Tusk to Tail: Have Porta-Cool 2000, will travel and tailgate

What's in a number? In the SEC, everything. Returning starters, the size of a team’s offensive line, and the number of starts for a quarterback make up a few of the more important team statistics. In tailgating, it is much the same.

The number of chairs, coolers, TV's and tents matters. I am always evaluating and looking for holes in our set up, improving ways of organization, storage, and mobility, while finding ways to upgrade the experience for our guests. Tusk to Tail takes this task seriously, and each year we make a few upgrades.

Just as the Hogs have been working hard during the off-season, Tusk to Tail has been doing much the same. Anticipating the really hot games in September each season, we used our funds to purchase a Porta-Cool 2000 unit. It is a gigantic “swamp cooler” fan that will run off of our generators, and has a 10-gallon water reservoir to give us five hours of cooling with each fill-up. We hope to drop the temperature in our tent about 5-10 degrees, with the help of some regular fans. We will find out this Saturday if it works, as 90 degrees and sunny is hot.

The Porta-Cool unit can be easily transported, so we look forward to using it at home “On the Hill,” on the golf course in Little Rock, or on the road around the SEC.

The University of Texas at El Paso Miners are not stirring any excitement in the fan base, but the prospect of the season’s first game is. We are expecting a crowd around 50 for this first game. With the Miners hailing from El Paso, our theme will be southwestern. Tusk to Tail will serve chicken, beef, and pork street tacos with our standard trays of chicken tenders for those not willing to go south of the border. We will have our usual drink assortment, but with the SEC Nation broadcast crew setting up next to our tent so early, we might throw in some Bloody Mary’s for the early arrivers.

As this week slowly ticks by in countdown to Saturday, I’ll begin shopping and staging some equipment by Thursday. Greg Houser and I will go to Victory Village Friday night and hang a few things to get a head start, and then we will be off and running bright and early Saturday by 8 a.m.

All of us at Tusk to Tail are so thankful for a new season of college football. This will be the first time since we have been writing these articles for The City Wire that the Hogs are starting the season in the top 25, and I think we have a legitimate chance to stay there the entire season.

Further in the season we have some great road trips lined up with Dallas, Tennessee, Bama, Ole Miss, and last but not least, LSU. We have been to each stadium multiple times, but this will be the first time to tailgate in Knoxville. All of our destinations make most folks’ list of top places to tailgate.

Speaking of which, I recently read in Tailgater Magazine the top 25 schools to tailgate across the nation. I was astonished by some of the schools that made the top 25. I know the magazine is trying to be inclusive and appeal to a diverse readership, but Appalachian State in the top 25? Come on, let’s be reasonable. 

So in response, I’ll be adding some lists of our own to this season’s Tusk to Tailgate previews. Best campuses to tailgate, best campus aesthetic, best off-campus entertainment options and best college town dining are some of the things you may find covered.

It should be fun, and since political correctness has never been our strong suit, it will be honest. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you and calling the Hogs.