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All 50 of MnDOT’s 2024 Name-a-Snowplow Finalists, Ranked

Don't argue. This is the correct order.

2:46 PM CST on January 23, 2024

MnDOT|

Plow Bunyon at last year’s Great Minnesota Plow-Together.

As a noted fool, I've placed two article albatrosses around my neck for years: Reviewing the Twins walk-up songs each spring, which I've done for... dear god over a decade, and, each winter, ranking MnDOT's crowd-sourced snowplow name finalists. Is that any way to live? No. But I beat on, blogs against the algorithm, determined to deliver unique riffs, observations, japes, and commentary on those wacky batters and nutty road-clearing rigs.

This year MnDOT received 8,000+ suggestions for its annual plow-naming contest, down around 2,000 from '23. Now bored and cold Minnesotans can vote for their eight favorites among 50 finalists, down 10 finalists from last year; voting runs through January 28, and, for the fourth consecutive year, eight winners will eventually see their names—like PlowyMcplowFace, Betty Whiteout, and the (possibly canceled) Blizzo before 'em—emblazoned on the sides of honest-to-god MnDOT snowplows. (Just don't get us started on Plowy's font size...)

As is our taxpayer/journalistic right, we present the following 50 critical judgments of the 50 finalists. Let's... snow?

50. Frosty the Snowplow

If this wasn't submitted by a small child I'm so, so mad...

49. Storm Rider

I'm sorry, what? If this is actually a reference to the 2013 movie starring Minnesota-launched MAGA crusader/actor Kevin Sorbo, an alleged victim of the so-called cancel culture he so derides, we're pushing it back to No. 50. (That said, the synopsis for Storm Rider is a real hoot: "When her father is put into jail, the spoiled teenager Dani loses everything. Forced to live with her uncle Sam on a farm without horses to ride and to train a sad Dani takes care of a young mule and learns what really counts.")

48. Highway Hercules

Is this a Sorbo ref. as well? What's happening here??

47. Who Let the Plows Out?

MnDOT let the plows out, genius. Also the incongruity of hijacking a song by Baha Men, that lovable Bahamian junkanoo act, for our cold-weather climate just feels wrong. And another thing! "Dogs" and "plows" don't rhyme. A lot to quibble with here.

46. Land of 10,000 Snows

Please try harder.

45. Dashing Thru the Snow

Is dashing really the first thing—or even a thing—you associate with a 20-ton snowplow?

44. SKOL Plow

Is this even a pun?

43. Oh Snow You Didn’t!

The A to B here—"snow" rhymes with "no"—is about as surface-level as it gets.

42. Star of the North

Another (also lowly ranked submission) at least went with the proper French version of our state motto while injecting a pun. This one just kinda blurts at you.

41. L’Plow du Nord

That didn't take long.

40. Shiver Me Blizzards

We got a looooooooooong way to go on this list. Buckle up...

39. Can't Snow Me Down

Effort, folks! Just a little effort...

38. Scrape, Rattle and Roll

I'm confident the MnDOT maintenance crew are competent enough to prevent most on-road rattling. Let us not sow seeds of vehicular integrity doubt!

37. Alice Scooper

The following placements are all non-Minnesota-specific celebrity puns. Consider them all equally bad.*

36. Dolly Plowton

*

35. Beyonsleigh

*

34. Clark W. Blizzwald

*

33. Taylor Drift

*

32. Minnesnowta N’ice

Reads like a T-shirt you'd get at one of those annoying, state-centric airport gift shops for last-second souvenir buyers.

31. Snowmageddon

You hear a lot of people saying "snowmageddon" and "snowpocalypse" these days. Why is that?

30. Beauty and the Blade

Last year we whined that four finalists alluded to blades. Are blades really the first thing you think of, plow-wise? Is that thing on the front even called a blade, technically speaking? It seems the message was received, considering this phoned-up attempt is the only "blade" reference in the bunch.

29. A Plow Named Sue

Really reaching here.

28. Blizzard Wizard

Sorry, a registered trademark of the Morton Salt company. For a lot more on the perils of road salt, keep scrolling!

27. Everyday I’m Shovelin’

I'll use this space to highlight a recent installment of Tom Breihan's fantastic "Number Ones" series for Stereogum, in which he writes long and sequentially on every No. 1 Billboard song. The essay on "Party Rock Anthem," whose creators LMFAO inspired this plow suggestion, waxes nostalgic for how hilariously dong-forward the zany video was for this 2011 hit.

26. Sweet Child O’ Brine

As we stated when this suggestion first appeared back in '22, it might boast so low-key, possibly unintentional cleverness because trucks have axels and Guns N' Roses have Axl. But! With what we know now about the environmentally devasting consequences of road salt, we could not in good conscience celebrate the salinity inherent to these vehicles.

25. No More Mr. Ice Guy

One mustn't steal from Arnold Schwarzenegger's pun-machine Mr. Freeze from Joel Schumacher's 1997 Batman & Robin!

24. SnowMNator

Speaking of Arnold. Unrelated: Be sure to revisit our sprawling oral history on Jingle All the Way.

23. Flake It Off

Look, I get that Taylor Swift is at the center of all culture these days. May I propose another T-Swift indebted name, albeit a much deeper cut? How about we name a plow "Remember the Time Taylor Swift Expertly Impersonated a Minnesota Soccer Mom?" Space shouldn't be issue—these trucks are massive.

22. Plower Power

Reminds ya of that classic Mr. Burns line:

21. You're Killin' Me Squalls

Shoutout to the deep-cut vocab choice, but The Sandlot ain't got nothing in terms of local angles. Next year let's work in some riffs on Little Big League, the 1994 family film that taught us even a mere boy could manage the mid- to late-'90s Twins better than the real-life adults who tried.

20. Blizzard Buster

Nobody could accuse this one of gilding the lily.

19. Fast and Flurrious

Popular film franchise about roads, vehicles, and (I'm told, never seen) family. Could be worse.

18. Snow White and the 7 Drifts

"Drifts," "dwarfs"... points for trying.

17. The Great MN Plow-Together

Hm, it seems I deployed this one, before even seeing the entry, in the above photo caption. Perhaps I should try harder! In any event, "Plow-Together" might carry dangerous orgy connotations.

16. Below Zero Hero

Sure, whatever. Truly annoying nitpickers *raised hand* will point out that temperatures that low aren't conducive to snow.

15. Aaron Brrrr, Sir

The vice president responsible for shooting and killing Founding Father Alexander Hamilton in a duel? Sir? Uhh, sure, why not? The weirdest finalist by a country mile. [Ed. note: Jay is still unfamiliar with the hit musical Hamilton.]

14. Miracle on Ice

I'm as romantic for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team as anyone, and I too consider our brave plow drivers to be miracle workers, of sorts. More of a statement of fact than anything else.

13. A Little Salty

Love the idea of a slightly pissed off truck, though, as mentioned above, these roads salts can't be celebrated if you're a champion of clean water.

12. Don’t Flurry, Be Happy

The idea of a cheery, reassuring truck isn't the worst. I'd like to think that Bobby McFerrin, who's still kickin' at 73, would approve if he somehow became aware that we name plows here. [Ed. note: After being informed that McFerrin is a former Minnesota resident, an excited Jay declared this name is actually top-eight material; re-numbering the whole list, he added, would take too much time, however.]

11. Best in Snow

Ranked five spots higher than it deserves on account of that Christopher Guest movie holding the hell up. Also, factually, plows are great in snow.

10. Lady Slippery

A reference to our state flower that took me waaaay too long to wrap my head around. "Sounds dirty," according to one Racket co-owner. Didn't sound like they were complaining.

9. Orange You Glad to See Me

This one's kinda cute. Sue me!

8. Flake Superior

If put into service in and around Duluth, no notes whatsoever.

7. Just Scraping By

Summons the Midwestern energy of "Ope, just gonna sneak right past ya." (That said, add "ope"!) And is it a profound political statement about threadbare social services following 40 years of bipartisan subservience to private capital? You decide.

6. Waipahiƞte (Dakota word for “snow plow”)

No complaints here!

5. Barbie's Dream Plow

Maybe chalk this up to recency bias, but the idea of Barbie haulin' ass down I-35W in a snowplow is delightful. If this one wins, residents must rise up and demand MnDOT spend whatever it takes to paint the damn thing pink.

4. I Came, I Thaw, I Conquered 

Reliable. Effective. Triumphant. Self-involved. Everything you want in a snowplow.

3. Because Ice Said Snow!

Bravo on the double-pun. Love the impatience, the dadly fervor. The finished product rolls off the tongue—the stuff of poetry. Try not smiling when seeing this badboy grimacing down the road.

2. Make Snowbegone

Man, say what you will of sexist (alleged!) sex pest Garrison Keillor... this is elite wordplay and Minnesotan to the bones.

1. Oh, For Sleet's Sake

As strong as the just-concluded season of FX's Fargo, which is to say: quite strong.

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