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Florida ranks #1 in annoying Florida rankings
From pickleball to mosquitos, not a day goes by without a new survey.
 
Florida loves its pickleball, according to one of the dozens of studies about our state.
Florida loves its pickleball, according to one of the dozens of studies about our state. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published July 4, 2023

The subject lines start, “REVEALED,” or “UNVEILED, or “NEW RESEARCH,” or “THE SECRET IS OUT.” The tone is confessional, urgent, as if we are about to learn something serious, like drinking tap water causes the growth of additional toes. The emails begin cordially, cheerfully. For example:

“Hope your day is great! I was wondering if you had any stories planned on how bad Florida smells?”

“Greetings! As we head into the holiday weekend, I wanted to tell you about a study that ranks Florida most likely to kill residents via crane accident.”

Yes, there’s a certain type of email journalists receive chronically, but more acutely in the hot and drowsy months when workers are jiggling Microsoft Teams statuses awake until it’s time to hit the rum runners at Sandals Jamaica.

I do not mean to do an Inside Baseball here, but with media literacy at a critical inflection point in this country, you should know how some summer news gets made. This is not to say hard-working communications pros don’t also send useful pitches. These just aren’t them. Around now, everyone is grasping for the finest threads of content. As an informed consumer, it’s imperative to fetch wheelbarrows of salt when you see these wacky stats referenced in 25-second news bright spots.

You’ll know them by the sniff test: a “study” ranking highs and lows from rat infestation to fashion faux pas. We’re not talking U.S. News and World Report stuff here, OK? Most often, brands vying for press hire marketing agencies to parse Google search trends and draw sweeping conclusions. This methodology seems shaky at best! Based on summer search history, my personal press release would involve: 1. toner only hair color, 2. love languages, 3. weather forecast lightning, 4. priyanka chopra met gala 2017 and 5. who invented rankings.

Get to the rankings! Tell us what Florida is known for other than problematic presidential candidates! Fine. Here are some very real messages that have shown up in newsroom email over the past couple months, some even sent three and four times with a note that says, “Bumping up in your inbox so we can connect!”

Per one study commissioned by selfstorage.com, Florida is the state the most people want to move away from. Further down, the same study says Florida is the No. 2 state people want to... move... into? It was then that I gazed out upon the city and declared that it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

Moving (haha) along. I bet you’re wondering which cryptocurrency Floridians are searching for most. If you guessed Bitcoin, you’ve seen the study from cryptobetting.org or have basic skills of deduction. If you guessed Ethereum second, you’re sharp. If you guessed that Binance Coin, TRON and Pepe round out the list, we are very different people.

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Florida is the state most excited to learn to play pickleball, according to game website solitairebliss.com, and ranks second for most pickleball courts. However, Florida only ranks third when it comes to being obsessed with pickleball. Healthy that we can have hobbies but not get weird about it. Boundaries are so important.

Florida is the 17th most lottery-obsessed state, according to casinossweeps.com, a ranking that feels in direct conflict with the detailed doctoral research I have administered via a near-religious viewing of “My Lottery Dream Home” on HGTV.

Hmm, let’s pick one more. Florida is the second most mosquito-prone state in the nation, according to... this took a second to figure out... insurance marketplace insuranks.com. The study ranks Louisiana No. 1 and South Dakota No. 3, which made me ask: What’s going on in South Dakota??? In conclusion: I need to add 6. south dakota mosquitos to my personal Google trends. Please check your inbox for the full study soon.

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