The RiffTrax Blog header image 1

Most Awesome State Quarter – McConaughey Regional Round 2

February 22nd, 2008 by Conor Lastowka · 18 Comments

State Quarter fest 2k8 continues! Check out all the previous entries here.

McConaughey Regional Round 1


south carolina vs wyoming

It would be difficult to find two more contrasting quarters than South Carolina and Wyoming. South Carolina employs the “Throw everything at your quarter and see what sticks” method of design, whereas Wyoming didn’t even bother to fill in the outline of their cowboy. South Carolina’s quarter is heavy on the Palm Tree…Oh, I’m sorry, that’s the Palmetto tree, which as everyone knows, is completely different. I mean, just look at how different it looks there on the quarter! It was foolish of me to confuse their staking their entire quarter on a tree that in no way could be so easily confused with the palm trees that grow like weeds out here in California and also Florida and Arizona. They’ve also got some bird, and maybe that’s a flower growing above his head, I don’t know, I don’t have a microscope handy. You know what South Carolina? Sometimes less is more. As in less crap cluttering up your state quarter means more victories in the Most Awesome State Quarter Tournament.

Winner: Wyoming – If it were possible to design an animated gif of the Wyoming horse kicking the South Carolina quarter off of the page, I would



texas vs alabama

On paper, the blind and deaf Helen Keller facing down the entire state of Texas seems to be, how to put this, a slightly unfair fight. Even if Texas were to elect a representative to face Ms. Keller, and that representative were deaf and blind as well, based on the Everything Being Bigger in Texas creed, one would be inclined to give the advantage to the Texan. But the Alabama State Quarter has a couple things going for it. One, it has Braille. Most of us only encounter Braille when our finger slips while pressing an elevator button. This classy tip of the hat to our blind citizens deserves kudos, as reading with your fingers is the type of thing that is never given enough credit as the amazing act that it is. The fact that the Braille spells out “Roll Tide” is questionable, but we’ll overlook it. Also, Alabama is one of the only states, if not the the only one, to feature a woman on their quarter. It’s quite possible that there are more bison depicted on state quarters than women, so it’s not a decision that goes unnoticed around these parts.

Winner: Alabama – A controversy breaks out when the tiebreaking vote is cast by Anne Sullivan’s great granddaughter, but the decision is upheld despite much firing of guns up in the air and yee-hawing from the Texan side of the court room


missouri vs nevada

I don’t appreciate Missouri using the tricky to pronounce word “Corps” on their Quarter when the jury is still out on how you actually pronounce the states name. I’m not familiar with the Corps of Discovery, but assume it has something to do with Louis and Clark, who appear to be navigating the river in a rubber dinghy. I’m also pretty sure that the St. Louis arch doesn’t actually span a river. (Note: while researching this, it turns out that several pilots have successfully flown planes through the arch, which gains the quarter tons of points for being one of the most foolhardy and pointless stunts I’ve ever heard of.) The Missouri Quarter also sets the record for Number of Dates included on one quarter, with four separate years getting mentioned, (not included: 2017, the year the Rams are expected to next make the playoffs.) Fortunately for Missouri, The Horses of “The Silver State” don’t look any more relevant or dignified than they did the previous round.

Winner: Missouri – Sometimes, being nice and symmetrical is all you need to do to win.


hawaii vs vermont


Vermont lays it all on the line with this quarter: “Listen, our state just makes damn good syrup.” I am inclined to agree. Real maple syrup is not to be trifled with, and quite possibly edges out fresh squeezed orange juice as having the biggest difference in quality between the real thing and the normal everyday crap that people accept instead of the real thing. There’s also some ideals, regulated to the side, freedom, unity, who can be bothered really, but Syrup! Syrup people! But then we have Hawaii, with it’s looming presence. One day, we will uncover the true meaning of the secret language on the Hawaiian quarter, as well as the identity of the giant man who watches over the islands. Until then, the mysteries prove too intriguing to vote against.

Winner: Hawaii – Tiny islands, a giant man, and surprisingly low markups on quality imported syrup.

McConaghey Regional Round 2

Tags: RiffTrax · bracketology · currency · state quarters

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michael on Feb 22, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    I think the giant man that watches over the islands is one of those huge statues from Fellowship of the Ring. That or I’ve watched the trilogy so much that everything looks like LotR. Which probbaly explains while driving today to work I didn’t question why I was in the middle of a cavalry of horses riding down to Minas Tirith to kick some orc butt.

    It’s Friday, can’t you tell?

  • 2 Barry on Feb 22, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    I believe that, coincidentally enough, the language on Hawai’i’s quarter also says, “Listen, our state just makes damn good syrup.”

    What are they referring to? Beats me. But if I’ve learned anything in my 31+ years, it’s that you don’t argue with a chain of volcanic islands.

  • 3 Artist Aaronius, Formerly Known as Aaron on Feb 22, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    For some reason i really really like Vermont’s, nothing says state pride like maple syrup right from the tree. Seriously nations and states always do this, example: Quebec’s infamous Poutine quarter.

  • 4 Joel J. on Feb 22, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Behold! I arrive from the distant future to explain the Hawaii quarter:

    The man is King Kamehameha, and in 1843 a British officer declared Hawaii a British protectorate. Five months later, his commanding officer arrived, spoke with the King, apologized and restored sovereignty to them.

    This became the motto of the kingdom:

    “The life [meaning 'sovereignty'] of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”

  • 5 Joel J. on Feb 22, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Beat that, syrup bucket!

  • 6 Artist Aaronius, Formerly Known as Aaron on Feb 22, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Yes my friend, but can one eat righteousness? Can one suckle righteousness from the land, as one can with the godly gift that is syrup!? I Think Not. Can one pour righteousness over pancakes, or bacon, or sausages?! I Think Not. Has not syrup brought more happiness with its sugary goodness, then righteousness has brought with its….righteousness?! I Think Yes! Therefore I declare in my best Winston Churchill voice, that syrup shall fight them on the beaches, and syrup will never surrender! Huzzah!

  • 7 whuh? on Feb 22, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Does the Helen Keller coin’s braille really spell “Roll Tide”?? I assume you’re missing something idiomatic in braille or you just made up something silly?

  • 8 Amicka on Feb 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    I looked it up on the US mint website, and supposedly it actually just says “Helen Keller”. However, that could just be a cover up of a massive effort to brainwash all the blind people of America in to using Tide products…

  • 9 Melman on Feb 22, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I disagree. The horses are much more impressive than some jerks in a boat.

  • 10 Beautiful Houndstooth on Feb 22, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    I am excited as I watch the field of quarter contenders narrow. I can’t wait to see who wins! I probably shouldn’t be admitting that in public should I?

  • 11 Dover on Feb 22, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Attaway wyoming, still in the running. I still mourn Idaho’s defeat at the hands of the backstabbing Dakota.

  • 12 Kleenex on Feb 22, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Does it bother anyone else that Helen Keller looks like she has no legs? The lady had a pretty hard life but as far as I know she had a pair of legs. Seriously, that quarter has always creeped me out for that reason.

  • 13 Nick on Feb 23, 2008 at 1:13 am

    I’ll be very sorely disappointed if Alabama doesn’t win. Helen Keller just seems so…abstract. It’s too weird for me not to love it.

  • 14 Adam on Feb 23, 2008 at 7:22 am

    I dunno. Seems like Alabama’s grasping at straws. Helen Keller? Is that the best they could do? I mean, let’s play word-association: Vermont-Syrup. Wyoming-Man on a Horse. Missouri-Arch. Alabama-Gun totin’, incestual, snake handlers.

    Hm. Yeah, come to think of it, Helen Keller’s a good choice. Too bad she looks like FDR.

    Go Wyoming!

  • 15 Beautiful Houndstooth on Feb 23, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I think HK being a woman and all will keep her in the running late into the show but I don’t think she stands a chance of winning the whole show since it’s an all male (mainly Connor) judging panel. Let’s have Virginia Corbett or Bridget Nelson or er… sorry I don’t know her first name Murphy judge a round or two!

  • 16 Justin B. on Feb 23, 2008 at 9:50 am

    I live in South Carolina and even I would have voted for the ass kickin’ cowboy.

  • 17 killeroo on Feb 23, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Meh, Wyoming obviously put no effort in their quarter design. All they did was stamp the cowboy figure from their license plates onto the back of it.

  • 18 Conor Lastowka on Feb 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Quite very much making up something silly, sorry to confuse.