Hello, my fellow journalist from the Oregonian. I came across your piece detailing 21 reasons Oregon is better than North Carolina. I find it rather offensive that you had to resort to a list comparing the two of us when the reality is that the only issue here is basketball. I get that you guys are self-conscious considering that The Ducks haven’t been to a Final Four since 1939 (until now), but let’s be real, North Carolina is clearly better than Oregon. In your list, you overlooked all of the good things that you OBVIOUSLY wouldn’t know about us, so I’m here to inform you. Oh, and by the way, Raleigh & Co. is most definitely not the state’s largest newspaper that has to resort to native advertising in order to be successful. Shrugs. But it’s all just fun and games and friendly competition, as you said. *hugging emoji*
No. 1: College Basketball
Did you know that the showdown between the Tar Heels and the Ducks will mark the 20th time that UNC has played in a Final Four? I see that this will be the University of Oregon’s second appearance in history. The Tar Heels also have five national championships under their belt compared to Oregon’s lone championship that occurred more than 70 years ago. Yikes. Finally, we have the best rivalry in college basketball in the form of Duke vs. UNC.
No. 2: Food
I know you tried to argue that your food is better than ours, but I highly disagree. In fact, Forbes named Raleigh among the Top 12 Destinations in the World to visit thanks to our culinary scene. You read that right- the entire world. Get at us after you’ve tried barbecue from The Pit. We North Carolinians pride ourselves on coffee beans, beer, and the perfected craft of native, Southern food. We also have Bojangles and Cookout. End of discussion.
No. 3: Beer
You might have more than 80 local breweries, but you definitely can’t claim Raleigh Beer Garden. They offer the world’s largest selection of draft beers available in one restaurant, and can’t even offer a paper menu due to the enormity of their ever-changing selections. We’ve also got places like Brewery Bhavana, which is a bookstore, flower shop, Chinese restaurant, AND brewery. You already mentioned that Asheville has been described as the “Portland of the South”, but what you forgot to mention was that the city boasts more breweries per capita than any U.S. city. We’re willing to compete with that, Oregon.
No. 4: Professional Sports
It’s cute to see that you have both NBA and MLS teams, but where are your NFL and NHL teams as well? North Carolina is the place to be if you’re into professional sports. The Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Hornets have stadiums within blocks of each other, while The Hurricanes and the North Carolina F.C. (former Railhawks) can be found in Raleigh. While we don’t have an MLB team yet, we do have the fact that Babe Ruth hit his first home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.
No. 5: Beaches
I’ll acknowledge that you have some gorgeous beaches along your coast, but as you mentioned, it’s usually too cold to swim and the Oregon Coast is “untamed and dangerous”. We too have places like Corolla Beach which went undeveloped until the 1980s, and we also have Ocracoke Island which is home to the second-oldest operating lighthouse in the United States. Can you say that Blackbeard used to hide out along your coast? I don’t think so.
No. 6: Universities
Year after year, both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University consistently rank among the best of the best. In 2016, Duke came in at No. 8, and UNC-CH wasn’t too far behind at No. 30 out of a Top 100 list. The University of Chapel Hill is also the oldest state university in the entire country. No university in Oregon even made the list, but with a 78% acceptance rate at the University of Oregon, I wouldn’t expect that.
No. 7: Mountains
You mentioned your mountains, so I’ll mention ours and be sure to clarify why North Carolina takes the cake in this department. Aside from the Blue Ridge Mountains, we have Mt. Mitchell which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi at 6,684 ft. Grandfather Mountain is also the only private park in the world that has been designated by the U.N. as an International Biosphere Reserve. Plus, you can literally see an outline of an old dude sleeping. How cool is that?
No. 8: Crops
You might have your marijuana, but we have the leading industry in tobacco, an industry that averaged a combined $35.1 billion in 2010 alone. This was equal to the combined profits of Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and McDonald’s all in the same year. Aside from tobacco, North Carolina leads the nation in furniture, brick, and textile production. Next time you pull out a shirt from your dresser, think of us.
No. 9: History
It’s believed that North Carolina was the original revolutionary. We were the first state to declare independence from England in 1775, and Virginia Dare was the first English child born on North American soil. You might not exist today if it weren’t for us.
No. 10: Wine
Sure, you’ve got a national reputation for your wine, but we’ve got The Mother Vine. In case you weren’t aware, this is the oldest known producing vine in the United States, and is grown in Manteo, N.C. This means that the Scuppernong vine, which is a Muscadine grape, is native to North Carolina and is also the official state fruit.
No. 11: Donuts
You have Blue Star, but we have Krispy Kreme. The donut shop was founded in Winston-Salem in 1937 and has grown into a worldwide treasure. Report back to us after you’ve tried an original glazed donut when the Hot Light is on.
No. 12: Names
How do you even pronounce Oregonian? Is it Or-e-gone-ian? Or Org-one-ian? We have no idea. North Carolinian is simple and most definitely has a better ring to it than Oregonian.
No. 13: Coffee
According to Thrillist, Durham’s own Counter Culture Coffee beats out your Stumptown by a close five points. Counter Culture practices sustainable coffee practices, that include less ecologically damaging practices, and also provide intense flavors that have earned themselves the title of the best at the World Brewers Cup for two years in a row. Your cold brew from Stumptown might be better, but at least we know who reigns supreme.
No. 14: Authors
Oregon has Chelsea Cain and her plethora of murder mysteries, but we’ve got Nicholas Sparks and his tearjerkers that have been turned into movies such as Dear John and Message in a Bottle. Charles Frazier wrote Cold Mountain and won the National Book Award for it in 1997. And finally, there’s Thomas Clayton Wolfe who wrote some of the most recognizable novels of the early twentieth century.
No. 15: Southern Hospitality
We’ve heard your people are nice and laid back but do you have Southern hospitality like North Carolina does? You can always expect a wave when you’re out for a jog from a passerby, a door to be held open, and a ‘Bless your heart’ even when you did something wrong. It’s the North Carolina way.
No. 16: Water
There’s nothing better than cooling off in the ocean during a hot summer day. Oh wait, I’d have to put on a wetsuit to jump in the coast in your state. In July, our beach’s water temperatures averages between 77-80 degrees. So much for having to admire the ocean from the sand. You can keep your 51-degree coastal temperatures.
No. 17: Mascots
The Oregon Duck and Benny the Beaver. Couldn’t you do any better than that? At least Rameses has some intense horns. Mr. & Ms. Wuf are a freakin’ married couple for Christ’s sake, and the Blue Devils sound intimidating. Rameses will be sure to throw the Duck his crumbs on Saturday night.
No. 18: Language
There is absolutely no debate in which is better: y’all or you guys. Y’all is the perfect word for all circumstances and makes us sound even nicer than we already are. Bless y’all’s hearts for referring to everyone as “you guys.”
No. 19: Lack of Earthquakes
We don’t have the threat of having an earthquake that could potentially destroy large chunks of one of the most heavily populated parts of the state in a matter of seconds. I know you can’t control Mother Nature, Oregon, but you can control where you choose to live. I’ll take North Carolina and its hurricane season any day.
No. 20: Plants
You talked about your rocks and crops, so we’ll talk about our plants. North Carolina is one of the only two states that is home to the Venus Fly Trap. What’s cooler than a plant that traps and eats flies? Definitely not your rocks.
No. 21: Music
Do you have an artist from Oregon who can sell out most of his venues in less than an hour? Fayetteville’s own J. Cole produced the first album in 25 years to go platinum with no features with the debut of Forest Hills Drive in 2014. In October of 2016, it was announced that he went double platinum. We’ll give you Oregonians the Blind Pilot, but we’ve still got you beat with the Avett Brothers.
No. 22: Rain
Out of the top 30 cities that get the most rain, your very own Corvallis comes in at No. 6. No city in North Carolina even comes close to the annual precipitation of 65.9 inches of rain. With an average rainfall of 11.69 inches in the month of December alone, I’ll stick with my 53-degree (usually) sunny, December day.
No. 23: Michael Jordan
You can claim Nike, but we have the GOAT and #23 himself, Michael Jordan. He’s the inspiration behind the Crying Jordan Meme, he owns our state’s NBA team and played for the Tar Heels. Not to mention, he’ll go down in the history books as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
As you all mentioned, this is all in good spirits. I know I’m looking forward to a Tar Heel/Ducks matchup when Saturday night rolls around. Nonetheless, give me my North Carolina coffee, BBQ, and college basketball forever, please.