Tusk to Tail: And then there were two

Depending on who you ask, the Hogs are where we thought they would be, or worse. I can’t say it’s much worse than I thought. I figured we would beat San Jose State and then have a chance to beat Ole Miss or Mississippi State, and of course beat Western Kentucky.

That would put Arkansas at 5-7 on the year, but perhaps you could steal a win on the road at Kentucky, or at home against Missouri to get to a bowl game. Six wins was not out of the question.

Now, after what we have seen, if Coach Morris doesn’t play the freshmen KJ Jefferson or John Stephen Jones, the Hogs have better than a 50/50 chance of going 2-10 again. At that point, I’m worried the wheels come off and you lose the fan base. It is the new reality. The season comes down to these two home games on The Hill.

Those two games will be the last two tailgates I plan this year. There is one afternoon game and one morning game. That really helps out my planning and purchasing over the next two weeks knowing exactly what I’ll need to finish up the season.

This week’s afternoon game is at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network. That is pretty much a perfect kickoff time for a tailgate. It is just enough time for guests to get up and arrive around 11 a.m. for 3-4 hours of fun, but not so long that you have to feed folks twice. It will put a big dent in the supplies, but not wipe them out. It should leave just a few essential purchases for the last tailgate, which is set for 11 a.m. against Western Kentucky the next week.

So far, the weather is looking perfect Saturday. We expect a cold start around 30 degrees, but it will be sunny. It is supposed to warm to a pleasant, but cool 52 degrees. That may be too warm for our portable heaters, but it’s close.

Thanks to a generous donation from Zephyr Foods, owned by one of our members, we have plenty of sausages to cook up for sandwiches and bites. We will have all of the usual sides to include chili, kraut, onions, peppers, and cheese. We will have cheese dip, chicken nuggets, and chicken fingers, as well.

I think we will try a new drink out this week, the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, equal parts Rumchata and Fireball. You can add a rim of sugar/cinnamon if you want, but I’m not sure that will stick to our plastic shot glasses. Should be fun. What could possibly go wrong?

For tailgating tips, I have a few. As always, traffic will be closed at 11 a.m. this Saturday, so keep that in mind for your arrival. We’ve learned over the years to keep some wooden precut blocks in our gear for table and satellite leveling. They can be whatever size, but 3×3 or 4×4 seems to be a good size. Buy the smaller sizes of water and soft drinks, especially on cooler days. People will drink less of those types of fluids. If you are like me, you hate pouring drinks out and wasting them. However, more importantly for you organizers out there, the smaller bottles and cans take up less room in your coolers. In the end, you can satisfy more guests with less waste using the same number of coolers.

As always, check your list and check them twice!

Go Hogs, Beat Bulldogs!

Editor’s note: Now in its eighth year, Tusk to Tail is the sport of tailgating as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together sober and otherwise for more than a decade. The primary focus of Tusk to Tail will be to follow the Hogs through the fans’ perspective with their insightful, irreverent, smart-alecky and sometimes practical style. Tusk to Tail sponsors are the Arkansas Lottery Scholarship program and Turn Key Construction Management. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram, all @TuskToTail.

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