me that deep connection with a group of people that others find through various community activities and organizations. Who better to lead Brohio than someone who knows how important it is to be united?

Despite it’s negative connotation, a bro is really just someone who has found a connection with a group of people that extends outside of themselves. A frat bro finds himself connected to his fraternity brothers and the Governor of Brohio finds themselves connected to another whole section of bros. Someone who leads this section has to understand why that connection matters and why it’s important to foster it.

When I graduated from college a year ago, I was done a semester earlier than anyone else I knew. I moved back to Cleveland without my friends, without a job, without that sense of belonging that I had in college. I had my family and an opportunity with Did The Tribe Win Last Night. In the first few months of post-grad life and the struggle to come to terms with being an adult, my continued involvement in baseball gave me something to turn to and a place to establish myself. While I now have that coveted full-time job and group of friends in the Cleveland area, the core of everything for me in this city will always be the Cleveland Indians. I want to be the Governor of Brohio because I want to bring that connection to an entirely new group of people. I want fans to know what it means to cheer together, to watch a game together, to simply be together.

Being a bro and an Ohioan is about unbridled optimism and a drive for success. It’s about showing other people what you love and why you love it and getting them to love it, too. If there’s one thing I know I can do, it’s inspire and encourage. As the video says, go Cleveland, go baseball, go big or go home. I’m not going home.

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