story by Dale Cullins
Editor’s note: Welcome to the second season of 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. Tusk to Tail is managed by The City Wire and is sponsored by Powerhouse Seafood and Grill Restaurant.
Link here to the Tusk to Tail introduction for the 2013 season.
Follow the crew on Twitter — @TuskToTail
For most tailgaters, the 11 a.m. kickoff can be troublesome. You go through the same effort as a later tailgate, but with a much shorter return on your investment of time and money.
Not so for Tusk to Tail. We plan to arrive early, stay late, and enjoy a full slate of games, no matter the posted start time.
This Saturday’s game has the Hogs playing Southern Mississippi at 11:21 a.m. I’m fairly certain when this game was lined up Larry Fedora (now at North Carolina) was still the head coach, and winning games at a good clip. Now, not so much. Southern Miss is on a 14-game losing streak, and I’m hoping the Hogs can help them continue that.
As with last season and the first two years of Bobby’s reign, the Hogs are staring a good number of early kickoffs right in the face. It’s the price to be paid for not being relevant. We plan to load the trailer at 7 a.m. and start unloading our gear by 7:30 in Victory Village.
We will run somewhat of a cold camp, heavy on donuts, biscuits, and croissants, and light on warm cream cheese danishes and a couple different egg casseroles. We will probably throw in 100 or so chicken nuggets to top it off.
The fun part of the early games is the varied drink menu. Besides the staple of what Tusk to Tail respectfully calls John Dalys (Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade), we will offer Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers and Mimosas to wash it all down.
After the game, those who wish will be treated with the day’s main event, Alabama at Texas A&M. We plan to keep the big screens running for several hours after the game to let the traffic thin out and provide a little return on investment for Tusk to Tail.
I’m pulling for Alabama coach Nick Saban in this rematch, just because I don’t like Johnny Football too much, despite my respect his coach Kevin Sumlin. I have heard it said that Saban has kept game video from last year’s upset running in the Alabama weight room all summer long. This and the genius of Saban should provide plenty of motivation for Bama.
As with the past two weeks, the dry weather is much appreciated but the temps, not so much. The projected high of 85 degrees on Saturday will feel like a nice Fall day compared to the last two games. I plan to have at least 3 waters per person on hand and Gatorade for the kids that somehow manage to play football outside our tent all day.
We also plan to have some electric fans going to help keep things cool under the tent, but discussion has already begun to purchase a Portacool unit for next season. The Portacool promises to reduce the temperature by up to 30 degrees in a 600-square-foot area. If we can reduce ours by 20 degrees in a 900-squar- foot area it will be well worth the $800, and useful for seasons to come.
Tusk to Tail is ready for game day. It can’t get here soon enough.