What do real estate agents do when they don't have a client to work with? They blog apparently, well not exactly. The author of the article 35 Things Every Nebraskan Has To Do Before They Die is a freelance writer in Chicago for Motovoto (among other things) so the author is not a real estate agent, but why is an article like this on a real estate search aggregate website? I'll tell you why, web traffic, SEO (that is Search Engine Optimization) and site ranking, otherwise known as Click Bait.
Now my beef is not with the author nor even with the click bait that this site (motovoto) has "bought" from the author. My beef is with these articles XX Things every (insert state name here) you must (see, do, eat, smell, touch) before you (insert future tense verb, usually Die). More often than not these come from sites that are really trying to sell something and use a click bait or other highly share-able blog posting that is relate-able to a demographic of people, in this case Nebraskans. Some quick internet stalking, that is code for a quick first page Google search, turns up no confirmation that this author even lived in Nebraska.
As a native Nebraskan myself, I thought it would be fun to analyze (or over analyze) the 35 points brought up in the article and judge their merits as worthy, mediocre or blatant advertisement for a specific thing or place. Now this is MY opinion and yours may be different and that is great and by all means voice it in the comments if you dis-agree.
Lets start shall we.
1. Cheer On The Huskers At Memorial Stadium
While I am not a Husker fan, never have been, nor do I particularly care for Husker fanatics, however I have to agree on this one. Husker games live are something worth experiencing once. I can say this as I have attended several games in the past, most during the Tom Osborne (the messiah of Nebraska) years. And you thought this blog was going to be all negative, read on.
2. Stop Being So Vanilla At Ted And Wally’s
Every independent ice cream shop in the country or the state claims to have the best ice cream. Nebraska isn't even in the top 5 of the largest dairy producing states. Paid advertisement? Probably not, but not worth seeing unless you happen to be in the Old Market area on a 100 degree day.
3. Tap Into Your Wild Side At The Henry Doorly Zoo
Who'd of thunk Nebrasky could have a decent zoo. While it is in Omaha, the largest city in Nebraska, one would still not think that a state that used to have a football team named the "bugeaters" would have highly educational and unique animal park. See I am not being too harsh on this list.
4. Drive By The Automobile Version Of Stonehenge
This title alone makes me laugh because that is about all the time you need to spend there. Carhenge (built 1987), I call this one a "drive by viewing" because any more than 1 minute walk from the parking lot to the "monument" is 1 more minute than you need to know that this college art project is just a ploy to bring in tourism to an otherwise very boring part of the state. There are much better attractions on this list that are also located within a 100 mile radius that are a better bet.
6. It’s Time To Rediscover Your Childhood… Ohhh Yeah!
Make sure you don't try to smash though any brick walls on your way to the museum. This is one of the little known facts about Nebraska. Somebody invented Kool-Aid in Hastings and now there is a nice exhibit detailing the history of the company along with some interesting natural history. This is a must see, as you know Kool-Aid can be used as a cheap and easy hair dye for Halloween.
7. Take A Dip In Lake McConaughy
If swimming in spring runoff, waste water that has been treated and re-treated numerous times from large metropolitan cities, small communities as well as waste runoff from countless cattle and hog operations by all means take the Nestea plunge. Just don't open your eyes underwater. It is a lake, people and every weekend people flock to this place and sometimes have fun. Fun things like getting a fish hook stuck in your foot. Stay in the boat on this one.
8. Become A Corn Maze Master
This one seems like another paid endorsement type of deal. Go to Iowa, there is nothing but corn in that state and the highways are like the interiors of the mazes them self. Keep on driving past Fremont on the old Lincoln highway on your way to better things to see.
12. Hike To Scotts Bluff Along The Oregon Trail
Unlike Carhenge, which appeared earlier on this list, this is a sight to behold. A unique piece of geology and geographical feature smack dab in the flatlands. Much like the Kansas pyramids, this IS something to stare and wonder at how it was formed. Plus you can see it from miles away on your travels to it.
18. Then Put Away Your Inner Food Critic For Some Low Brow Deliciousness
Low brow? This is good eatin'! It is food like grandma used to make, or so they claim. Bierocks compete head to head with the Big Mac and Whopper in most towns, but Runza has the total package. A high school track meet would not be the same without the local franchise selling these warm pockets.
19. Explore Omaha’s Trendy Old Market District
It is like the Pearl Street mall only without the legalized mary jane, oh and less streetwalkers and peddlers. To be honest, it is a fun little place to see when your in "the big city" It is no Rodeo drive but it is pretty upscale compared to the rest of Nebraska. Check it out.
21. Grab A Slice And A Pint At Yia Yia’s
More filler, less posts. Another advertisement. This is a pizza joint that claims to have the best pizza in Lincoln, well I heard a guy named Ray that claims to have the best pizza in New York. See where I am going with this? Nothing special here.
24. Become An Armchair Paleontologist
Truly a unique site where animals were "frozen in time". Not many people would consider Nebraska and this part of the state a hot bed for paleontology. The best part about this dig site is the general public can get up close and personal with it. I might ad the paleontologists are much less pretentious than in other areas of the world. It is quite a drive off the beaten path but an interesting path none the less. Not nearly as old as what is found in the Rockies though.
26. Eat More Ramen Than You Ever Did In College
I have never heard of this (checks article), oh maybe it is brand new and only 1 year old. Come on, this is a stretch. Is Omaha trying to compete with Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest? Well no, not exactly a hoity toity noodle fest. Weird for the sake of weird? No, just no.
27. Become A Real Life Cowboy For A Day…
I hate stereotypes, especially that not all Nebraskan's are cowboys or ride a horse. There are no "injuns" to fight. Even the real ranchers and farmers aren't true cowboys with their smart phones and bluetooth headsets. Still this is just another paid advertisement or filler. Go to Wyoming to see real cowboys, there is no cell service out there.
30. Grab Some Chicken Fried Steak At Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse
Terrible food, crazy crap on the walls and a wait staff that treats every customer as if they are dining and dashing. It is not really their fault the railroad transients don't pay their tabs. They could at least keep track of their receipts better. The only restaurant I have ever been to that I will never have a good thing to say about it. If you like big game on the walls and high class food there is a better restaurant in Denver that is way older than this. It is called the BuckHorn Exchange, I highly recommend. Ole's Big Game Steakhouse can suck the big one if you ask me.