When it comes to big states, there can only be one king (sorry, New York). The real competition comes down to California vs. Texas -- a battle of red vs. blue, good vs. evil, surfboards vs. 10-gallon hats, avocados vs. Texas toast.
The big-state debate has been revived this month thanks to Trends Magazine, which poses the question: Which state, California or Texas, is the blueprint for America's future? We'd love to read the full article and get Trends' insight, but its website costs $195 per year, so we'll just have to take matters into our own hands.
Let's simplify the discussion for everyone who can't afford Trends' absurd subscription price.
Texas sucks. California is king. Here are 10 reasons to prove it.
No. 10 -- People Want to Come Here
Would you rather see the Golden Gate Bridge or the Alamo? How about Hollywood or the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum? The San Diego Zoo or the Fort Worth Zoo? People don't really visit Texas. You can only go to Cowboys Stadium so many times.
Come to California and see Yosemite, Fisherman's Wharf, Wine Country, Lake Tahoe, Disneyland, Joshua Tree, Alcatraz, the Gaslamp Quarter and Sequoia National Park.
In the mood to see it all, hop in the car and take the Pacific Coast Highway in any direction.
No. 9 -- Big States Don't Cry
When political life gets tough, we call emergency legislative sessions. We make tough cuts. If things are going south, we hold a recall election. Make fun of budget woes if you must, but we'll get through it -- and we'll do it with dignity.
When things get tough in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry throws a hissy fit and threatens to secede from the United States.
Grow up, Texas. Plus, Perry's just crying wolf.
No. 8 -- Our Waistlines Are Under Control
Everything in Texas is bigger -- including Texans.
When it comes to 2008 state obesity rates, Texas scored a 28.3. California scored 23.7.
Dear Texas, call us when your pants fit.
No. 7 -- Hit the Beach
Texas has a few beaches, sure. (We know, we know, 600 miles of shoreline.) But there's a reason we're famous for ours and they're not famous for theirs. The California coastline is host to the most beautiful beaches in the country. Dare we say it -- the world.
Plus, our best beaches are generally a short drive from where people actually live (think La Jolla, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Half Moon Bay). Texas' biggest claim to beach fame is probably South Padre Island, and while it is admittedly quite lovely, it's also a major spring break destination (yuck) and really difficult to get to.
No. 6 -- World's Toughest Governor
Despite Texas being the land of unadulterated machismo, our governor can beat up your governor. So, there.
No. 5 -- We Have Options
Californians have options. Getting bored of San Diego? Drive an hour and try Mexico. Got a case of the Sacramento blues, you're just moments away from Lake Tahoe.
Los Angeles not doing it for you? Within an hour's drive, Angelenos can hit mountains, the Pacific, or perhaps the desert. Not in the mood for those options? Extend your driving time and make a break for Vegas.
Oh, sweet Vegas. Seriously, Texas. Our neighbor is Las Vegas. Your neighbor: Oklahoma.
No. 4 -- Plenty of Eye Candy
Texans have gun racks. We've got guns. And racks.
We're hot, we know it and just in case, there are enough plastic surgeons here for every Californian to look gorgeous.
And if cosmetic surgery isn't your thing -- don't worry -- we have plenty of therapists too.
No. 3 -- We Actually Invent Stuff
Yes, Texas is enticing businesses away from California to its land of fewer tax headaches, but send us a telegram when Texas invents something.
Sure, it makes financial sense to set up shop in Texas, but the Lone Star State will always live in our innovation shadow. Google can put its headquarters anywhere in the world -- they put it in California. Apple, HP, Twitter, Intel, YouTube, MySpace, the Gap, eBay -- companies that actually changed the way the world does business are in California.
We may not cut the best tax deals, but we have a lock on creativity.
We make movies, music, theatre and television. Hell, we invented blue jeans.
No. 2 -- It's All About the Weather
Texas wins! But only in the number of tornadoes, with an average of about 140 per year. Words like "Mediterranean" and "I can't believe it's January" are used to describe California weather. If you like cold, we have mountains for that, too. Arid, humid and "I miss California" are terms often used to describe Texas' weather.
No. 1 -- California Isn't Home to George W. Bush
We gave the world Ronald Reagan, and you gave us George W. Bush.
Worst. Trade. Ever.
Despite our pretty convincing case, Texas doesn't seem to agree. Check out the Lone Star State's arguments for supremacy on NBCDFW.com.