The Swayze Regional continues! Follow the insanity at State Quarter HQ!
The Brickyard meets the great outdoors in this round two matchup. Indiana boasts about the Indy 500. You are probably thinking, “The Indy 500? The crown jewel of a niche sport which has recently been completely regulated to minor league status by Nascar?” But hold on a second, because I have thoroughly researched the matter and it turns out that a long time ago, Indy Car racing actually used to be something that people did indeed care about! I know, go figure! The “Crossroads of America” claim doesn’t necessarily have a positive connotation, nor is it verifiable. The fact that Utah’s quarter is currently billing itself as “Crossroads of the West” means that an unintentionally hilarious “Ohio vs North Carolina” style feud on our hands, but in actuality it is more like “Ohio vs Ohio” wherein both states lose.
Winner – California, aka the “Destination in ‘Crossroads'”, towers over the Indy car
In a completely unexpected maneuver, South Dakota sticks Mt. Rushmore on their quarter. Yes, Mt. Rushmore, the majestic monument to the 4th inning President Races at Washington Nationals games, (Go Teddy!), finally gets some much needed recognition. Unfortunately, the wheat and pheasant lobbies weasel in representation for their own interests (wheat and pheasants, respectively) and the monument looks smooshed when it should be taking up the whole quarter. It appears to be a classic example of design by committee, and the quarter suffers for it. South Dakota glorifys four men, three of which never came anywhere near the Black Hills, whereas Massachusetts features the anonymous Minuteman, who could be a hero, could be a nobody or could be the great great great grandfather of the guy who made your girlfriend cry because she had the nerve to wear a Yankees hat to the movies that one time.
Winner: Massachusetts – If you have a gun, you are the committee
Cue up “Mississippi Queen”, we’ve got a Mountain vs Mountain showdown! New Hampshire pits the
Old Man of the Mountain Pile of Rubble against the majesty of America’s Mountains, The Rockies. At least, that’s what I assume is on the Colorado quarter. If it didn’t tell me these were in Colorado, I might assume that they were, I dunno, Blue Ridge Mountains, or Great Smokey mountains or even *gasp* The Canadian Rockies! Unless there is a tiny baseball team going on a magical playoff run and then hitting a brick wall of failure during the World Series somewhere in the corner, it doesn’t seem uniquely Colorado. And let’s talk about your state mottoes. “Live Free or Die” speaks for itself, a relic of an era where that decision had to be made and enforced every day. “Colorful Colorado” sounds like something that a third grade class petitioned the legislature to adopt as a motto. Hey third graders! Tack a threat onto your motto next time! Or die!
Winner: New Hampshire – A shocking victory for the former man of the mountain, but Colorado had too much time off with the first round bye, and couldn’t play at the lower altitude
With the entire country rallying behind them as the true Birthplace of Aviation, North Carolina seems like the team of destiny. But they didn’t count on Nebraska coming along and stirring up warm, nostalgic Apple II/GS memories. Yes, Nebraska’s state quarter is the only one to pander to the audience who grew up playing Oregon Trail on a classroom computer. The quarter scene is directly taken from one of the cut scenes in the game that you rapidly pressed the space bar to get past so you could go and hunt more animals. Bonus points because all that is missing from the cartoony sun is its two scoops of raisins. It’s distinct looking, as opposed to North Carolina’s by the numbers “early State Quarter” design. “North by Northwest” homage or not, it still isn’t very interesting to look at.
Winner: Nebraska – In an epic battle reminiscent of Villanova/Georgetown, Nebraska hits 15/16 of its second half shots to advance over a worthy foe from North Carolina