If any Brits are coming to the Super Bowl, they may be in for a surprise

For years there’s been a media fascination with NJ.  I can’t even count how many movies and books reference the state – usually  derogatory, sometimes erroneously.  And now we’re hosting the Super Bowl.  Yes, it’s in NJ, not NYC or NY state regardless how much NYC is promoting events related to the game.  NJ paid to build the stadium, not NY, and they don’t pay us nearly enough to play here.  (A New Jerseyan even built the Brooklyn Bridge.)  But the rivalry between the states probably goes back to colonial times.  In the 21st century there’s still arguments over claims to the Statue of Liberty.  It’s situated closer to NJ than NY, but no one ever says they’re going to Jersey to see the statue and when immigrants came through Ellis Island, they all looked toward NYC not NJ.  Had the ferries shuttled them to NJ once they were processed, the Great White Way might be located today in Newark…

I for one, feel that an open stadium might finally add some excitement to the Big Game.   It’s usually the most boring game of the year, which is probably why there is so much talk about the commercials for the televised game instead of the players.  So far the weather forecasts that the temps will be above freezing, the arctic chill having swept by.  Still there’s a chance of inclement weather and I’m sure that factor is making for some interesting book on the game even though the teams should be comfortable since they aren’t coming from the Sunbelt.  (Gee, do you think the location of the Big Game had anything to do with which teams made it through the playoffs???)  It won’t be quite like the hockey scene between the NY Rangers and local Alaskans in the movie ‘Mystery Alaska’, but coverage of the game should be interesting showing a stadium filled with people who paid scads of money to sit outdoors in ski clothes and NASA blankets.

Maybe the fascination is because we have just about everything here, a virtual microcosm of Americana fit into the fourth smallest state.  For the complete winter getaway for Big Game visitors, we have ski resorts as well as plenty of county and state parks for skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding and ice skating.  You’re going to do all that in Central Park?  Ha.  And forget the impromptu toboggan run in the middle of a NYC street.  We’re getting plenty of the natural white stuff for all the outdoor winter activities – and we’ll even make some.  Just minutes away from the stadium.  Take that, NY!

And the Broncos and Seahawks are staying at Jersey hotels, not NYC.

NJ ranks in the top 10 of healthiest states in the country.  NY ranks 15.  (raspberry)

The beaches still exist after Sandy – though there’s a little less, and in February you won’t have to fight crowds to find a prime piece of sand to set out your blanket.  Most of the boards are back, and while you won’t be able to ride any roller coasters, the arcades stay open all year and you can still grab a bite to eat.  Surfers are still catching waves, trading shorts for wetsuits.  And the snowy owls have not yet left the area.  Leave the red foxes alone.  They’re protected.  Thank you.

We have plenty of history here.  Remember, we were one of the original 13 colonies, the fourth oldest state and the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.  Not only did George Washington have more than one headquarters in the state, he slept all over the state.  (Not sure about Martha, though.)

And all those Christmas lights people put up every year?  You can thank Edison who started that idea right here in the Garden State to showcase his light bulb invention.

It’s the birthplace of the telephone and home to Ma Bell.

We have 14 lighthouses and Old Barney (Barnegat Lighthouse) is not in Barnegat.  (Always fun to watch people searching for it during the Lighthouse Challenge.)  The oldest active US lighthouse is at Sandy Hook.  (Go Jersey!)

To step back in time, there’s Cape May (open all year), which is the only town in the U.S. that has historic status (National Historic Landmark) due to the preservation of Victorian architecture (along with colonial, gothic and civil war), most of which are B&Bs, which serve high tea every afternoon in the cooler months, iced tea in the warmer.  (A little nod to the Queen.)  It is the oldest seashore resort in the US.  And you can take horse and carriage rides around the town. (with sleigh bells for Christmas!).  It’s also where you’ll find the best lobster salad in the state.

We are the Diner Capital of the World – nearly 600, most open all night.  For a state this size, that’s a nearly one for every town.  (Some have multiples.)  You won’t go hungry at 3 am here.  It’s come as you are – so long as you wear shoes, and slippers and flip flops count.   I’ve been there, tuxes and bridesmaid dresses.  No one laughed.  It was assumed (correctly) that we hadn’t eaten at the wedding.  Fast food chains can’t compete.

We grow the best tasting tomatoes and corn.  Ocean Spray buys their cranberries from us.  Our fishing industry is the fourth largest.  We’re home to the largest natural coastal preserve on the East Coast (47,000 acres).  The highest point of elevation on the East Coast shoreline is in NJ.  We’re home to the second tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi.

We had the first drive-in movie theater, the first phonograph, the first fm radio broadcast was from Jersey and the streets in the Monopoly game were named for streets in Atlantic City.  NY may be home to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but the first baseball game was in Jersey.

Abbot & Costello were from Jersey.  So were two presidents:  Woodrow Wilson and Grover Cleveland.  One vice president:  Aaron Burr.  Einstein settled in Jersey when he emigrated to the US.

As for weather?  We’ve experienced it all, including tornadoes (fortunately small), hurricanes (we’re still recovering, I know people who are still homeless) and even tsunamis (a meteotsunami just this past summer) in addition to the usually expected seasonal conditions, of which we have all four.

If NY is so superior, then why does its residents crowd our beaches in the summer and our orchards during apple picking season?

NY is only trying to grab some Super Bowl glory out of jealousy since we already had a stadium and they couldn’t build one in time.  They’re probably still miffed that we wouldn’t let them dump their garbage barge here.

Only New Yawkers call it Joisey.

We prefer Dunkin’ Donuts to Starbucks.

No, we don’t pump our own gas.  That means jobs.  Enough said.

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