Here is my most spectacular list of the top 10 things to ever come from TN and why they are so awesome sauce!
(note: They are in no particular order. All things TN are so awesome they have equal standing. The numbering is purely inconsequential.)
1. Davy Crockett- He is super cool, not for the whole Alamo shindig, (which is cool but has nothing to do with TN) but for serving three terms in Congress as a TN representative. <--- That's not the cool part. After losing during his fourth race, he said "Forget this. I HATE politics!" (It is true. look it up. Actually, those were not his exact words.) Also, he did not learn to read and write until he was 18 (which is not easy), and he became known as one of the greatest backwoods orators in history. :)
2. Cracker Barrel- I should not have to explain this one. Everybody LOVES Cracker Barrel. It is an unwritten code. You must love Cracker Barrel, or else.... Well nobody hates it, so the last part has not had to be written in, kinda like pirate code. Cracker Barrel is so awesome, that they can sneak in, no joke, about 100000 calories into green beans, but they hide it so well, you would have no idea you were about to die from heart failure secondary to awesome food eating.
3. Memphis Barbecue- AKA real barbecue. All other barbecues are inferior. That's all there is to say about that.
4. Rocky Top- Rocky Top is one of the coolest official state songs/ unofficial school (UT) songs ever! Imagine a stadium with over 100k fans all dressed in super obnoxious orange shouting "Rocky Top You'll always be home sweet home to meeeeeeee...." It's pretty awesome. The rights to "Rocky Top" have been lent to the University of Tennessee to forever be used during sporting events as often as called for. In 2005, Rocky Top was ranked number 7 of 100 songs of the South by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Here is a link to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n9prNixjbg
5. Morgan Freeman- Let's be honest, Morgan Freeman is so hardcore wickedly awesome. What other actor/actress do you know that can go from Shawshank Redemption to March of the Penguins and give a stellar performance in both?! He has perfected the authoritative, old man voice-over voice. He is so Morgan Freeman-ish that the producers can try to change the name of a movie, and he says "Surely not! I refuse to be a part of this unless it is called Snakes on a Plane!"
6. Jack Daniels- I, personally, do not drink Jack Daniels but the phrase "jack and coke" has become so entrenched in our culture, I had to include it.
7. Miniature Golf- I bet you had no idea Miniature Golf was invented in TN. Well, it was. In fact, you cannot go anywhere (especially Gatlinburg) without being assaulted by a menagerie of mini golf attractions. The putt-putt-on-steroids-esque game is so much fun for the whole family! The best part is whacking your brothers with the putter. ;)
8. Touch Screens- I bet half of my measly 10 readers are reading this on their touch screen smart phones. Well, in 1977, in Oak Ridge, TN, the first touch screen monitor was invented! Our world would be radically different, arguably simultaneously better and worse, if the touch screen was never invented.
9. Nashville/Country Music/Grand Ole Opry- Nashville is the country music capital of the world! The Grand Ole Opry is a must- do attraction if you visit! I've been twice. It is so awesome. You sit in the really really old theater in tiny uncomfortable seats, but the show is great! Besides, country music is the best genre of music... ever.... in the history of evers!
10. Smoky Mountains- The Smoky Mountains are breathtakingly beautiful. No joke, they are GORGEOUS! In the summer, you can go jump off waterfalls, hike, or just reside in beauty. Everything in TN is so green! You can go places and not see people for miles around. You can just exist.
Other interesting facts: TN is the only other state besides Mississippi that shares a border with 8 other states. The largest freshwater aquarium is located in Chattanooga, TN. HOLLA! Tn also has the largest underground lake in the world, The Lost Sea. Moonpies are from Chattanooga as is Krystal! (For you Northerners who don't know what Krystal is... Well, let me tell you that it is like White Kastle except 100000000x better) Mountain Dew was invented in TN before being bought by PepsiCo. Other notable doo-hickeys: Andrew Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Minnie Pearl, Tina Turner. Most important honorable mention: The first self-serve grocery store was in TN, Piggly Wiggly!
All joking aside, TN is a pretty cool place to visit. There are some not-so-great things about TN including slavery and the atomic bomb among others. NJ isn't a terrible place to live. In fact, I'd probably like it if it weren't so expensive, and it wasn't so crowded. (I'll never publicly admit that again.)