In honor of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, this week’s Power Poll is dedicated to the most peculiarly and perfectly British things. We hope you enjoy them as much as the Irish enjoyed chanting “Lizzy’s in a box!” at every sporting event for the past two weeks.
1. Ohio State - Land Rover
First Place Votes: 13 H: 1 L: 2 Last Week: 1
Mastery of the craft in every sense. Their finest work is fit for a Queen, being tastefully appointed and silver-accented while never eschewing the classic form (save for the odd special edition in all black). As speed, power, and maneuverability go, little else in the class compares. Plus, their Defender line is recently updated, with a new look and much less chance of the wheels falling off than past models.
2. Michigan - King Charles III
FPV: 1 H: 1 L: 4 LW: 2
The bluest of blue bloods. Petulant, arrogant, and generally disliked. Far more convinced of his own grandeur and stature than those around him ever will be. Will never be as respected as he wants, and pales in comparison to his predecessors. Still banks on stuff he did decades ago, when people really wanted to like him.
3. Penn State - Austin Mini
H: 2 L: 6 LW: 3
Heralded throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s as a triumph, Sir Alec Issigonis’ design for a small and efficient car with maximum interior space is an object lesson in the power of comparison. The Mini won fame for its ruggedness and no-frills style—gaining popularity the average doctor or lawyer, the laborer down the street, and—in its most famous form—Mr. Bean. Though cheeky and beloved as a symbol of British ingenuity, its success depended largely on beating out smaller, shoddier
teams cars in the mid-to-late 20th century. Forced to compete against bigger, more powerful marques, the Mini’s fortunes quickly waned. Mini limped wearily into the 21st century, a sad reminder of the risks of stagnation. Though now reborn, the new Mini seems unlikely to ever reclaim the success of yesteryear.
4. Maryland - The Queen’s Face on Everything
FPV: 0 H: 2 L: 7 LW: 6
It’s not often that the world’s longest reigning monarch dies—especially one so widely loved and so symbolic of a nation. The grief for Her Majesty and the appreciation of her long life has touched every corner of this island and the commonwealth. But there is a limit to good taste, dear reader. Lizzy’s face has been plastered on everything from a display of beans to the McDonald’s self-order screen to the port-a-loos in Hyde Park. It should go without saying that if you’re dealing with royalty (and a king named Charles no less), good taste should prevail. That includes uniforms, Terp fans. Act like this isn’t your first brush with the crown.
5. Minnesota - Greggs
FPV: 0 H: 4 L: 8 LW: 5
If Dunkin’ had a cousin who went to culinary school and smoked Benson & Hedges instead of Marlboro Lights, his name would be Gregg(s). Greggs is an institution for the British public in the same way “the Troops” is for Americans. Need a sausage roll? Greggs. A coffee, but aren’t too picky about it? Greggs’ll do. Edible(ish) pizza? Greggs again. Doughnut? You guessed it. Pleasant, welcoming, and a bit of a mystery to outsiders, Greggs is Minnesota under a heatlamp. So come to Greggs. See the Starches of The People.
6. Michigan State - Hawker Hurricane
FPV: 0 H: 3 L: 8 LW: 4
The true workhorse of the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane has long been overshadowed by its big brother the Supermarine Spitfire. The Spitfire looks much better and captured the imagination in a way the Hurricane never could—despite the two sharing much of the same DNA. It’s a sad life being second banana to an overrated show-off.
7. Rutgers - 21-year-old Emirati revving a Lamborghini
FPV: 0 H: 4 L: 12 LW: 8
We need their money. It’s the only reason we tolerate this buffoonery. The only reason.
8. Wisconsin - Cheddar
FPV: 0 H: 6 L: 10 LW: 8
It’s a village. It’s a cheese. It’s a gorge. It’s a man. It’s CHEDDAR. To wit, the village of Cheddar in Somerset is the home of the world’s most famous cheese, which was first produced in the steady temperature of the limestone caves in the nearby Cheddar Gorge sometime well before the Romans showed up. The caves were inhabited from neolithic times, and thus gave us Cheddar Man—a human skeleton from about 9,000 BC who proves that we were all once pretty brown and pretty violent. Cheddar and Wisconsin are much alike—excellent when mature, pretty blah otherwise.
9. Indiana - Mr. Bean
FPV: 0 H: 6 L: 11 LW: 9
Making a second appearance in the Power Poll, it’s Mr. Bean! Believe it or not, there are only 15 episodes of the show, produced from 1991-1995. I would’ve sworn I watched at least 100 episodes as a kid. Mr. Bean is one of the most syndicated shows ever, because there is so little actual dialogue that non-English speakers can understand it just fine. Much like Indiana football Mr. Bean is one of the funniest things you’ve ever seen upon first viewing. Truly epic. But the joke wears thin after awhile, and its as sad as it is amusing.
10. Illinois - Beans on Toast
FPV: 0 H: 8 L: 12 LW: 10
Orange, cheap, and bland, but occasionally it just hits the spot. Its biggest fans complain about its many shortcomings while never missing a chance to partake. The Ilinois of £3 dinners.
11. Purdue - Free Tube Newspaper
FPV: 0 H: 9 L: 12 LW: 7
It beats nothing, but only just barely. Nobody knows why they persist in an era that has so clearly surpassed them, but nary a train arrives that does not contain at least one ratty copy of Metro or City AM per seating section. Evan at six in the morning, tube papers look as worn out as the turf at Ross-Ade. Their presence is a reminder of simpler times—when trains were en vogue and people cared about astronauts. Purdue times, we might say.
12. Iowa - Rail Replacement Bus Service
FPV: 0 H: 8 L: 12 LW: 13
What’s big and slow and makes everyone feel worse about their Saturday? The rail replacement bus service. You planned to hop aboard one of the many clapped-out trains that whisk man and beast through London’s increasingly overheating clay soil to a station where a one-armed guitar busker is butchering Coldplay. Instead, you found a hastily-scrawled closure notice (upon which another traveler has drawn an anatomically questionable penis). No tube today. Instead, you will be granted free passage on a bus sold old it runs on whale oil. The route will have been optimized to encounter maximum traffic. Someone is eating sardines. You will question the meaning of life itself.
13. Northwestern - Hobbyist Bagpipers
FPV: 0 H: 13 L: 14 LW: 12
When they are good they are so very good, but when they are bad they are terrible. Fitz is absolutely the guy who wears a kilt to a wedding “because [his] family is Scottish.”
14. Nebraska - Milton Keynes
FPV: 0 H: 13 L: 14 LW: 14
As the first planned city in the UK, Milton Keynes was supposed to change everything. Gone would be the old, tired cityscapes of the pre-war days. A modern Britain required forward thinking, and the bold minds in government had just the ticket: the “new city” that would alleviate the housing crisis in London. Cycle routes! Pedestrian streets! Linear parks! Grid systems! By god, those old cities wouldn’t know what hit them. No other town stood a chance once Milton Keynes showed Britons how to really live! Now, if you’ve been to MK you know that it is actually hopelessly underwhelming, bordering on downright bleakness. The noise and breathless praise of its early days have long since given way to malaise. Word is they’re going to offer Scott Frost “Freedom of the Borough” in recognition of his service to the spirit of fizzling out amidst great hype.