beer cups

Tusk to Tail: Losing hope, in the hole, but trying to ‘find the bright spots’

What else is there to be said? If you’ve listened to sports talk radio or read anything online you know it has all been said in the past three days. Things are worse than we thought, and god only knows how long it is going to take to get out of this hole.

I don’t even think folks are mad. It’s worse than that. The hope has been lost. The realization that this could be like the basketball program’s long demise is setting in. An entire generation of Hog fans could grow up not knowing success for this program. I personally will have to see another year to truly know if this coaching staff can get it done or not. Until then, I’m not going to focus on the negative. I’ll stay positive, be realistic and find the bright spots where I can.

Last week’s tailgate was fun. It might be the last night game the Hogs have this year, and in some ways it felt like it. We had close to 90 folks pass through the tent, and everyone was enjoying the day. The day’s games on TV were entertaining, and the food and beverages hit the spot. Kara and Casey even made a new secret drink for the members of our tailgate, code named the Lot 56. It was a refreshing tequila concoction and was a big hit. (Check below for the recipe.)

Chef Brad hit it out of the park with his street tacos, plus we had sides for days and over 150 chicken fingers. By the end of the night, only some scraps were left, which is what you shoot for.

This week’s 11 a.m. game in Arlington is everything you don’t wish for: a game in a venue that has worn out its welcome, against a team that I think has beaten the Hogs now 7 years in a row, at a time that only the east coast can enjoy. Tusk to Tail only has a small band of fans attending this game. A few of us had held out hope of attending, but the early kick dashed those hopes. For me, with high school football to attend on Friday night, I just can’t justify the effort to attend the game for what will most likely be a 3-9 team.

However, if you are attending and you do hope to tailgate, don’t forget the local Dallas liquor stores close at 9 pm on Friday night and will not open until 10 am on Saturday. You can’t even buy beer at Walmart across the street from the stadium until 9 a.m. on Saturday, so be prepared.

If you make it down Friday and have some time to kill, I can suggest a few things to do and some spots to eat. The 6th Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza is a solemn historical treat, covering the assassination of President Kennedy. There is the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the SMU campus and exceptional art to view in the Dallas Museum of Art. The stockyards and the food at Joe T Garcia’s are worth a visit to Fort Worth. If you have the time, consider a tour of the Firestone and Robertson Distillery. They are the makers of TX Whiskey and Bourbon.

One of the things our crew will be doing this year is a craft beer brewery tour in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas. You can visit Four Corners Brewing, Deep Ellum Brewing, Braindead Brewing and Trinity Ciders. There are several amazing restaurants in the area, but our favorite is Pecan Lodge Barbecue.

Some other local restaurants in Dallas you might consider stopping at for BBQ include, 18t h and Vine, Cattleack BBQ, Lockhart Smokehouse. In Fort Worth try Heim’s, and if in Mckinney hit up Hutchin’s BBQ. If you find yourself in the mood for some fried chicken try Superchix or Babe’s Chicken Dinner House. There are several locations in the Metroplex.

I’ll catch you again on the trip to Lexington, Go Hogs, Beat Aggies!

Here is our recipe for a Lot 56 cocktail.
2 oz Single Batch Tequila Reserve
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
0.75 oz of simple syrup (Demerara if possible)
0.25 oz dry Curacao
Top with a splash of Q Spectacular Grapefruit 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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