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Most Awesome State Quarter Championship

December 24th, 2008 by Conor Lastowka · 33 Comments

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:


alaska1.gif vs wisconsin.gif

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

State Quarter DiCaprio Medal


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:

Santa Schnappi

Merry Christmas everyone!

As always, the entire State Quarter Tournament archives can be found here.

Tags: RiffTrax · bracketology · currency · schnappi · state quarters

33 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Queen Shadowrama on Dec 24, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Yes!! Alaska wins! It’s a Christmas miracle! Not that Alaska needed a miracle…cause it’s so awesome.

  • 2 Nick Fechter on Dec 24, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Yes! Schnappi is so freackin’ awesome! HORRAY FOR SCHNAPPI’S CHRISTMAS SONG!!!!

    Oh, and good job alaska….

  • 3 Remmie Barrow on Dec 24, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Could someone tell me what kind of instrument that guy in the first video was playing?

  • 4 Conor Lastowka on Dec 24, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    You mean the KazooKeylele ?

  • 5 Jonny Jit on Dec 24, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    In all my life I could never have thought of a more hilarious way to exploit the song “Get In the Ring” as you have done today, sir.

    I bow to your comic genius.

  • 6 Brooke on Dec 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Ich leibe Schnappi :)

  • 7 Remmie Barrow on Dec 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Isn’t a kazookeylele european?

  • 8 Barry on Dec 24, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    In this economy, it’s a no-brainer: Bears definitely beat Bulls. Or Cows.

  • 9 Deg on Dec 25, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Hurrah for Alaska! Merry Christmas to all!

  • 10 Brooke on Dec 25, 2008 at 1:08 am

    I don’t know… away from market… have you seen chicago sports lately? just about anything can make Bears and Bulls look bad…

  • 11 gojikranz on Dec 25, 2008 at 2:27 am

    i cant beleive i have lived to see hte contest end. magnificent shall we gear up for the 2009 rendition now?

  • 12 Suzanne on Dec 25, 2008 at 5:22 am


    …Now what am I going to do with my life?

    …This is the worst Christmas gift ever.

  • 13 Tv Miller on Dec 25, 2008 at 7:23 am

    I was okay until I saw the Schnappi Zombie Snowmen!!

  • 14 Rob T Firefly on Dec 25, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Alaska has been having arough time of it lately, what with its Sarah Palins and Ted Stevenseses. Perhaps this victory can be the thing that brings the state – to coin a phase – “forward.”

  • 15 BEMaven on Dec 25, 2008 at 10:25 am

    It’s the gift I always wanted for Christmas.

    A combination toy piano-ukelele-crack pipe.

  • 16 chrismartindeed on Dec 25, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Ehhh, that video…

    Bjork clearly hasn’t aged well.

  • 17 BEMaven on Dec 25, 2008 at 10:33 am

    And I don’t understand German.

    Which part of Schnappi glows?

  • 18 Jmaes on Dec 26, 2008 at 5:58 am

    Oh the unpredictable twists and turns … the set-up leading us to believe Wisconsin had it in the bag … the logic defying cameos of Calvin, Hobbes amd Axl Rose in the championship round … I’m mentally exhausted & utterly stunned that in the end irony has been banished to hell.

    Alaska may have won, but I too want a Wisconsin State Quarter tee shirt.

  • 19 NanoRiffite on Dec 26, 2008 at 11:23 am

    How about a T-Shirt of the KazooKeylele-playing guy?

  • 20 Conor Lastowka on Dec 27, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Ted Stevens has considered your proposal and has this to say:

  • 21 Mstmompj on Dec 28, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you Conor, for making me feel truly old.

    But indeed Alaska’s quarter rules!

  • 22 Rob III on Jan 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Huh. You brought Wisconsin back from the grave just to go ahead and deny it again.

    Conor, do you know what bears do in the woods in Alaska? They don’t keep killing Wisconsin, that’s for sure!

  • 23 andrew on Jan 14, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    The kid in that video is Derek Moore, circa 1992.

  • 24 SexSlave on Apr 12, 2011 at 12:52 am


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