Tusk to Tail: Prepping to tailgate on a dry campus
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I’d like to start with a shout-out to Mississippi State. They have really improved the pregame atmosphere around Davis Wade Stadium. We left the game a few minutes early due to the score and thoughts of The Rendezvous ribs in Memphis. There must have been 25,000-plus people in tents watching the game or having dance parties in close proximity to the stadium.
Everyone was pleasant to us, so I’ll look forward to my next trip in 2024.
This week is a short one work-wise, as we have to leave bright and early Thursday morning for BYU. It’s right at 18 hours from Fayetteville to Salt Lake City. Sam, Doug, and I are going to make it to Fort Collins on Thursday night. That will leave us a short 6-hour drive up through Wyoming and over to Salt Lake on Friday morning. I hope we will be there around 1 p.m. on Friday.
Most everyone else is flying in. Our immediate travel party is 18 individuals but we are expecting about 50 at our tailgate with all of our traveling friends joining us. So far, the weather is looking perfect with highs in the 70s and lows around 50. I figure the early start to our tailgate around 8 a.m. should be a bit of a shock to the locals. It was back when we played Colorado State five years ago.
We decided to stay in Salt Lake City this trip, as the nightlife looked a little more promising. Provo itself is about 43 miles south of Salt Lake City, but the town can be a bit restrictive we are told. We know campus is for sure dry, which really eats into our tailgating options. The spot we have picked out is off campus, but only a half-mile walk from the stadium. After some discussion, we decided against taking the officially licensed Arkansas Razorbacks bar. There was no reason to be that open about parking lot drinking when the Provo police drives by. We will keep the hooch cleverly concealed in liquor boxes and plastic cups.
The 1:30 p.m. local kickoff time works well for us. It now frees up dinner on Saturday night back in Salt Lake City, which has a neat restaurant scene. I thought for sure it was going to be a night game, which leaves us scrambling a bit for reservations, but there should be some openings.
Forrest and Jeff are going to attend the USC vs Utah game Saturday night in town and on campus at Utah. That should be a good game, even though Utah did just take a beating from UCLA last week in Pasadena.
I was able to preload some coolers with items and send those out with Walt and Casey. They are leaving on Wednesday and staying out west a few days longer after the game to take in the peace and quiet of the Rockies. Our truck will be full with the rest of the gear.
It’s always good to make a long trip like this. It really tests your packing and organization skills, and makes you refine your list to the necessities. A good tip for this game is to prepack your booze, as you don’t know what you will find locally. We say better to not take chances.
I feel like the Hogs can win the game now that KJ is back to practicing. It will not be an easy game, but if the Hogs can control the line of scrimmage, they should be able to hold on for a win.
Go Hogs, Beat Cougars!
Editor’s note: Now in its 11th 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. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram, all @TuskToTail.