Who Would Win a “Battle of the States”?

Clint Myers
8 min readApr 24, 2020

Recently there has been some tension amongst the various states of our Union, due to competition for ventilators and other scarce resources. This made me wonder what a Hunger Games-style tournament amongst the states would look like. Have you wondered the same? If so, read on!

Round 1

New York v. Massachusetts

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: New York: (76,000, 10%), Massachusetts (37,000, 23%)

Veterans & vets per capita: New York 700,000 (4.5%), Massachusetts 304,000 (5.5%)

Leader: New York (Woody Allen), Massachusetts (Tom Brady)

National share of energy production: New York (1.0%), Massachusetts (0.1%)

Key Battle:

General Allen leads his troops to South Boston for the Battle of Southie. The Boston Irish and New York Italian Mafia battle amongst the row houses of Southie, urban warfare at its finest.

Wild Card:

Will city people go to battle or will this be fought in the Berkshires and the Adirondacks?

Winner: New York

General Woody Allen rightly targets the weakness of Massachusetts’s lack of food production. At 518,000 acres, Massachusetts has the least amount of farmland of all of our 16 competitors, barely half of even Alaska. They target the food supply chain and key fishing locations and play the long game to starve out the Mass-holes. General Brady waves the white flag during the Battle of Central Park, booed by Jets fans

California v. Washington

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: California (344,000, 20%), Washington (92,000, 28%)

Veterans & vets per capita: California (1,500,000, 5%), Washington (555,000, 9%)

Leader: California (Elon Musk), Washington (Bill Gates)

National share of energy production: California (2.9%), Washington (1.2%)

Key Battle:

In the Battle of Alcatraz, Generals Musk and Gates each devise drone hovercrafts to do the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, General Musk’s runs out of battery life midway through the battle while the Gates drone (running on Windows 95) crashes unexpectedly.

Wild Card:

Only 40% of California’s population was born there. How hard do transplants fight for their state?

Winner: California

Washington has some very unique geographic advantages, with numerous mountain ranges as well as inlets and sounds. However, they are outgunned and outmanned by California’s enormous size and food production capabilities

Colorado v. Montana

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: Colorado (92,000, 34%), Montana (22,000, 52%)

Veterans & vets per capita: Colorado (372,000, 9%), Montana (87,000, 11%)

Leader: Colorado (South Park guys), Montana (Dana Carvey)

National share of energy production: Colorado (3.7%), Montana (0.6%)

Key Battle:

In the Battle of Pikes Peak, General Dana Carvey does his famous “We will fight them in the mountains” speech (in a Churchill impersonation) to motivate his troops.

Wild Card:

Colorado is well trained for mountain battle, are there enough Montanans to defend thousands of miles of plains?

Winner: Colorado

Given that “Red Dawn” was a key motivator for this whole exercise, it seems like Colorado should be a favorite. And they do end up winning, utilizing Colorado Springs as home base, and the air force expertise as their key offensive weapon.

Utah v. Vermont

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: Utah (73,000, 32%), Vermont (59,000, 29%)

Veterans & vets per capita: Utah (125,000, 6%), Vermont (37,000, 7%)

Leader: Utah (Shawn Bradley), Vermont (Ben & Jerry)

National share of energy production: Utah (1%), Vermont (0%)

Key Battle:

The Battle of Zion National Park is reminiscent of World War II battles in the desert of Northern Africa. Utah dominates, with General Bradley as tank commander.

Wild Card:

Are Utah people too nice to fight?

Winner: Utah

Although this was an unheralded matchup, it turned out to be a barnburner, as Utah and Vermont are essentially exactly the same state. In the end the problem for Vermont was a surplus of hippies and a deficit of veterans. While for Utah, the discipline of the Mormon work ethic led to victory.

Texas v. Virginia

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: Texas (589,000, 36%), Virginia (308,000, 29%)

Veterans & vets per capita: Texas (1,460,000, 7%), Virginia (687,000, 8%)

Leader: Texas (Matthew McConaughey), Virginia (Dave Chapelle (Washington DC, close enough))

National share of energy production: Texas (20%), Virginia (1%)

Key Battle: To inspire his troops’ historical patriotism, General Chapelle baits the Texans at the Battle of Williamsburg.

Wild Card: Is Texas’ hubris going to be its downfall?

Winner: Texas

Virginia puts up a valiant effort but Texas is just too strong

Florida v. Mississippi

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: Florida (343,000, 33%), Mississippi (35,000, 43%)

Veterans & vets per capita: Florida (1,460,000, 9%), Mississippi (168,000, 7%)

Leader: Florida (Florida Man), Mississippi (John Grisham)

National share of energy production: Florida (0.6%), Mississippi (0.4%)

Key Battle:

The Battle of Epcot is ironically fought in the land of the pretend future by two states that prefer history to the future.

Wild Card:

Can Mississippi’s enormous state pride overcome the population difference?

Winner: Mississippi

The first major upset of the BOTS tournament. General Florida Man struggled to corral the various constituencies (Latin American South Florida, Redneck panhandle, geriatric coastlines) to create a coherent fighting force.

Hawaii v. Michigan

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: Hawaii (7,900, 45%), Michigan (66,000, 29%)

Veterans & vets per capita: Hawaii (106,000, 10%), Michigan (552,000, 7%)

Leader: Hawaii (Barack Obama), Michigan (Kid Rock)

National share of energy production: Hawaii (0%), Michigan (0.8%)

Key Battle:

The Battle of Detroit, in which General Kid Rock uses Admiral Eminem’s fleet along the Detroit River.

Wild Card:

This is the most distinct geographic battle in the BOTS competition. Can General Obama utilize the geographic advantage of the islands and overcome Hawaii’s population disadvantage?

Winner: Michigan

Although Hawaii is nearly impossible to attack, Michigan’s two peninsulas create lots of nooks for hiding spots. Michigan has five times more military veterans than Hawaii, which is outgunned (only 7,900 guns, c’mon Hawaii!). Michigan wins, but the battle is long, and they sustain heavy damages, putting them in tough position for the next round.

Maine v. Alaska

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: Maine (15,000, 23%), Alaska (15,000, 62%)

Veterans & vets per capita: Maine (104,000, 10%), Alaska (64,000, 10%)

Leader: Maine (Stephen King), Alaska (Sarah Palin)

National share of energy production: Maine (0.2%), Alaska (1.7%)

Key Battle:

The Battle of Aroostock County, the most remote part of Maine. It mostly turned into a handful of Mainers and Alaskans ice fishing and drinking beer.

Wild Card:

General Palin’s strategic planning

Winner: Alaska

This battle is reminiscent of World War I, fought in the wilderness, and trenches. Not a ton of technology savvy or new age weaponry. Although the populations are similar, Alaska’s greater size and energy production overcomes its questionable leadership.

Round 2

New York v. California

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: New York: (76,000, 10%), California (344,000, 21%)

Veterans & vets per capita: New York 700,000 (4.5%), California 1,500,000 (5%)

Leader: New York (Woody Allen), California (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

National share of energy production: New York (1.0%), California (2.9%)

Key Battle:

The Epic L Train battle is dominated by the New Yorkers, as California is unfamiliar with navigating public transit.

Wild Card:

Will they just decide they are too similar, and just decide to fight together, against the rest of the country?

Winner: California

A classic blue state matchup, fought amongst the coffee shops of Brooklyn and indie bookstores of Berkeley. California has the most active duty military and military bases in the U.S. Their 840-mile coastline is challenging to defend but offers numerous freshwater food options.

Colorado v. Utah

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: Colorado (92,000, 34%), Utah (73,000, 32%)

Veterans & vets per capita: Colorado (372,000, 9%), Utah (125,000, 6%)

Leader: Colorado (South Park guys), Utah (Shawn Bradley)

National share of energy production: Colorado (3.7%), Utah (1%)

Key Battle:

Battles of Sundance and Aspen. Fought concurrently, and gently.

Wild Card:

Will Colorado’s air force expertise be necessary in such close quarter fighting?

Winner: Colorado

Very similar states, but Colorado’s three times more veterans and military history give the edge.

Texas v. Mississippi

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: Texas (589,000, 36%), Mississippi (35,000, 43%)

Veterans & vets per capita: Texas (1,460,000, 7%), Mississippi (168,000, 8%)

Leader: Texas (Matthew McConaughey), Mississippi (John Grisham)

National share of energy production: Texas (20%), Mississippi (0.4%)

Key Battle: There was no battle, General Grisham instructed his troops to lay down arms and offer to join Texas for the next round.

Wild Card: How long will Texas remain interested in the battle?

Winner: Texas

Texas wins without a shot fired.

Michigan v. Alaska

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: Michigan (66,000, 29%), Alaska (15,000, 62%)

Veterans & vets per capita: Michigan (552,000, 7%), Alaska (64,000, 10%)

Leader: Michigan (Kid Rock), Alaska (Sarah Palin)

National share of energy production: Michigan (0.8%), Alaska (1.7%)

Key Battle:

Battle of the Two Months of Darkness. Alaska lures Michigan into the northern reaches in the dead of winter, and battle for 60 days in pure darkness

Wild Card:

What is more important, geographic advantage or manpower?

Winner: Alaska

Let’s be honest, at the leadership level this is not exactly Patton against Rommel. Alaska fights guerrilla warfare, wearing down the much larger Michigan forces. Alaska knows time is on its side, and runs out the clock, four corners-style.

Round 3

California v. Colorado

Registered guns & per capita ownership: California (344,000, 20%), Colorado (92,000, 34%)

Veterans & vets per capita: California (1,500,000, 5%), Colorado (372,000, 9%)

Leader: California (Elon Musk), Colorado (South Park guys)

National share of energy production: California (2.9%), Colorado (3.7%)

Key Battle: The Battle of Baja, in which Mexican California-sympathizers cross the border to take up arms against Colorado. A decisive blow.

Wild Card:

Will the coastline offer California a strategic advantage against land-locked Colorado?

Winner: California

California is so big and diverse. It has the techies building smart weapons, and the roughnecks in the Valley. It has 1.5 million vets, and cruises to victory.

Texas v. Alaska

Registered guns & per capita ownership: Texas (589,000, 36%), Alaska (15,000, 62%)

Veterans & vets per capita: Texas (1,460,000, 7%), Alaska (64,000, 10%)

Leader: Texas (Matthew McConaughey), Alaska (Sarah Palin)

National share of energy production: Texas (20%), Alaska (1.7%)

Key Battle: Channeling his inner Napoleon, General McConaughey leads his troops on a 4,000-mile march from Houston to Juneau to fight the Battle of Frozen Nads.

Wild Card: Alexander the Great was victorious over far larger Persian Armies. Can General Palin be Alexander the Great?

Winner: Texas

Although McConaughey had the Napoleon treatment early, but General Palin ends up exiled — to Temptation Island — in disgrace.

Round 4

California v. Texas

Registered guns & per capita ownership: California (344,000, 20%), Texas (589,000, 36%)

Veterans & vets per capita: California (1,500,000, 5%), Texas (1,460,000, 9%)

Leader: California (Elon Musk), Texas (Matthew McConaughey)

National share of energy production: California (2.9%), Texas (20%)

Key Battle: The Battle of Austin, in which Austinites switch sides and fight for California against the rest of Texas.

Wild Card: What crazy scheme will General Musk think of?

Winner: Texas

Let’s be honest, this is probably where you thought this tournament was going to go. Two powerhouse states with very different styles. Texas prefers hand to hand combat, utilizing their firepower advantage. California prefers to fight via drone attacks and computer viruses. Ultimately old-school warfare prevails.

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Clint Myers

Partner @Revolution @RiseofRest Real Estate. Enjoys reading books, running far, playing with the kids, writing online bios