Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Website lists Florida dead last in … everything

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A new ranking on thrilllist.com puts Florida dead last of all 50 states based on, well, everything. Oh, Florida!

The ranking is apparently part of America Week at the entertainment blog’s operations. They’ve already ranked states based on food and drink and beer. Florida did considerably better in the food and drink department, coming in at number 24 on that list.

But even though that list touted the Sunshine State for its super yummy oranges and key limes and year-round starfruit and lauded Miami for its famous Cubans (clearly you don’t know Florida if you think Miami can serve up a better Cuban than Tampa) and arroz con pollo, the website still seems to have something against Florida.

“But yeah, it’s still Florida, though, so that had to factor in,” the ranking read, possibly noting if those wins were in, say, Michigan, Florida would have fared even better.

In the beer department, Florida came in at an impressive number 17 with Cigar City’s Hunahpu Imperial Stout making a cameo. But even in that there was still a Florida dig.

“When you live in Florida you have to deal with all the other people who live in Florida, not to mention the people who visit,” it said.

So it’s not all that surprising that the only evidence listed to rank Florida dead last overall by this obviously mean-nothing-yet-fun-to-read ranking is the Twitter account for Florida Man.

To the folks over at ThrillList I say, it’s precisely Florida Man that makes Florida so spectacularly awesome.

Only in Florida can you go to a pristine beach, enjoy your toes in the sand, swim in the water that’s the absolute perfect temperature, enjoy a craft beer, watch a spectacular sunset AND catch a glimpse of a chick riding a manatee.

Only in Florida can you dance with the stars in Miami and possibly have front row seat to a dude eating another dude’s face because, bath salts.

Only in Florida can you love the every living sh*t out of your state and still have a good enough sense of humor to laugh about it.

Sure we churn out headlines about oil spills and racist killers who apparently have a beef with black kids with skittles. Yes, we have women sentenced to prison for trying to defend against an abusive husband even though the skittle-boy killer gets to walk free.

It’s true, Florida likes to turn down federal money for no better reason than hating the president.

And alas, our governor looks like Skeletor.

Rick Scott Skeletor

But do all these things really make Florida the worst state in the country? What about Alabama where a judge is still fighting against same-sex marriage because the bible says so? Or Texas where there’s, well, Rick Perry and Ted Cruz.

How about South Carolina where a black church slaughter still isn’t enough to even lower the Confederate Flag for a day or two?

But no, Florida’s amazing beaches get ignored in this list. St. Pete, where a city showed it can transform from rows of green benches and old people to a bustling metropolis of craft brews and vibrant night life, apparently doesn’t matter.

The Keys. Miles and Miles of waterfront coast line. In Florida you can surf one day and hike the next. You can ride a bike for a day and go from the Gulf of Mexico to an inland swamp. You can camp near a spring or climb down a cave. Yes, Florida has caves.

So Thrilllist, we will do just as you said someone would. We will “accuse [you] of having never been to [Florida] and say mean things about [your] hair.” I don’t know what your hair looks like, but I bet it’s worse than a mullet.

Oh, by the way, if you ever do visit Florida to realize it’s actually a pretty bad ass state to hang out in, make sure to eat some smoked mullet while you’re at it. It’s deceptively amazing.

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Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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