MnDOT’s 50 Name-a-Plow Contest Finalists for 2022, Ranked
We simply must do better than last year.
1:37 PM CST on January 19, 2022
Plowy McPlowface, the winner of MnDot's inaugural Name-a-Plow contest, is a terrible name.
We discussed that in great detail last year, while taking issue with, among other things, the physical size of Plowy's eventual/tiny insignia. How could 65,292 Minnesotans err so greatly in picking an old, stolen concept that channels the epic bacon, I-can-has-cheezburger vibes of memes past? We'll never know, and we'll certainly never forgive.
But now voters have a chance to atone for past sins. In fact, they have multiple chances. MnDot just announced 50 finalists for the '22 contest, which will determine eight winning plow names.
"The agency considered a variety of factors when selecting the finalists," reads Wednesday's press release, "including creativity, uniqueness, frequency of submissions, Minnesota-specific ideas, and names that would be easily identifiable and understandable to broad audiences."
At 11,000, submissions were down about half from '21. Additionally, and somewhat controversially, "a small group" of runner-up names from last year are among this year's finalists. Independent journalist Tony Webster yet again provided a glimpse at the raw submission data:
Voting is already underway.
In an effort to smash our thumbs onto the scale, here are the 50 finalists ranked from worst to best.
50. Winter Warrior
Try much, much harder.
49. Oh Fer Snow
"Oh fer cute" is an annoying expression. Snow isn't cute. Get outta here!
48. All About That Snow
Huh? What the fuck? C'mon, man.
My eye is twitching. These are unforgivably bad.
46. Frosty’s Demise
We like, nay, love Frosty. Why we even toying with the idea of murdering Frosty? Sicko.
45. Catch My Drift
Now this one's just threatening. Stay safely behind the plows, folks.
44. No More Mr. Ice Guy
Again, the plows are our friends. Hostile actors use the expression at the root of this pun.
43. Edward Blizzardhands
Pun for the sake of a pun. No local connection. Grow up.
42. Northern Express
Just confusing. It's not a train.
41. Plowasaurus Rex
40. Say it Ain’t Snow
Hm, this might be worse than the Edward Blizzardhands one. Racket regrets the error in real-time.
This arbitrary Star Wars reference is just a mindless pop-culture pull, as are the next two.
38. Blizzard of Oz
37. Sled Zeppelin
36. How Now Orange Plow?
The plows are orange, you see. How this rounded vowel elocution applies is beyond us.
35. Orange Thunder
At least sounds kinda badass.
34. William Scrape-speare
The image of the immortal Bard barreling down Lyndale Avenue, wildly scraping at ice is an evocative one.
32. Sir Plows-a-Lot
What a disservice to the rapper in question to not even rhyme your pun. Sir Mix-a-Lot weeps. That said, the plow trucks have ample, attractive butts. Nobody can dispute that.
31. Sweet Carol-brine
A novel way to invoke salt.
30. Sweet Child O’ Brine
Maybe not so novel. Trucks have axels and Guns N' Roses have Axl, thus giving this one the edge over the Neil Diamond one.
29. A Snowplow Named De-icer
Streetcar, snowplow. Desire, de-icer. Sure, why not? It's a big swing.
28. Not Snow Fast
Sage advice for anyone navigating icy, snowy roads. Beyond the utilitarian appeal, this name stinks—though it could save a life.
Come to think of it, Timbrrrwolf should rank much lower. Apologies again; these lists aren't easy.
26. Skol Plow
The Vikings-adjacent word doesn't fit (plows = good; Vikes = bad). Love the encouraging nature of the sentiment, though.
25. Below Zero Hero
That's right! Winter is cold, and the drivers who helm these trucks are heroes. We're happy the ones at the airport appear to have won their recent labor dispute.
24. Lord Coldemort
See, we just explained how the plows are good and so are the drivers. Lord Voldermort? That guy is pure evil! Should we even be printing his name? Fun pun, though.
23. The Iron Ranger
Tough, cool, regional flair.
22. Snow Big Deal
This pun sucks, but the breezy swagger at its core—the we got this BPE—is comforting.
21. Plowin’ in the Wind
Bob Dylan (aka Robert Zimmerman) was born in Duluth, Minnesota. Pretty cool.
20. Scoop Dogg
Scoop is a fun verb, Snoop Dogg is a fun dude. No objections here.
19. Scoopy Doo & Scraper Too
Points for attempting a double pun.
18. No Business Like Snow Business
A nice reminder that last winter cost MnDot $116 million. This is serious, expensive stuff we're talking about.
17. Orange You Glad To See Me?
Hacky, but damnit, we're happy to see those plow fleets out there, aren't we?
16. Coldy Gopher
The writer is showing his U of M bias. Go Gophs!
15. Everyday I’m Shovelin’
Gotta love the swag, plus it'll baffle most of the fogies in the Strib comment section.
14. Ctrl Salt Delete
If properly controlled, these plows will delete the presence of snow. In addition, our all-digital newsroom believes in the general promotion of computers.
13. Betty Whiteout
Unlike Betty White, don't expect this one to age well. But, while the beloved, recently departed actress is in the zeitgeist, we respectfully stan.
12. Uff Da
Kind of perfect, actually.
11. Halloween Blizzard Avenger
Evoking the '91 Halloween blizzard is low-hanging fruit for clout-chasers with no scruples over the cheapest of heat. Yet! The psychology at play here—the implication that we're somehow, decades, still at war with the amount of snow that fell—is a compelling minefield.
10. Flake Superior
Punchy, ambiguously boastful of our wintertime superiority. I like it.
9. Blade of Glory
Underrated Will Ferrell flick. Also we never think of the literal plow as a blade, and, in the Wesley Snipe-ian tradition, it's quite cool to do so.
8. L’Plow du Nord
Falls into the Lord Coldemort villain trap, as well as the Betty Whiteout topical one, but it's hard to deny the bold phonic sleekness and reassuring promise of thawed ice.
6. Giiwedin (Ojibwe word for "north wind")
We can easily get behind this.
5. Ičamna (Dakota word for "blizzard")
... go Gophs.
3. Dontcha Snow
Sort of a zen-y reflection on the weather, delivered via a pun-y regionalism. Love it.
2. The Big Leplowski
Snowplows are large. The locally sourced Coen brothers rock. No lies detected.
1. Mr. Plow
The ideal homage to a flawless Simpsons episode from the prime era of the series. Bravo. We need to make this happen.
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