Remembering the Great Mitten Debate: Michigan vs. Wisconsin
It's the audacity, for me. Do you remember the time when Wisconsin dared to challenge Michigan over which state was more mitten-shaped? It's a debate that still makes my blood boil to this day. There are many things we Michiganders can spar with Cheeseheads over: who has the better shoreline of Lake Michigan, who can actually lay claim to the Upper Peninsula, but when it comes to which state is more mitten-like there is no contest.
It all started back in 2011 when the official tourism board of Wisconsin posted an image on their website which featured their state covered in a knitted mitten- an idea Michigan has been playing up for years. This no doubt riled up me and fellow Michiganders and started a debate that still goes to this day.
I personally don't have anything against Wisconsin. I have family that lives outside the Milwaukee-area so I've taken the Amtrak from Kalamazoo to visit them several times. I love cheese, Happy Days and That '70s Show, and Miller beer as much as the next girl. In many ways Wisconsin and Michigan are very similar! When my Wisconsinite cousins first began defending the mitten argument I rolled my eyes, but when they started to point to their hand as a map- that was too far!
This great debate drew national and even global attention; the Daily Mail in the UK even picked up the story. Wisconsinites argue they are not simply stealing Michigan's thunder, but they are complimenting the true Mitten state. Wisconsin man Tom Lyons said, "Even children know that one mitten doesn't cut it when it comes to Midwest winters...Wisconsin is the left mitten. Michigan is the right mitten." But wait, that doesn't even make any sense!
Pure Michigan spokesman Dave Lorenz claimed Wisconsin suffers from "mitten envy" and even put it to a vote on the Pure Michigan website where Michigan got the major of the votes, of course! Eventually the Cheeseheads conceded, but it's a rivalry that has not been forgotten. If you'd like a laugh just read through the comments in this Reddit thread: Which State is More Shaped Like a Mitten?