The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 10, 2013

The United Sports of America: What should your state's official sport be?

(Continued)

Nevada

Official state sport(s): none

Our choice: boxing

Also considered: poker, drag racing

Americans may not be as sweet on the sweet science as they used to be, but Vegas is still the place to see people punch each other in the face. Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ear in Nevada, and this is where "fan man" parachuted into the ring during Holyfield's title fight with Riddick Bowe. Boxing is weird.

New Hampshire

Official state sport(s): skiing

Our choice: cross-country skiing

Also considered: downhill skiing

The official state sport is skiing. Please be more specific, New Hampshire — you're going to need to share with the other cold states. The Granite State features some of the country's best cross-country skiing trails and resorts, and cross-country skiing is generally regarded as the flintiest of winter sports. Be warned, visitors: If you cross into Maine, the cross-country skiers over there have rifles.

New Jersey

Official state sport(s): none

Our choice: youth soccer

Also considered: fencing, field hockey

There's a long, proud soccer tradition in the Garden State. The first intercollegiate match, between Princeton University and Rutgers University, was played here in 1876, and the sport's first domestic governing body, the American Football Association, was founded in Newark in 1884. More recently, Pele and the New York Cosmos actually called New Jersey home, playing their home games at the Meadowlands. Rather than give New Jersey every last piece of the beautiful game, let's salute the state's preeminence youth soccer. The men's national team's rebirth in the early 1990s was fueled by three fellows reared in New Jersey: Tab Ramos, John Harkes, and Tony Meola. The current women's national player pool includes six players from the state, more than any place else save California. Enjoy those orange slices, New Jersey — you've earned them.

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