50 Reasons Why Arizona is the Best State in the Country

​Our Arizona-hating friends at hit-hungry Gawker completed their countdown of the worst states in America this morning. We weren't surprised by their hometown pick for the best state, and we're even less surprised we're at the bottom.

It's all true -- they could thank Arizona for dishing out a variety of daily content, including continuing SB1070 drama, boycotts, political scandals, and camera-crazy law enforcement officials. Shit, we had a guy shoot himself right in the penis in a parking lot a few weeks ago.

Instead of a card, we got a kick in the balls. But here's a thought, Gawker: we're not the worst state. Actually, we'd like to lobby for the cheap and default No. 50 spot you gave New York.

Here are 50 reasons why:

50. Even New Yorkers say we have the best pizza in the country.

49. We were quick to the punch -- the second state to name an official state gun. Ours? the Colt Single Action Army.

48. There's inspiration in the desert (and we're not just talking about peyote).

47. Hear of that sheriff who makes his inmates wear pink boxers and eat bologna while he's busy capturing illegal immigrants on tanks and arresting local journalists? Yeah, so have we.

46. Our sunsets are pretty spectacular.

45. Northern Arizona houses the world's No. 1 Anthrax research lab.

44. We're home to jumping cacti and mirages -- and we have the country's largest lodge pole pine forest.

43. Phoenix is home to the largest indoor laser tag arena in the world.

42. We understand the reason for a town named "Why." Also one called "Carefree."

41. Our backyard scorpions could take on your rats any day of the week. 

40. We make our own lakes.


39. Some of the best DJs in the world got their start here: Z-Trip, Markus Schulz, Eddie Amador, and Fashen.

38. Arizona leads the nation in copper production.

37. Arizona is the only place in the United States where mail is still delivered by mule in Havasupai, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

36. Keith Haring painted a mural here. (A bunch of local artists have, too.)

35. Arizona voters approved the best medical marijuana law in the country, even if the state's right-wingers are doing everything possible to derail it.

34. We have the best Sonoran hot dogs outside of Sonora, Mexico.

33. Arizona is the only state in the entire country that's home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

32. Ever flip through the shopping catalog instead of listen to the safety instructions on a plane? You can thank the braintrust at Sky Mall, located in Phoenix.

31. It's a great place to be a naked meth addict.

30. South Mountain Park is the 4th largest urban park in America. At 16,283 acres, it beats Central Park by 15,440.

29. It's the birthplace of rocking ladies Stevie Nicks and Linda Ronstadt.

28. The Meadows rehab facility in Wickenburg brings in the likes of Kate Moss, Elle MacPherson, Eric Benet, and David Duchovny.

27. Winter temperatures in Phoenix are like summer temperatures in Florida, minus the humidity.

26. Frank Lloyd Wright wintered here.


25. Classic westerns Rio Bravo and 3:10 to Yuma were filmed here. Also, Psycho.

24. Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas at the Biltmore, where the Reagans honeymooned.

23. We know and recognize the art of dashboard cookies.

22. Arizona's Palo Verde is the largest nuclear generating station in the U.S.

21. Muhammad Ali lives here.

20. So do (and did) Alice Cooper and Sandra Day O'Connor. So did Barry Goldwater.

19. We have one of the lowest average rainfalls in the country -- and the most boats per capita.

18. The Diamondbacks beat the Yankees at the World Series in 2001.

17. We've got the Wild West -- and Wyatt Earp.

16. Larry McMurtry, Charles Bowden, Barbara Park (of Junie B. Jones fame) are all from Arizona.

15. We're one of the hottest states in the country -- and we have more cryogenics labs (that freeze dead people) than anyone can count.

14. Prescott, Arizona is home to the World's Oldest Rodeo, which dates back to 1888.

13. Arizonans swim in backyard pools, not dumpsters filled with water.

12. Our state flag kicks ass, symmetrical, and is definitely cooler than that two-lady cartoonish thing New York flies.

11. You can bump into Japanese Idol Kylee in Chandler.

10. Arizona State University is a high-ranking regular on Playboy's Top Party School list.

9. Our official state neckwear is the bola tie (also spelled bolo), regularly worn by Steve Segall and Chuck Norris.

8. More people who really love California, New York or their Midwest home state actually live here than in those states.

7. Astronomers discovered (former planet) Pluto through Flagstaff's Lowell Observatory telescopes in 1930.

6. We're home to John, Cindy, and Meghan McCain.

5. We're also home to Taser.

4.  The original London Bridge is located in Lake Havasu City.

3. Spring Training.

2. Twilight fans can thank us for author Stephenie Meyer.

1. We have haboobs. And we don't have to worry about earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes. Take that, Irene. 

[Editor's Note: No. 24 was updated. Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas during a visit to the Arizona Biltmore.]

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