Tusk to Tail 2014: Because size matters, the Bama game requires bigger tents

Bama Week. Say it slowly. Let the importance sink in a bit. The Hogs have not beaten the Crimson Tide since 2006 in Fayetteville when 4/5 of the Springdale Five were still on campus and Gus Malzahn was allegedly calling the plays for Houston Nutt. Nick Saban wasn’t even at Alabama yet, showing up the following season in 2007.

Regardless, this is the first time since 2010 that the Hogs or the Fans feel like they have a chance at a win against Alabama. The Tide just lost to Ole Miss and are a bit banged up, turning around for another long road trip to Fayetteville. Don’t get me wrong. The Tide is good, but their defense doesn’t look as formidable as most years and their quarterback play has not been great.

If Arkansas can play their style of ball and keep the mistakes to a minimum, they have a chance to get a win and get out of the SEC West cellar, leaving that to LSU. I’ve had a lot of requests for tickets this week, so it just helps this feel like a big game and a big week in Fayetteville.

In anticipation of a much larger crowd this week, and with the SEC Nation game day show coming to Victory Village and setting up on the doorstep of our tents, we decided it best to add another large tent to the Tusk to Tail setup. That will give us 800 square feet under roof, allowing us to move the bar under the tent and to keep our tables under the tent for extra seating.

The menu for big crowds is always simple. Everyone likes pulled pork and smoked chicken, and it is easy to keep warm. With the game being at 5 p.m., I’ll try to get the food delivered by 1:30. If the food arrives too early, it won’t last until game time. Too late, and you have left overs.

Another key is not to get all of the sides you might have with a smaller group at your home. People are standing up and talking and just want to graze and keep enjoying themselves. I can’t tell you how often I’ve thrown away coleslaw, potato salads, and beans after a big game. Not to mention, there is the added difficulty of trying to keep those items cold and safe for everyone to eat. Save yourself the work, and keep it simple. Let the sides and desserts be the unusual and new items.

With rain in the forecast for Thursday and Friday, Greg Houser and I will be doing some scouting on Friday to see if any straw will be needed for Saturday. We will also hang banners and some lighting to save us time on Saturday morning.

The extra time will be needed, as Craig May has bought a new toy for Tusk to Tail. The Pathway X2 Satellite Dish sold through Dish Network gives us the ability to watch two different channels, including HD local channels, on our two big screen TVs at the same time. This will improve the viewing choices for our tailgaters, as the SEC Network has taken a lot of games off of the Big 4 networks and pushed them onto cable.

As always, we hope you enjoy your tailgate and Go Hogs, Beat Bama!