As all of you (hopefully) know, this site is dedicated primarily to covering stories from North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota. Being from Vermont, and thus not particularly experienced in life out here, I’ve struggled to figure out how to write something that fits with the traditional Bottled Sports content. Then it hit me. I have something you guys might very well want to hear: An honest opinion of what Minnesota is like to an outsider.
Having now lived out here for three years, I think I’ve now become pretty well acquainted with the culture. I’ve been to a lakeside cabin, eaten cheese curds, gone to the State Fair, caught a fish, and mastered the art of polite small-talk. Oh yeah, and watched Fargo.
Yup I’m accustomed to this place now, but there was definitely a period of adjustment before that was the case when I noticed some pretty interesting things about the state and its people.
First off: the sports culture. Obviously. Coming from a state that doesn’t even have a professional sports team of its own, I quickly recognized the importance of sports to Minnesotans. This is just as much the case for the pros as it is for college and high school. I remember spending an afternoon watching a bunch of high school kids play a state hockey semifinal in front of a sold-out crowd at the Xcel Center. That’s very, very cool. I also remember driving around the cities this past winter after Stefon Diggs did that thing. Purple everywhere. Sports matter out here, more than in most places, and I absolutely fukn love that.
What I also love about Minnesota is the importance placed on the outdoors. Lots of places have nice places to recreate, but this state stands out. The lakes, man, the lakes! They’re special, and Minnesotans know it. I’ve learned to avoid northbound highways on weekends in the summer like the plague, because everyone and their brother and sister and aunt and uncle and fifth cousin nine times removed will be headed up that way. And watching my female friends scroll through Tinder has shown me that Minnesotan dudes sure do love to fish.
In the interest of time I’ll cut this short with the last thing that has stood out to me about living out here. And that thing is (drumroll please…) The people! Everyone is pleasant. Or nearly everyone. Certainly a higher percentage than most everywhere else I’ve been. Minnesotans know how to make a guy feel welcome, and that’s gone a long way towards making me feel at home here. Keep it up, guys!
This article might seem out of place in Bottled Sports, but I felt like it would be cool to share some of my thoughts about what it’s been like to move out here now that I’m writing for a blog based here. I know I like to hear people talk about the place I’m from. Here’s to hoping you do too!