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Most Awesome State Quarter – McConaughey Regional Round 1

January 28th, 2008 by Conor Lastowka · 22 Comments

We continue the Road to the Most Awesome state Quarter with Round 1 of the McConaughey Regional. Need to catch up? Click here

McConaughey Regional Round 1

wyoming vs georgia

Two contrasting state quarters from the beginning and the end of the project demonstrate the evolution of the state quarter. Georgia’s quarter, the fourth one released, looks very old school. The laurel wreath, the positive words, the outline of the state all show that the designers believed they were creating a state seal, which to the best of my knowledge, Georgia, as well as every other state, already has. The giant peach would be much better served if it was the only object on the quarter, was made 150% larger, and had little flattened specks of Aunties Sponge and Spiker on the bottom of it. Contrast the quarter to Wyomings, whose detail-less chrome cowboy appears to be the male counterpart to the infamous mudflap girl. Adorning Wyoming’s license plates with the same image gives the state an edge with branding, and also gives every bronco riding cowboy a chance to claim that they were the original model for the logo.


Winner: Wyoming – Sorry Georgia, we really love your peaches, but draw the line at shaking your tree.


texas vs new york

Two titans face off in a mega-first round battle. Both put in textured versions of their states along with one stand out object and a slogan. Texas’ Lone Star is placed very nicely on top of the instantly recognizable state outline, though I question the legislature’s decision to swap out the design of Ozzy Osbourne taking a leak on the Alamo at the last moment. That would have gotten the kids interested in coin collecting! New York’s quarter is also quite nice. The Statue of Liberty looks great, as always, and “Gateway to Freedom” emphasizes the feeling many people had upon seeing her for the first time. And you know what? I think that it’s great that New York City was issued its own quarter! I have a blast every time I go there. But it’s inappropriate to consider it for victory in a state quarter contest.


Winner: Texas – By emphasizing the state, it presents a more united front than the big dog from the east



ohio vs nevada

Nevada, which is evidently The Silver State, stumbles badly with their quarter design. When the first thing that springs to your mind upon viewing a state quarter is “Hey, that reminds me of the cover of that Poco album that there were always four copies of for 99 cents in the used vinyl section of the record store in college”, you have problems. It looks like a shirt that Napoleon Dynamite might wear. It’s quite possible that Nevada just took an old Lisa Frank trapper keeper design, erased the horns off of the unicorns, and slapped it on the quarter. It’s terrible. Fortunately for Nevada, it’s going up against Ohio. Evidently, someone called Ohio’s bluff on the “Birthplace of Aviation” claim they’ve been trotting out on license plates for years and they were forced to add the “pioneers” clarification to the quarter. This is because Kitty Hawk, North Carolina is the birthplace of aviation. Everyone knows this. That’s where the first flight took place. So Ohio’s quarter has the dubious distinction of being the only quarter to include spin on a false claim. Besides, any list of aviation pioneers that does not include Ham the Chimp is just plain incomplete.


Winner: Nevada – Let’s just move on before I start to get really angry


maine vs hawaii

Most people are used to seeing Hawaii enclosed in a square, on the bottom left corner of their map of the US. If you can get over the shock of seeing it in a circle, you are treated to one of the most unique state quarters. Words that you can’t understand, and a rendering of the islands that make them look downright tiny compared to the colussus towering over them. I’m not proud of the fact that as far as I know, that could be either the most important political figure in the history of Hawaii or just a beloved local eccentric who poses for pictures with tourists outside of the Club Med. But the mystery is alluring. Maine on the other hand is located up on the exact opposite corner of your US Map placemat. The quarter, though unremarkable, does present its state in a flattering light. It looks like if you wanted to get away from it all, get some reading or writing done, do some sailing, and get the definitive word on whether or not you can indeed get to there from here, Maine would be your place to do it.

Winner: Hawaii - The serene beauty of Maine is dwarfed by the colossus of Hawaii and his mysterious message

McConaughey Regional Round 1

Tags: RiffTrax · bracketology · currency · state quarters

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Onil on Jan 28, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Congratulations, the terrorists just won. New York was robbed.

    Looks like I’ll be supporting Nevada’s pretty ponies for the rest of the competition.

  • 2 Octavius on Jan 28, 2008 at 9:54 am

    I completely agree with your Mcconaughey Regional analysis and particularly enjoyed your description of Hawaii’s quarter. It was noble of you to not point out the fact that “Ka Pono” sounds like a dirty word…

    Speaking of which, I suspect the horses on Nevada’s
    quarter are meant to symbolize the Mustang ranch – another reason for their deserved win over the Ohio

  • 3 Barry on Jan 28, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Sorry, you lose. Ohio truly was the birthplace of aviation. The Wright brothers grew up there, they started their bike shop there, and they did all their aircraft design, engineering, and construction there, both before and after they flew their plane at Kitty Hawk. All their testing of practical aircraft was done in Ohio as well.

    The only reason they headed to the beach in North Carolina was because they needed a fairly flat area with lots of wind. The winds at Kitty Hawk were about 27 mph, much faster than the winds available near Dayton, Ohio. The greater air density from being at sea level during warmer temperatures helped as well. So, I guess you could say that North Carolina’s claim to fame is that they’re full of hot air.

    Put that in your quarter competition and smoke it!

  • 4 Yanni on Jan 28, 2008 at 10:14 am

    That’s right! North Carolina is just a bunch of tail-coat riding, free loading bums! Go Ohio!

  • 5 Conor Lastowka on Jan 28, 2008 at 10:15 am

    The only way that the Ohio state quarter could be any lamer would be if instead of a design they etched a lengthy explanation in two point font of why they truly are the birthplace of aviation instead of the place where the first flight actually occurred

  • 6 DE on Jan 28, 2008 at 10:25 am

    That Poco album cover was designed by Phil Hartman.


  • 7 wurwolf on Jan 28, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Yay! Thanks for bringing the ponies, Nevada and Wyoming!

  • 8 BoB3K on Jan 28, 2008 at 11:01 am

    I’m sorry, but that sounds like the coolest quarter design imaginable.

  • 9 Jen on Jan 28, 2008 at 11:54 am

    As a born and bred Ohioan myself, I will attest to the fact that we will clutch at any straws we can in order to look like we suck less. Come on – we live in OHIO. Can’t you give us some dubious aviation claims to bolster our spirits?

    The emphasis of the astronauts reminds of my favorite Colbert Show moment, when Stephen was interviewing Ohioan Neil Armstrong, and, when commenting on the number of astronauts that have come from Ohio, he asked him, “What is it about your state that makes people want to flee the planet?” There’s a quarter motto if I ever heard one – The State That Makes People Want To Flee the Planet.

  • 10 Conor Lastowka on Jan 28, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Nice. To reiterate, we’re not passing any judgment on States here, just their quarters. However, the more you think about it, the more flawed the “Birthplace of aviation” claim is. Let’s say your parents are living in Ohio. Your mom gets pregnant, they go shopping for baby clothes, have a shower, flip through the name books, all in a nice Ohio town. After 7.5 months of pregnancy and all the work that goes along with it, your dad gets a major promotion and moves to North Carolina, where five weeks later you come into the world. North Carolina is now your birthplace. Ohio is just some sort of weird “seeds sown/conception” type of deal, but who likes talking about that sort of thing, let alone bragging about it? Ugh…

  • 11 Yanni on Jan 28, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Actually, in S. Res. 141 [108th] the US Congress declared Dayton, Ohio to be the Birthplace of Aviation. It’s law.

    And aviation is all we have :(

  • 12 Eddie Colton on Jan 28, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I disqualify Texas for using hanging rope as border decor.

  • 13 Tim on Jan 28, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah, baby! I’m filled with Missouri pride and ready for a showdown with Nevada.

    Silly Nevada…had they done the logical thing and shown some form of gambling, or maybe displayed an etching of a family’s home being foreclosed due to the father’s gambling debts, then I might be afraid of Nevada.

    A few horses running around? Pshh…bring it on, Nevada.

  • 14 Meredith on Jan 28, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    I agree with BoB3k. In fact, I think a new series of “defensive rants from states” quarters should be issued, so that people who own magnifying glasses can do something besides kill ants.

  • 15 MSTJedi on Jan 28, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    As a Texan, I’d just like to say “IN YOUR FACE, NY!” We were an entire country of our own once, ya know . . . Then we sold out to Uncle Sam. But still, we got the whole “Lone Star” thing going.

  • 16 Jen on Jan 29, 2008 at 7:55 am

    Haha … excellent analogy. I suppose conception-hosting would be highly inappropriate to depict on a quarter.

  • 17 Bairman on Jan 29, 2008 at 8:56 am

    I lived in Hawaii for three years which is the only reason I know this… the figure on their quarter is King Kamehameha who was, indeed, an important figure in Hawaii’s history. I’ll leave you to Google if you want to know more.

  • 18 Sideswipe on Jan 31, 2008 at 11:33 am

    I am embarrased by blandness of my state’s quarter. This is a blow Maine will never recover from

  • 19 Steve on Feb 8, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Having George Washington bringing his men across the Delaware River is pretty cool, but adding a tiny Tony Soprano packing heat behind a horse would have won this contest hands down

  • 20 William on Nov 16, 2008 at 9:59 am

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  • 21 A Man on Jun 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Yes, Kitty Hawk was just used for its conditions, nothing more. Two Ohio boys did all the work. I guess Ohio has no claim to aviation. Where is john glenn from, neil armstrong, orville wright. HMMMMM Maybe we will just say the birthplace of thomas edison, or will new jersey claim that.

  • 22 アニメ販売 on Jun 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I lived in Hawaii for three years which is the only reason I know this… the figure on their quarter is King Kamehameha who was, indeed, an important figure in Hawaii’s history. I’ll leave you to Google if you want to know more.