Please press play on the below video before beginning to read this post:
Our journey began 11 months ago to the day. But the true State Quarter journey traces back in 1999, when each state took five finalists, whittled it down to to a selection of varying quality (god knows what Ohio’s four rejected ones looked like…), and released it upon the unsuspecting masses. Though each quarter was designed by a talented person/committee, or in Minnesota’s case, plagiarized by a talented person/committee, once we began pairing them up here, it was quite obvious that some had what it takes to advance and some did not.
We started with fifty, and ended up with two. Here’s where we are now:
The final State Quarter battle really sums up the state of Awesomeness in 2008. Which is truly more awesome? The Alaska quarter, with it’s giant, murderous bear, really speaks to what you considered awesome as a child. Big, scary and legitimately impressive. It’s the quarter that Calvin & Hobbes would have designed. Sixth-grade-me, who had notebooks with Ferrari’s on them and thought it didn’t get any cooler than gathering around a stereo with friends to listen to Axl Rose’s profanity laced rant on “Get in the Ring” quiet enough so your parents couldn’t hear it would have loved the Alaska quarter. But then you get a bit older, probably right around middle school, you spend some time on the internet and all of a sudden you realize: Wait a second…Awesome things aren’t awesome…Things that suck are awesome!
The Wisconsin quarter embodies this cynical, ironic, internet-age definition of awesome. The kind of awesome that means watching foul mouthed 12 year olds review movies on youtube, relishing in the Beverly Hills Chihuahua trailer, or even a guy playing ukelele/kazoo/keytar covers of The Final Countdown. A big cow head, a wheel of cheese, and a banner with a single word that seemingly contradicts the presence of both of those items adds up to a great big stew of awesome. As I’ve said before, Wisconsin is the only quarter that I would wear on a t-shirt.
So what is more awesome? Something that is actually awesome, or something that sucks so much that it’s awesome? The answer lies in “Get in the Ring”. Listening to the song for the first time in years, I’m amazed that a song like this was ever released, let alone on a multimillion selling album by one of the most popular bands of all time. It’s sprawling, vulgar, maniacal, unintentionally hilarious and impossible to take seriously – unless you’re a sixth grade boy. And as I listened to it all the way through for the second time this afternoon with a big grin on my face, I decided that I didn’t like this because it sucks…I liked it because it ruled in sixth grade and it rules now! So this time around, I’m going to embrace the truly awesome. Go to hell, irony!!!
The winner of the Most Awesome State Quarter competition is Alaska. Nobody’s getting in the ring with that bear. Not even Axl.
Most Awesome State Quarter – Alaska
And just in case you actually listened to “Get in the Ring” all the way through and need a palate cleanser/warm shower, click on Santa Schnappi for some holiday cheer:
Merry Christmas everyone!
As always, the entire State Quarter Tournament archives can be found here.