If you’re anything like us, chances are you watch more Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives than you’d actually like to admit. It’s a staple of the Food Network lineup and one that basically introduced us to both Guy Fieri and his fictional “Flavortown,” a land where the food is always out of bounds, but could it actually soon become the name of a major U.S. city – a new petition certainly hopes so.
Columbus, Ohio might be home to The Ohio State University and the very first Wendy’s hamburger joint, as well as the setting for Ready Player One, but many don’t realize it’s also the birthplace of Fieri. The California-vibing, red classic Chevy Camaro-driving chef was born in Ohio’s second largest city back in 1968 as Guy Ferry, though he later changed his surname to Fieri to honor his grandfather. Fieri – along with author R.L. Stine – is perhaps the most famous person to come from Ohio’s capital city and a petition on Change.org thinks Fieri’s catchphrase would be a perfect new name for Columbus.
Given the country’s current landscape, one that stems from racial injustices, many are looking towards the past and the actions of our country’s historical leaders and figures. Columbus, named after 15th Century explorer Christopher Columbus, has already vowed to remove a major downtown statute of its namesake but the city’s name might soon become the next target – and this Flavortown thing is starting to gain some legitimate steam. Listen, do we actually think this could become the name of one of the larger cities in the United States, no? But with almost 28,000 votes as of Monday afternoon, it’s clear there’s a faction that wants the Columbus’ name changed.
Tyler Woodbridge, responsible for the petition, wrote this message on the website:
Columbus is an amazing city, but one whose name is tarnished by the very name itself. Its namesake, Christopher Columbus, is in The Bad Place because of all his raping, slave trading, and genocide. That’s not exactly a proud legacy.
Why not rename the city Flavortown? The new name is twofold. For one, it honors Central Ohio’s proud heritage as a culinary crossroads and one of the nation’s largest test markets for the food industry. Secondly, cheflebrity Guy Fieri was born in Columbus, so naming the city in honor of him (he’s such a good dude, really) would be superior to its current nomenclature.
I’m not up to date on my Columbus town charter, so whether it takes a council vote or a petition or a town referendum – let’s get the ball rolling for a more flavorful tomorrow.
Woodbridge is a Columbus native currently living in Tennessee, though he intends to make the trip home to deliver the printed petition to city officials. Of course, Woodbridge would be fine with naming the city after an Indigenous person – he just wants a change.
Oh, and Budweiser has also jumped on board with this petition, offering every resident of the city a free Bud Light Seltzer if the name is ultimately changed to Flavortown.