The Twin Cities have won an abundance of accolades in the last year: Top 10 Summer Trips, National Geographic; Healthiest City, USA Today; Gayest City, The Advocate; Best City for Finding Employment, Forbes; and most coveted of all, Most Hipster State, BuzzFeed. However, the 2011 Fallon Interns found three accolades left for the taking.
During their internship, they were divided into groups, asked to uncover the hidden treasures of Minnesota, and then to present those treasures to a group of Fallon judges. Accolades were required to be substantiated, supported with testimonials, utilize visual aids, and presented persuasively. Most importantly, they had to be original. As a result, each team found a new reason to love the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota.
While our group was trying to come up with a new accolade for Minnesota, we danced around the idea of the “Most Average” state. We started to pick our brains and dig deep within the Google archives to find evidence that supported our claim. We continued to run into problematic research that suggested Minnesota was actually pretty spectacular. Who knew? Not to be deterred, we continued on the “most average” route. After considerable exploration on the topic, we finally realized that all of our research culminated into one undeniable conclusion: Minnesota is not average. This realization was deflating to our original concept, yet inspiring. We still didn’t have an accolade but thought, “Okay, Minnesota is great, but most people think it smells like hay and snows in the summer.” Bordering states such as Iowa and the Dakotas, Minnesota gets shuffled into the dilapidated perceptions of the Upper Midwest. That is why we dubbed Minnesota as “The Diamond in the Rough” state. Fallon’s own Matt Lund said it best: “It takes a little bit of time to discover its exceptionality.”
Not convinced? Lucky for you, we were. We found a number of things that make Minnesota extraordinary, and we have placed them into four categories: Inventions, Restaurants and Entertainment, Celebrities and Film, and Sports.
Minnesota is not typically recognized as a place that has revolutionized the world. However, through our research, we have found that Minnesota is home to a plethora of novel inventions such as the stapler, water skis, canned ham, Zubaz pants, the pacemaker, and roller blades (50states.com). In addition, some major innovative corporations are headquartered in Minnesota—Aveda, Target, and General Mills, to name a few.
Restaurants and Entertainment
Many people believe that the Twin Cities are made up of boring farmland and not much else; this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Twin Cities are second only to New York for theater seats per capita (Minneapolis.org). They are home to Nye’s Polonaise Room, dubbed “Best Bar in America” by Esquire magazine (2007) and the Mall of America, which attracts more guests than Disney World, the Grand Canyon and Graceland combined! Now who are you calling boring?
Celebrities and Film
Minnesota has notoriously been picked on by Hollywood. Movies have been known to highlight its cold weather, an exaggerated Minnesota accent, and the “small town” scenery. Despite the stereotypes portrayed in films, Minnesota brings a lot to the Hollywood scene. For example, there are many movies shot, as well as set, in Minnesota. A few that won Academy Awards are Fargo, North Country, and Gran Torino. There are also a number of celebrities who hail from the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” [take from end of sentence] like Prince, Bob Dylan, Judy Garland, the Coen Brothers, Josh Hartnett, Vince Vaughn, Winona Ryder, Jessica Biel and many others.
Minnesota is one of only ten states in the country to be represented by at least five major professional sports teams: the MLB’s Twins, the NBA’s Timberwolves, the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, the NFL’s Vikings, and the NHL’s Wild. Although these teams have their ups and downs like most others, Minnesota has the potential to be a very powerful market. Minnesota isn’t lacking in rich tradition either. A few Heisman Trophy winners call the North Star State home, and the Minnesota Twins have brought home a number of World Series titles.
It is because of these tremendous accolades that we have dubbed Minnesota as 2011’s “Diamond in the Rough.”
Post by: Danielle Dweck, Chase Haviland, Kristina Nagle, Taylor Weinstock
Minnesota Facts and Trivia. Phil Douglas & Ward Blumer, 2011
Meet Minneapolis Press Kit, www.minneapolis.org
Mall of America Press Kit, www.mallofamerica.com