Tusk to Tail: There will be no bear meat in the prep for Bobby P.

Three games in three weeks gets a bit hard the older I get, but then I got to thinking. I’m going to 12 games in a row this fall, and I have a work trip to Chicago scheduled on the off-weekend. There truly is no rest for the weary, as they say. I’ll just buckle up that proverbial chin strap and power through the next three months.

So far, this season has been going as expected. The Hogs are 2-0 with a likely 3-0 record going into Dallas to face the overrated Aggies.

Last weekend’s tailgate was well attended and we served some of the best food we have had in a while. Jeb’s Hash Brown Casserole is always a big hit but Chad’s Sausage Cakes were popular as well. By 10 a.m. I was expecting the big crush to hit the tent, but the wave had crested around 9:45. We had no more than 70 people under the big top for the next 40 minutes or so. That’s just about a perfect number for our space.

I’m not sure what to expect this week. On one hand you have a hot Razorbacks team going into a night game against Bobby Petrino. There is plenty of reason for folks to turn out. On the other hand, as I mentioned, three games in a row can be hard on Hog fans that have to travel in for the game. The cost of everything is way up this year. If you perused the schedule early on, it would have been easy to say I’ll skip that game just to save some money and the family budget.

So far, I’ve had no request from out-of-town friends looking for tickets. This is not necessarily a bad sign, but does tend to suggest that this is not a hot ticket. The line is Arkansas by 39.5, so it really should not be a game of if we win, but by how much. I personally feel like Bobby is going to have some plays worked up to take advantage of our secondary’s week spots. I think the Hogs will win, but maybe not cover, using the ground game to keep the ball away from Bobby P.

Night games present numerous issues for a tailgate host in general, and warm ones even more so. One of the biggest concerns is feeding a good portion of your crowd twice. I’ll merge concerns and tailgate tips in here.

• We have no grill master this week and I’ve not spent any time looking for catered bear meat. Chicken tenders, pulled pork, and brisket should suffice. We are keeping it simple and cost effective as possible.

• I’ll not really try to feed the set-up crew and crowd early on, as we have pushed back our set up time by an hour. There will be some chips and dips out, but we will look to order some pizza around noon to feed any early arriving guests. It’s just really hard to gauge how many folks will be there early on and how much food you will need for both timings.

• I’ll put out our primary proteins around 2 p.m., expecting the majority of our crowd to arrive around 3 p.m. This has been communicated to our tailgating members.

• Purchase extra cups, ice, and beer for back up. You will need it.

• One thing I’ve learned from wedding caterers is to use smaller plates or boats. These prevent your guest from loading up and wiping you out.

• Bring extra gas for your generator. If you start up at 8 or 9 in the morning, your generator should run out right about kickoff. That might be okay, but if anyone stays at your tailgate, they will not be so pleased with your lack of planning.

• Lastly, the sun is setting well before 8 p.m. now so you will need to put up some type of artificial lighting. I usually run that off of our TV generator so I can shut down the food and fan generators at game time and just keep the one TV generator going the entire time to save money on fuel.

Keep in mind that the roads around campus will shut down at 2 p.m. sharp, so if you are having food delivered, be sure to schedule that well before then. I’m looking forward to a solid performance from this defense. Be on the lookout for travel tips and food/bar ideas in Big D for next week.

Go Hogs, Beat the Bears!

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.

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