story by Dale Cullins
Editor’s note: Welcome to Tusk to Tail, a special “web reality” presentation of the tailgating experience as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together for more than a decade. Members of the Tusk to Tail Team are Sean Casey, Jack Clark, Dale Cullins, Greg Houser, Craig May, David Rice and Mark Wagner. Link here for the explainer story and the photos and “stats” of the core Tusk to Tail crew. Tusk to Tail is managed by The City Wire and sponsored by Preferred Office Products.
Follow the crew on Twitter — @TuskToTail
Following last week’s loss to Louisiana-Monroe, Razorback Nation is taking a page from the Ole Miss playbook. "We may not win every game, but we've never lost a party."
Tusk to Tail could have never foreseen this development as we tailgated with more than 50,000 of our closest friends on the War Memorial golf course last week, but it has become our current reality.
Despite the embarrassing loss, Tusk to Tail is expecting our biggest crowd yet for this Saturday before the Alabama game. The weather is expected to be perfect for a day of tailgating and football on The Hill, and the national champions are coming to town. I will have our guys ready for it.
Greg Houser and I plan to do a little set up on Friday, weather permitting, and we will arrive a little earlier on Saturday morning to make sure things are ready to go. With a 2:30 p.m. kickoff, what usually takes place over the course of 10 hours for night games will be condensed into a much shorter time.
Though the Tusk to Tailgate begins early in the morning, the largest packs of fans will all begin arriving on campus between 11 a.m. and noon. Be prepared to deal with crowded parking and travel lanes much earlier than usual.
Our early head counts estimate that we can expect more 100 friends and family members who plan to attend the game and walk around the tailgate areas. All of the food will need to be prepared and drinks iced by 9 a.m. Some local barbecue is being catered, utilizing their handy delivery service to have it dropped off before 11 a.m. We are serving the delicious trinity of beef brisket, pulled pork and chicken.
There is no way do we could spend hours grilling when the day is already cut short by the kickoff time. We will grill some bratwursts, chicken wings, and hot dogs, because they are fast to grill and easy to keep warm. Several crock pots and electric chaffing dishes will keep all of our delicacies the perfect temperature. Guests have been encouraged to bring snacks and desserts to help us feed such a large crowd.
The biggest treat added to this week's menu is live entertainment. Sara Morgan and Jason North will sing and play their eclectic mix of bluegrass, country, southern rock, and pop.
I’ve got lots of shopping and planning between now and Saturday, but I'm already looking forward to seeing everyone and seeing how the Hogs will play this week. WPS!
• Recipe Idea
Want to spice up your bratwurst or other grilled sausage? Grill them as normal and portion them. While hot, sprinkle them generously with dry barbecue rub. You can make your own, but we have a sentimental attachment to the Rendezvous seasoning available at most local grocers. Adding cheese cubes, pickles, and salad peppers will make you feel like you’re at our traditional pit stop when heading to games through Memphis.
• Drink Idea
For those who enjoy a Bloody Mary before the early kickoffs, finding a great starter mix is very personal. I like Zing Zang, but I’ll leave that up to you. To spice it up without changing the flavor, simply use a Pepper Vodka. Absolut makes a nice one but there are others that give the drink a nice kick. Garnish with a piece of pickled okra or green bean and rim the glass with celery salt for a delicious twist on this classic cocktail.