Monday, February 16, 2009

Grand Forks versus Fairbanks

The two teams I like least are the next two teams coming to the Sullivan Arena: The Susies and the Nookies. A recitation of my reasoning (or lack of it) for disliking these team isn't in the offing here today though. In the past I've thoroughly taken each place apart and shown when compared to even a semi-cosmopolitan city like Anchorage that they fully don't meet muster. One typical response to unveiling each of them as shitholes-in-their-own-right has been their resident's retorting how they like their town just fine and are happy to be there. Good on them. I'm happy you're happy because anyone with that sort of poor judgement is someone I don't want driving on the roads in my town. With them being synergistically linked schedule-wise I thought I'd take the time to compare and contrast Grand Forks and Fair Banks.

On first glance one might think that both places have the same sort of geographically inspired names. But Fairbanks is actually named for a person instead of the Fairly muddy Banks of the Chena river. Surprised me when I found out. Grand Forks ... not named for a person. I fired off "Google Earth" to have a look at for myself at these Forks which are exaggeratingly labeled Grand. I'd post the view here but nobody ever clicks on the pictures to enlarge them so just take my word for it; nothing particularly Grand there. It's a "Y" spot where a couple of rivers meet. Fairbanks wins just for having gotten it's name honestly. Overselling was apparently a mindset of the founders of GF; something that continues today.

Next I thought I'd compare the general ambience of each place. I give this comparison whole-heartedly to GF. Downtown Fairbanks has a solid 50s/60s feel to it. Does nothing for me. Downtown Grand Forks on the other hand has some wonderful art-deco facades from early in the century that really appeal to me. Outside of downtown, Fairbanks is a mind-numbing mish-mash of roads that meander along the same paths they did when they were nothing more than trails through the sticks connecting homesteads. Grand Forks appears to have grown more in the same style as many other American cities. The further away from downtown you get the more strip-malls and subdivisions you find. Airport Road in Fairbanks is really just too far beyond stupid to get into here. If you're scoring at home that's 1 for GF and 1 for FBX.

Next we have to look at interesting/important infrastructure relevant to each area. I'm going to name two things for Fairbanks and compare/contrast those with a single GF thing. I hope you don't think that is too unfair. Truth is that GF is quite a bit bigger than FBX so I'm trying to even the field here. You already know I'm all about fairness right? For Grand Forks there is one obvious choice. The Ralph Engelstad Arena. Named for the gambling magnate with a nazi fetish who donated $100,000,000 to have it built, the place is a palace rivaling anything that Saddam Hussein built for himself. If it didn't have the faggy NHL sized sheet it would be the best Arena in college hockey. It has a myriad of do-dads to enthrall the insipid masses that fill it for Susie games and it seats over 11,000 of em. It would be a place of pride for ANY city in the 100,000 - 500,000 population range. This is why I have to give Fairbanks two things for this comparison.

Fairbanks has the largest Electric Utility Battery-Backup system in the world. Seriously. THE. If the city of Fairbanks has a power outage the batteries they have could supply about half the city with power for as much as 4 hours. WOW. That's a helluva lotta juice. Long ago I worked what's called "inside plant" for a telephone outfit. They have big banks of batteries to keep the phones working in power outages. You couldn't get me near those little rooms full of batteries. I sure as hell wouldn't want to be in the warehouse full of batteries that Fairbanks must have. Good grief. Fairbanks other claim to fame infrastructure-wise is their shitpile. OK. That wasn't a nice way to describe one of the largest compost facilities anywhere. When whoever it was that decided to crank up a compost heap came up with the idea, he was told Fairbanks was too cold. The folks that told him that were obviously wrong. Fairbank's compost heap is going great guns! Don't snear at it. Composting will save the world one day and I for one am happy to have our neighbors to the north lead the way in turning shit into organic fertilizer.

So what wins here? The Ralph or Batteries and Turds? I say it's a push. Farmers in North Dakota agree with me. The Ralph never did anything to help their Alfalfa come up healthy. But a chance to drive 60 miles to watch some hockey in comfort is something they can appreciate. So yeah ... it's a tie. GF vs. FBX: 1-1-1

If those were the only things that mattered for our comparison then I'd be happy with the outcome. But unfortunately, there are other things that tip the scale dramatically in Grand Forks favor. They have less driving time to a real city. Fairbanks to Anchorage = 361 miles. Grand Forks to Minneapolis = 314 miles or Grand Forks to Duluth = 267. Also you can drive out of Grand Forks in any of four direction and actually get somewhere worthwhile. Drive any direction out of Fairbanks other than south and you end up in no place. Fairbanks does have natural trees and scenery on the horizon, while Grand Forks .. um ... doesn't. Both places get cold enough to freeze a few ounces of water immediately when tossed into the air. So what I'm saying here is that Grand Forks is better than Fairbanks but mostly only due to the fact that it is near the real world and Fairbanks isn't. Fairbanks rules though in the lower average windspeed contest.

2-1-1 for Grand Forks. Nice. I'm expecting a "We're Better Than Fairbanks" cheer next time UND plays at home.

27 comments:

Dirty said...

Of course we're better than Fairbanks. We're better then the whole freaking state of Alaska.

Donald Dunlop said...

Dirty:
Come now. I've shown over and over and over on Internet fan forums and on this blog that Anchorage dramatically outpaces/outperforms/outdoes Grand Forks in any and/or every category that people consider when sizing up a city. Only a fool would seriously try to go down that road with me.

Be happy I didn't compare the programs at UND and UAF. That would have tilted the balance to Fairbanks. See they do actual relevant science there. But I didn't use those comparisons because Alaska is grotesquely more rich than North Dakota and can easily fund such things.

Serously, stick to bashing the lame Aces webpage.

SiouxFaninFargo said...

Are you feeling okay, Donald? That was pretty tame. I look forward to your scathing columns about Grand Forks and North Dakota in general. Maybe there's more to come....

BTW, does UAA webcast their games? If so, where can I find it?
(Lazy.)

Anonymous said...

Brown Chicken Brown Cow!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the blog sdueing the North Dakota...Nobody out spanks the Donald...

Anonymous said...

Donald is a legend in his own mind.

Anonymous said...

Is there a game in Anchorage friday or saturday or do we waste time talking about everything but hockey. No wonder the uaa program is in trouble.
Fan

No 1 und is coming to town, we have a chance to knock off another highly rated team. So we talk nothng about the game.
Let's support our team with some positive comments about the players and the season. Let's fill the sully for the best team we have seen in years.

Fan

Anonymous said...

You forgot Winnipeg which is 145 miles north and the home town of two current players on UAA's roster.

Based on the treatment of Selby, however, this will probably be the last time you ever get two boys from Winnipeg to ever go up there.

Shyiak will need to go before your program becomes a realistic option again.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some Canadian Parents are not to happy.

seawolvesfan said...

"Serously, stick to bashing the lame Aces webpage." true-there new one sucks ass. doesnt even have stats from this season-LAME.

Anonymous said...

"...Nobody out spanks the Donald..."

Especially when it comes to spanking the monkey.

seawolvesfan said...

"Seawolvesfan: Before you knock down McCabe and Daychief......none of us know the real reason why they left. Altho you are entitled to your opinion, your wrong to call them "prissy primadonas" unless you are sure of the facts. All we had to go on was what Cobb sent out to the press. If you want to believe that, then go for it. Yeah, they left and, yeah, it hurt the team......but those two were far from primadonas. The bottom line is if they didn't want to be on the team, then they were no help to the team. I think the coaching staff and players have moved on long ago from their departure. The rest of us have to as well." wait so are you agreeing with me? [(The bottom line is if they didn't want to be on the team, then they were no help to the team)yeah so screw them, there traitors in my book forever]

jjack said...

Down here in Mawntana, I hear a lot of people talking about how it's been their dream to go to North Dakota. One guy confronted me upon discovering (on his own) that I was from Grand Forks and asked me, "Why the hell would you leave God's Country to come to Butte?"

Actually, all of that is bullshit. If you want it to be true, substitute "Alaska" where you see "North Dakota" and "Anchorage" where "Grand Forks" is. If it wasn't for the Susies I would have no reason to know that Grand Forks, ND even exists.

Anonymous said...

You going to _airbanks for the game, Donald?

Suze said...

To the person who left the comment:

"Based on the treatment of Selby, however, this will probably be the last time you ever get two boys from Winnipeg to ever go up there."

I don't mean to be disrespectful, but each coach has players who sit when the fans think they should play. Happens to every team in every league. The fact that Selby has stuck it out and not walked away is a credit to him, and I hope he has earned a solid place in the line up from here on out.

I'd like him to have a spectacular break out season next year, for his senior year.

Neil said...

Selby is a talent that has been underutilized for a while, IMHO. For what reason? Nobody really knows. I really wish someone would tell us or he would just get a chance to skate on a regular shift (non-checking).

Dirty said...

Since my last comment got deleted by Donnie, I'll just try again!

UND has contributed plenty of worthwhile stuff. They sent a pair of scissors up on the last space shuttle! Take that Fairbanks!

Anonymous said...

Dirty should just make comments on his own blog.

Jeff said...

I saw Grant practicing today. He was wearing a red jersey which probably lets the other players know to take it easy on him during practice

Donald Dunlop said...

Dirty:
I haven't deleted any comments in this string. I deleted two Gopher comments which were ... "blah blah you're an asshole" stuff in the post previous to this.

Anonymous said...

I am sitting in Grand Forks laughing at all of you guys. No surprise Sarah Palin runs your state and you love it

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I am sitting in Grand Forks laughing at all of you guys. No surprise Sarah Palin runs your state and you love it

February 18, 2009 5:34 AM

what Toe Tapper runs your's Dak Rat??

Anonymous said...

And I'm sitting in beautiful Alaska laughing at YOU because you are stuck in God forsaken Grand Forks. LOL

Anonymous said...

And I'm sitting in beautiful Alaska laughing at YOU because you are stuck in God forsaken Grand Forks. LOL

Anonymous said...

What ever floats your boat.

krangodance said...

"Be happy I didn't compare the programs at UND and UAF. That would have tilted the balance to Fairbanks. See they do actual relevant science there. But I didn't use those comparisons because Alaska is grotesquely more rich than North Dakota and can easily fund such things."

Actually, UND has a first-class science and technology department. After all, UND is one of the top rated aviation schools in the world. The tech budget for that aviation department benefits many other science and technology departments at UND.

I started my college career at UND, but finished up at another University. I can say with confidence that UND is a top notch college.

As for Grand Forks itself, it's plenty fun when you're a student or visiting old friends, but I would never want to live there. Obviously, when it comes to natural beauty, Alaska is tough to beat when compared to just about any part of the U.S. so GF doesn't stand a chance.

At the same time, if I'm not mistaken, this is a hockey blog. That being the case, UND takes the cake hands down. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Anchorage and Fairbanks have a combined zero national championships and it's a miracle when one of them even makes the tournament. UND has seven national championships and are true contenders almost every year.

BrettB in STL said...

UAA Hockey Fan Blog, may be the title to this blog, so trying to compare to UND hockey to any other college program is just unfair. I mean UND's Hockey Program is better then most NHL programs! So of course Donnie is forced to not talk about hockey when the Fighting Sioux come to town.

Post a Comment