Tusk to Tail: When it’s chilly, it’s chili
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The work and fun on campus this season are just about wrapped up. The weather in Fayetteville for the Ole Miss game will be just about a carbon copy of last week against LSU, partly sunny and 42 degrees, then dropping as the sun sets and the game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.
We will set up around 9 a.m. Saturday to see if it will be a little warmer for us. Keep in mind that traffic will be shut down at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, but at least traffic should be better before the game with such a late start.
There will be three important differences from last week. One, there will be no sun for anybody. Last week those on the East and North sides of the stadium had it pretty nice for most of the game. Those of us in the South or West of the stadium had to deal with shade and wind making it one of the colder games I’ve sat through in Razorback Stadium. Two, that harsh wind should die down as the sun sets, so that is helpful. Three, there will not be as many Ole Miss fans in the stands as there were LSU fans.
All of our efforts to enclose the tent and the heaters really paid off. We were the only tent to do so in our neck of the woods, and plenty of people stopped and asked how much to come in and warm up. Sadly, we had to decline, as it was already pretty full in there.
We will do that same set up again this week with a few tweaks to keep a bit more of that north wind from getting in through the gaps. If you have a tent and are interested in sides for the large white tents we used the Queen of Tarps for ours. If you use the smaller 10×10 style tents you can order extra sides online or possibly check Academy Sports. Our tarps arrived on time and worked as advertised. My hope is that even if Revel XP provides walls for rent we can get a few years out of these to recoup the cost. Three games should be enough to put us in the black, and we will already be at two after Ole Miss.
I always enjoy the last game of the season. It is normally cooler weather, so we break out the crock pots of chili. We have served nearly every kind you can imagine – chicken cheesy chili, beef chili, white chicken chili, and sometimes even a venison chili. We will have some of our regular items as well, but there is nothing better than a nice hot bowl of chili on a cold day.
The other fun thing about the last game of the year is that we try to drain the bar. With an evening kickoff, that should not be a problem. I don’t particularly want to store any leftovers over the off season. We are moving to a new house this coming winter, and I certainly don’t want to move it all.
This extra cold weather does present a few challenges though. It requires a lot of electricity to keep crock pots, warming plates and a coffee machine going. It will take all five of our generators to pull this off, something we have not needed in years. Additionally, we will have eight propane tanks handy as they only last about eight hours at full blast. That should keep us nice and warm for the 13+ hours we will be out there on Saturday. And don’t forget your lights.
Keep in mind after this game to remove the batteries from your remotes and other battery operated devices just in case. Wipe everything down to keep away any potential rust and to keep it all in good shape for when needed next.
With a short week, I thought I’d drop a few points of interest for Columbia, Mo., next week. We go up on Thursday, get up early on Friday and get a few hours of tailgating in before the fairly early kick of 1:30 p.m. on CBS. If you live west of Little Rock, up I-49 to Joplin and then over should be your quickest route. If east of Little Rock, Highway 65 up through Harrison will be your route. It’s not close, and is about 5 hours from Fayetteville.
With it being Thanksgiving, the dining options are limited. I noticed today that our old go-to place has closed, so I’ll be looking for a new spot. I hope that one or both of these sites will update the options next week so we can pick a spot to meet up. We have always been up there on Thursday night of Thanksgiving week so we really have not had an opportunity to experience Columbia properly. I hear nice things about the town, but we can not vouch for those things just yet. Perhaps after we add Texas and OU to the SEC, things will shake up and we can play them earlier in the season.
If you are up there on Thursday, link here for dining info. I’m hoping it will provide an updated list of options, and I’ll see my first Razorback win in Columbia.
Hotels in Columbia can be difficult to get, but I think they are playing poorly enough that things have loosened up a bit. If you have trouble, check Jefferson City. It’s only about 25 miles away and there are usually plenty of rooms there. Either way, it’s a good trip and one every Hog Fan should make because of its proximity.
Go Hogs, Beat Rebels, Bears or Sharks, and beat the Tigers next week!
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.