Huskers vs Gophers: Talking Points With Minnesotans

Julian Finney

If you're coming to 2013 Nebraska - Minnesota game, you might want some pointers about how to converse with the native Minnesotans.

The best joke I ever heard about Minnesota goes like this:

"Minnesota - where the introverts walk around looking at their own shoes and where the extraverts walk around looking at other people's shoes."

It's a good joke because it's true.

Let's say you're a Husker fan coming to Minnesota and you want to strike up a conversation with a Minnesotan. They may be a Gophers fan, but chances are, well, they're not, they're just a Minnesotan. I could do a Venn diagram here, but let's just say that the number of Minnesotans who will admit they're Gopher fans is not very large, and if you break that down to "Gopher Football Fan", then it gets really rather small.

I've put together some talking points for Husker fans under different categories of how you want to treat them and how you want to be treated.

Things That Will Annoy Them

Building a New Stadium to Support a Billionaire

It's typical that when engaged in a conversation with a Minnesotan that they bring up the fact that Nebraska has no professional sports teams. It's meant as some sort of insult, typically said with an air of superiority. Don't bother going into the fact that Minnesota is some sort of hell on earth for pro sports teams, they've already heard that eleventymillion times. They even say it to themselves.

No, if you want to return fire on this one, you bring up the Vikings, how horrible they are and then point out that Nebraska isn't spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to build a billionaire a new football stadium.

If you want to annoy them further, bring up that the state legislature thought they could pay for it by selling e-pulltabs. I know what they are. Probably over 50% of Minnesotans don't. Hell, probably over 50% don't even know what pulltabs are.

Stupid Liquor and Beer Laws

A point of constant irritation in Minnesota, and possible confusion for Nebraska fans, but you can use that confusion to innocently annoy the natives.

Off sale in most of Minnesota stops at 10:00 pm. That's right, 10:00 pm. It might still be 8:00 pm in Minneapolis. I don't know. I don't buy beer there.

So, if you're planning on having alcohol around after you've left the bar/restaurant/party, buy your alcohol before you go out to do anything, because there will be nothing open when you're done. Heck, you might even want to bring it from Nebraska. Buy or bring twice as much as you think you'll need.

There are no beer or liquor offsales on Sunday. You can get 3.2 beer from a gas station or convenience store (that's where all the 3.2 beer resides).

You can use this one to assume a position of superiority without really trying. I've never met anyone who liked these laws, but it's the liquor lobby that keeps them the way they are. Why? "Buy twice as much...." - you really didn't have to ask, did you?

Was Paul Bunyan a real person?
Somewhat comparable to the internet meme "I am 12 and what is this?", or "Roll Tide" here on SBNation, "Was Paul Bunyan a real person?" is a good response to a Minnesotan when the conversation has approached the point of absurdity and therefore deserves no logical or reasonable response whatsoever.

How many Long Lakes are there?

There are 11,842 lakes in Minnesota of over ten acres. Invariable, there's going to be only so many lake names to go around. There are tens of "Long Lakes", and probably 10 to 15 lakes named "Bald Eagle Lake". When Minnesotans talk about lakes, they talk about all of them

How come you don't sound like those people in the movie Fargo?

Uh, they do, but only in certain parts of the state.

True story. First time I encountered the Fargo accent, I was at a friend's party. This enormous Swede, an aircraft mechanic, was talking like that. I started to mimic him. He became angry.

My friend pulled me aside and told me I was about to be killed by a large, angry Swede. I said "Why is he talking like that, he sounds like a moron." My friend stated, "That's how they talk up around St. Cloud and that part of the state". I added "Dontchaknow".

I was advised to leave for a bit. I did. I was not killed by a large, angry Swede.

The reason that you ask Minnesotans this question is because by doing so you have associated them with a population they consider to be hicks.

Just in case you might need a refresher about that Fargo stuff.

Things That Sound Annoying, But Really Aren't.

Talking About How Often Minnesota Loses

They know this. It's not that they don't care, but it's like telling a fat person they're fat. You're stating the obvious and now you've made yourself an ass.

Their Mascot is a Gopher.

Nobody cares about this. Really, nobody. Besides, technically, they're "Golden Gophers", which as far as we all know could be a mythical beast 27 feet high when standing on its hind legs that could bite you in half without effort. You know, like a Man Killing Mastodon.

Things That Bring Us Together.

EVERYONE HATES IOWA

If you're about to be punched in the face by a large, angry Swede after making fun of his accent, ridiculed his inability to not buy beer after 10:00 pm from the local muni, and pointed out that his money is going to enrich a billionaire, it's a good idea to scream EVERYONE HATES IOWA.

Because everyone does. Then

/everyone cheers

/they all drink more beer together

/the world is save

The End.

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