Tusk to Tail: Hog prep includes ice, nuggets and a little ‘Fire in the Hole’

What a difference a week makes. Things aren’t rosy, but they aren’t as bad as we thought concerning the football team for 2019. They actually look more like we thought they would, but the defense might be a little less formidable than we’d hoped.

At this point, four wins is all you can honestly predict. But if they can improve on defense, stop the injury bug, and improve a little along the offensive line, they might be able to steal a win on the road in Kentucky or at home against Mississippi State. It sure makes you wish that Ole Miss game had been scheduled later in the season once this team had grown up some. But it is what it is, and only the team and the coaching staff can fix it.

We started off the day last Saturday with some pleasant, but humid temperatures and cloudy skies. That sure helped the loading and setting up. I’m not sure anyone broke a sweat during that portion of the day, but it sure would change once the sun broke through. It got hot, August hot, in a hurry. It made us feel a bit sad for the fans and even the visiting fans trying to enjoy HogTown with no place to retreat out of the sun. In the stands. it was much the same.

Everyone did their best to find some shade and survive long enough for the shade to move into their section. It makes you wish we could all afford domed stadiums in the South.

Compared to the week prior, it was an uneventful tailgate. Both satellites were working with no issues to speak of, and other than ice, we planned pretty well. I had bought extra ice preparing for the heat but we still went through almost 300 pounds of it by the relatively early kickoff. With it being a night game this week, we are going to have to load in an extra 100 pounds. On that note, a good tailgate tip is to bring an empty cooler for the extra ice. Leave it bagged but that will help hold it longer until it is needed in another cooler later in the day.

We also moved the bar into the tent to help keep the private feel to the tailgate and that really seemed to help. I think our bartenders Kara and Casey enjoyed it more, as they truly were the centers of attention and it kept a good flow to the tent. They had even created a secret drink for the game and that was a big hit as well. I’ll share that recipe at the end of the article.

As I’m sure you all know by now, the Hogs play San Jose State in Fayetteville this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network. There is still a decent chance of rain, but the temperature looks more like a September date for football. Saturday has a high of 81, with high 70’s for kick-off. We will wait until Wednesday to decide if we want to have side walls put up by the tent providers to keep the TV’s dry if a shower pops up.

We are going with a Mexican theme on Saturday. Brad will cook up some street tacos of barbacoa, chorizo and chicken. We will add in some Guacamole, 7-layer dip, corn dip and cheese dip, as well as chicken fingers for the kids.

With the later kick you’ll need to keep in mind that some of your party will be eating twice and you will have more time for your regulars to eat and drink. That could be as much as an extra 30% added to your provisions requirement. As a good rule of thumb I normally count on one adult eating 5 ounces of a protein. Usually 60% of a red meat or pork and 40% to chicken. However, one thing you can never really have enough of is fried chicken fingers or nuggets. Everyone snacks on the nuggets and of course some of the ladies and kids will make that their meal. When it is hot, however, the consumption might be slightly lower, but it is hard to predict. Better to have too much than not enough.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for clear weather and cooler temps this Saturday, and another Hog victory. Here is that recipe for a refreshing drink on a hot day.

Fire in the Hole
1.5 oz good gin
0.75 oz Giffard Fraise des Bois
0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
0.75 oz simple syrup
2 dashes angostura bitters
2 slices of fresh jalapeño
Top with soda

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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