Float Like a Butterfly, Rank States Like a Bee!
Muhammad Ali is the greatest boxer ever. The following two states aren't all that great. Next round of State Rankings coming your way!
Our friend is an avid boxing fan and wants me to rank boxers as a Reader's Request. He's our age, so we sorta get it - Heavyweight boxing was on its last breath when we were in high school.
We may do that at some point, but not right now.
When listing out the best of the best, our friend mentions Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd Mayweather, and Mike Tyson. We asked the simple question: Isn't Muhammad Ali the greatest?
Like that's his nickname.
Our friend said it depends on your criteria. Which made us chuckle because, friend, you are about to find out our criteria is all over the place.
Today marks the anniversary of Muhammad Ali becoming heavyweight champion of the world. On the morning of February 25, 1964, in Miami, Cassius Clay was a substantial underdog to the reigning champion, Sonny Liston.
By the end of the night, he would make history.
The bout lasted six complete rounds, and Liston didn't come out for the seventh, claiming his shoulder hurt too much to continue. It didn't matter; from start to finish, the 22-year-old Ali showed he was the champ and well on his way to becoming an American icon and number #1 on our made-up top rankings of boxers.
Ali would fight Liston again a year later, cutting out six rounds by knocking him in the first. The champ then fought guys named Patterson, Chuvalo, Cooper, and Terrel, to name a few.
He only lost when he fought the Vietnam War Draft board. In 1967, it knocked him out of boxing for a few years due to his refusal to enlist.
Ali returned to the ring in 1970 to fight guys like Frazier (Thrilla in Milina) and Foreman (Rumble in the Jungle). His career ended in the early 1980s when he lost three of his last four matches.
The Greatest culminated with a record of 56-5; 37 by knockouts. That's impressive.
Of course, we are here to rank the states. Our criteria? Depends.
The following two states are not what we would call great. Nor are they impressive. But we must begin somewhere! So let's get into our next state rankings!
Founded: December 10, 1817
Do we know the state capital off the top of our head? Yes. Jackson.
Have we been there? No
Do we want to go? Sure.
Back in our twenties, our buddies were always talking about making a trip to Oxford, Mississippi, to take in an Ole Miss game and enjoy the scenery. The Grove has been lauded as the Holy Grail of Tailgating by Sporting News, a hilarious reference. We never end up going, but we feel like we will venture out when the Gators are playing there.
The senior U.S. Senator recently said that President Biden's desire to nominate a black female to the Supreme Court was promoting affirmative action, a legal precedent the court is currently facing, and therefore needs to be handled by white folk.
He also stated that Confederate soldiers were Americans who fought bravely. Interesting mental pretzel you've baked there, Roger.
Mississippi was the second state to secede from the Union and produced the Confederacy's only president in Jefferson Davis. Who, according to Roger, was an American and fought bravely.
In the 1860 election, Mississippians didn't even put Abraham Lincoln on the ballot. Gross.
Why did we rank it here?
Mississippi was recently ranked as the worst state to raise a family. Although it costs about five cents to live there a year, and I'm pretty confident the food is amazing, people keep fleeing the Magnolia State.
Plus, somebody has to be last. I think everyone can agree; if you were going to rank the states and begin at the bottom, wouldn't Mississippi jump immediately in your mind?
Founded: July 3, 1890
Do we know the state capital off the top of our head? Yes. Boise.
Have we been there? No
Do we want to go? Not really.
Idaho is the land of the potato, and we are big fans of potatoes. We like them fried, baked, or mashed, and we will take them sliced and diced or whole. Depending on how we cook it, we will pour butter, sour cream, salt, or ketchup on those bad boys. Did we mention cheese? We would throw cheese on that sucker all day.
Idaho produces one-third of the potatoes grown in the U.S., which keeps them out of the cellar.
According to people who track this stuff, Idaho ranks last in per-student funding. The state legislature doesn't think investing in children's learning is a good thing, and they actually cut funding. Although last month, the governor proposed to increase it substantially.
Ruby Ridge is a stretch of land close to Naples, Idaho, towards the top of the chimney in Idaho's borders, between Washington to the left and Montana on the right.
In August 1992, an eleven-day siege took place with the United States Marshall Service, the FBI, ATF, and Randy Weaver. The Government was there to serve a warrant on guns charges. Weaver, a former Green Beret, threatened to kill John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and I believe disco.
Three people died in a shootout. Unfortunately, someone killed a dog in the disaster as well. This perceived government overreach, along with the siege at Waco, Texas, a few months later, was used as motivation for Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nicholas to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma City three years later.
Why did we rank it here?
Doesn't Idaho just feel like the Mississippi of the North? Supposedly it's the fastest growing state over the past two years, but I don't believe it. Ever met anyone from Idaho or recently gone on a trip there?
No one goes there. The last football coach of their major university took a job in Alabama, and it was a huge step up. The first person to tell me they know of someone in Idaho that isn't related to me gets the first OKH t-shirt (when we are allowed to make such expenditures).
Getting back to Ali, we always liked his ability to use his words as a weapon. Leading up to his championship bout with Liston, Ali called him a "bear" and, after the fight, would "drop him off at the zoo." Here are a few of our favorites:
He's too ugly to be champion.
Even if you dream of beating me, you'd better wake up and apologize.
The best one was this:
I am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; our name, not yours; our religion, not yours; our goals, our own; get used to me.
The Greatest indeed.
What are your thoughts? What states need to be next? Share them below!