Tusk to Tail: We’ve got ‘Bama, barbecue and beer and are rooting for Bret’s boys

story by Dale Cullins

Editor’s note: Welcome to the fifth season of Tusk to Tail – 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. Members of the Tusk to Tail Team are Sean Casey, Jack Clark, Dale Cullins, Greg Houser, Craig May, David Rice and Mark Wagner. Tusk to Tail is managed by Talk Business & Politics against the advice of attorneys and family. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter — @TuskToTail
If you wanted interesting from these Razorbacks, you’ve got it.

Coming up are back-to-back 6 p.m. home games on ESPN, against two of the toughest teams left on the Hogs schedule this season. I think we will know what this team is made of after this Saturday’s game against Bama. After playing Ole Miss the following week, we will know if they are meant for 10 wins or not.

Ten wins may sound like a stretch, but if Arkansas can win one of these two, they have a shot. It may not be an easy shot, with games against Auburn, LSU, and Florida remaining. but they have a shot nonetheless. Lose both, and of course Arkansas can do no better than 9-3, and could likely fare much worse.

We all could see the problems against A&M the way that game ended. The Hogs left too many points on the field. If Arkansas can learn from that and correct the errors, it is all still there for the taking. Let’s hope the team is listening.

The weather looks good Saturday, maybe even too cool for this early in October. But as long as it is dry, I’ll take it.

If you have been following Tusk to Tail for the past four years, you know that all day tailgates present challenges, especially when you have a big name opponent that people want to come out and see. You have to have food on hand early to feed a decent crowd of early arrivers, but more importantly, you have to have plenty of food around late to feed the large crowd that arrives about two hours before kick-off. Planning arrival times with our group is key, as you can ask them to pick up food on the way and have it arrive hot and fresh.

We hope to start setting up around 8:30 a.m. so we are finished long before the LSU/Florida game kicks off at 11. Both teams have great defenses but have been offensively challenged at times this season. At the same time, you have the Red River Rivalry game with Charlie Strong coaching to keep his job at Texas. That afternoon is the Tenner/A&M game which looks pretty juicy as well. So there will be plenty to keep us entertained throughout the day.

t2tlogo2016-17Also, don’t forget lighting for these night games. If you set up in the daylight, you will be tearing down in the dark, so be prepared. Invest in LED bulbs for your lighting, as conventional bulbs pull a ton of power off your generator. A string of LED’s might pull the same power as 2 regular bulbs, and they seem to be more durable for the travel. If you are using multiple generators to keep everything going, run your lights to the generator supplying power to your TV. That way you can kill the others, but still keep your lights on for an easier tear down while the game stays on.

I’ve ordered up a bunch of barbecue for this game, as it is easy and pretty stable for an all day tailgate. We will be feeding more than 70 guests. We have about four cases of beer leftover from a Little Rock microbrewery that we look forward to introducing to our guests, and if any of the local breweries are reading this, we would love to sample your wares as well!

Finally, the away game dates for next season will start popping up over the next few weeks, so be sure to start looking for hotels if you plan to travel. The better places fill up quickly in  small towns such as Tuscaloosa, or even larger cities such as Baton Rouge and Columbia, S.C., so it pays to be ready.

Go Hogs, Beat Bama!