Tusk to Tail 2014: Sometimes you gotta bring a little wood to the party

The sweet smell of victory in the morning, or was that crude oil? Either way, it was great for the Hogs to win that game in Lubbock. I know Texas Tech is not what the Razorback fans should be measuring the program against in the long term but right now, after the last two seasons, the Hogs needed that game. Hell, we needed that game. Tusk to Tail needed that game.

There is nothing like walking into an opposing team’s sports bar with a win in your back pocket and ordering a beer and wings. Everything just tastes better, and that is exactly what we did last Saturday night in Lubbock. I had missed that feeling, more than I realized.

Not too long ago, the Hogs and Tusk to Tail were running about 50/50 on the road in the win/loss column. We even did a bit better with Coach Petrino, so it was always a good emotional investment to go travel with the team and see what happened. I get the feeling we will be back there in no time. We won’t win them all, but we will win our share, and that is where the fun lies.

From Fayetteville it was 8.5 hours driving, and about 10 total hours each way. I think the guys from Little Rock had about an hour longer. The drive through Wichita Falls was more scenic and only about 20 minutes longer than the Amarillo route. I don’t know that we saw one Texas State Trooper the entire way, which is a good thing, as we averaged about 85 miles per hour out there and still had some folks passing us.

This week the Huskies of Northern Illinois come to campus for a 6 p.m. game on ESPNU. With their mascot a dog, there wasn’t much to do with that, and I didn’t think Polish food would go over too well at our tailgate. So we decided to go in a completely different direction with grilled hamburgers.

Back Yard Burgers is bringing their grill and catering the Tusk to Tailgate with beef and turkey burgers with all of the fixings. None of us had a grill large enough to throw out more than 100 burgers and more importantly, none of us wanted to sit behind the grill long enough to cook that many. That’s just not fun or social. I’m looking forward to figuring out the logistics of this, as it may become a regular seasonal menu option for us.

Everything went pretty smooth for the first tailgate two weeks ago. Of course there was some first game confusion on who was doing what, but we pulled it together fairly quickly, and I’m sure it will go much smoother this week. We will add some lighting to the mix since it is a night game, and with a chance of rain, we will make sure our straw is still in good shape from the last game. The late kickoff and warm temperatures will call for plenty of ice and extra water to last for what will turn into a 13-hour day of tailgating.

This week’s tailgating tip has been a simple, but effective staple for Tusk to Tail since we moved our dog and pony show to the hills of Victory Village. If you have uneven ground and worry about food, drinks, or expensive equipment like a big screen television sliding off your tables, cut some 4”x 4” wooden blocks out of ½” plywood and use those to shore up your table legs. The wood is much better than cardboard and they last from season to season. Throw a duffel bag full of wooden blocks in your tailgating supplies, and you will often be glad you did.

Go Hogs, Beat Huskies!