Minnesota Vikings linebacker, Chad Greenway, is originally from Mount Vernon, South Dakota. The city motto of Mount Vernon is "Small town but big opportunities." As hilarious as that sounds, I guess Greenway kind of embodies that, except that he found his big opportunity OUTSIDE of Mount Vernon, but whatever.
The point here is that until Greenway decided to attend college at the University of Iowa (BOOOOOOOO!!!), he had grown up in South Dakota. So when he tells you that he knows a thing or two about the state, you better believe him. He also has now played professional football in Minnesota for eight years (2013 will be his eighth year in the league, isn't that nuts?), so you could say he also knows a thing or two about the state of Minnesota.
Because of this "dual state-izmship" Greenway has also come forth and offered his top five biggest differences between South Dakota and Minnesota, besides the fact that Minnesota is objectively better.
Straight from the farmer's mouth, here are Greenway's five biggest differences between the states:
1. "Less people and no traffic jams in South Dakota."
2. "Better coyote hunting in South Dakota."
3. "South Dakota has long-range rifle deer hunting, which is nice. It's only allowed in the northern half of the state in Minnesota."
4. "No state income tax in South Dakota."
5. "We have Manny's in Minnesota."
Damn fine list, Chad, damn fine. But let me add a couple more.
Like Mr. Greenway, I also have resided in both states for extended periods of time, so I feel comfortable making claims about the benefits of both states. As such, here are my top five differences between South Dakota and Minnesota that I feel Chad overlooked (through no fault of his own, mind you), but which I feel deserve mention as well:
1. South Dakota has Nick's Hamburgers, the greatest hamburger every created by man. While I love a Juicy Lucy from The Nook, or stopping by the Blue Door Pub or whatever, no one around can front on a Nick's Hamburger from Brookings, South Dakota. If you think there's something in Minnesota that can beat that, I will politely tell you to go f*ck yourself, because you are wrong.
2. Minnesota women are more attractive, per capita. Now, I don't know if this is because of the influx of colleges in the state, stronger Scandinavian roots than South Dakota or what, but Minnesota has an amazing collection of natural looking female tail. I'm taking places like Miami and Los Angeles out of the mix because the women there, by majority, are all crafted of plastic. Factoring natural beauty, I'd say Minnesota ranks up there with the entire state of California, New York, and Indiana. Just kidding on that last one.
3. South Dakota has better road side destinations. But this is largely because the state serves the sole purpose of being a pass-through state, so you need some occasional road stops to break up the monotony. For instance, the Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls is a pleasant place to stop. And you're lying if you say you haven't gone out of your way to visit the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD before. Then there is of course Wall Drug which is super disappointing and depressing, but amazingly anticipated from pretty much the Illinois border through Wyoming. And then Mount Rushmore. There is that little thing. Minnesota has nice quirks, but can't stack up to those slices of Americana.
4. On the other hand, where would you rather go for a summer vacation than to a lake in Minnesota? From the North Shore to one of our - you know - TEN THOUSAND LAKES ELSEWHERE, we have some pretty decent options for summer time fun. I think I've been to a lake once in South Dakota, and it was man made and disgusting. Other than that, I'm not really sure if their entire land mass has any water that you can interact with anywhere.
5. On one hand, Minnesota borders Wisconsin for a large portion of it's state line, which is awful. On the other hand, South Dakota is pretty close to Sioux City, Iowa, and that place smells like sh*t. But then again, Minnesota borders Canada, which is gross. And yet South Dakota is still South Dakota. So I guess I'm calling that one a wash.
Anyway, Chad wasn't far off in his comparisons. The zero income tax in South Dakota is pretty awesome. But Minnesota isn't South Dakota, so take it or leave it. Did we miss anything else? Let us know in the comments.