Tusk to Tail 2014: Hoping against ‘The Longest Day’ in Starkville

We head to Starkville, Miss., Saturday to see the Razorbacks take on the number one team in the country. Not many of us are going on this trip, so the HogFather Craig May and I decided we would forgo getting hotel rooms and just go down and back on the day of the game.

Our plan is for May, Sam Atkinson, and myself to leave Little Rock around 8 a.m. on Saturday. Stopping along the way to pick up Clay Curtner then onto Memphis for some world famous Rendezvous barbecue, we should be in Starkvegas around 2:30 or so. A lot of that will depend on the number of orange barrels we encounter on Interstate 40 headed east, which is always under construction.

We’ve been invited to attend a couple of tailgates, and that may be what we decide to do. But the HogFather likes to leave nothing to chance, so we will probably include a small TV and a satellite dish, along with one of our generators, to make sure we can watch some football before the main event begins.

For those who have not been to Starkville, it’s a lovely enough place without a whole lot to do. When you Google things to do in Starkville, you come across a website that lists the top seven attractions. From the highest to the lowest they are Mississippi State University, The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, Cobb Museum of Archeology, The Pita Pit fast food place, Bulldog Lanes (yes, bowling made the top 7), Ptolemy’s Taproom, and Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern. I think now our readership can guess why we chose to drive home after the game.

From my personal experience, I have few vivid memories from Starkville. I remember that it’s hilly, and they serve great food in the press box, including ice cream made by the school’s dairy. It seems as though all the coeds signed a form saying they will only wear cowgirl boots to a football game. And of course I remember “The Great Wall” in the men’s restroom, where a gutter of open drains and a trickle of water replace actual plumbing fixtures.

Oh yeah, I also remember these guys. It’s enough to make any Bulldog proud.

Finally, I remember that while Christopher Walken once famously declared, "Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell," on Saturday Night Live, when you leave the Mississippi State, stadium you will not want any more cowbell.

The game should end around 9:30 p.m. or so with a Razorback victory. It will then take me about an hour to edit the pictures I shoot from the field, pack up my camera gear, and make my way back to the parking lot. If we are able to head out by 10:30, then we should return to Little Rock around 3 a.m. Sunday morning.

If we win, I don’t think any of us will care. If we have a game like we did against Alabama or Georgia, then it will truly be the longest day.