2008 is already old news to many of you, but there are still many great things to look forward to this year. It’s a leap year for one. And the Olympics are always fun. (The universe may come to an end on May 20th, but who’s counting?)
But the truly exciting thing about 2008 is that it marks the final year of the US Mint’s State Quarters program, which has been the single greatest reason to get change since my senior year of high school. We’ve had a great run thru the various designs each state has picked to represent itself, and frankly, I’m sad to see it go. After this year, never again will you have the thrill of receiving a quarter back from the vending machine, glancing at it and remarking to yourself, “Huh…Remind me never to go there.”
After the final 5 designs were announced, I decided it was time to crown the true king of State Quarters. The only way to do this, obviously, is through a Final Four style bracket. Fifty coins enter, one emerges the victor and can claim the title of “Most Awesome State Quarter!”
Here’s how it works. I considered dividing up the entrants into regions based on themes. Animals (Kansas), People (Alabama), Boasting About Your State (North Carolina),and Miscellaneous (Wisconsin). But I decided that to do so would take a lot of the fun of unexpected matchups out of the picture. I decided to pick names out of a hat and fill in the first 50 seeds of a 64 seed bracket based on the order they were drawn. This might make for some lopsided first round matchups, but it could also result in some fun designs going head to head. Because of the uneven nature of 50, some quarters received first round byes. The criteria for victory will be decided soley upon which quarter I think is better, it has nothing to do with the quality of the state (rest easy New Jersey.) Nothing is decided ahead of time, anything can happen!
The bracket is presented below. Action in the first region will begin soon. I hope you’ll join me on: THE ROAD TO THE MOST AWESOME STATE QUARTER!
Click for a bigger look, or right click and save
The State Quarter page on wikipedia offers the easiest layout, best image quality and an obscene amount of random information about them (go figure)
You can click on the “State Quarter” category link in any article to see the entire series nicely summed up