You might be wondering why you have not seen the menu until August this year. There is no rhyme or reason as to when the menu comes out. We have had years where it came out in late June and even later than today’s date. Part of the reason for delay is the uncertainty at which kickoff times are released now that Appalachian State is now playing in the FBS, where the money rules, and fan engagement is less of a concern.
Last year, Applachian was lucky enough to have a very easy schedule to navigate as far as home kickoff times are concerned. The Mountaineers were not as lucky this season, with two games on the schedule on Thursday nights, with kickoffs scheduled for 7:30pm EST. Knowing the kickoff times is a huge plus for the tailgater. The other end of that equation is how long will tailgaters have in the parking lot to cook their meats. The Watauga Democrat wrote an article back in April about how the University was meeting with town officials to draw up a plan to accomodate tailgating, classes and the sort. The plan was supposed to be released “very soon”. That was April, and now its August and fall camp started yesterday and we are still waiting on the plan. We decided we could not wait any longer to release the menu.
For those who are familiar with our process, you can probably skip this paragraph. For those that are new to the tailgate, and there will be several new faces, here is the deal. For six home games, a $50 donation, per person, $100 per couple, covers everything. A full donation or as we prefer to call it “tailgate dues” are always appreciated at the beginning of the season. For those who prefer to spread it out throughout the season, no worries, we are flexible. For those are coming to one or two games, just ask on gameday, and we’ll give you a fair price. Bartering is encouraged and expected.
For the the first time in several years, Appalachian will open its season at home on Labor Day weekend, hosting the Howard Bison. For the main dish, we will go with our pulled pork. Buffalo wings or Buffalo burgers were close runners up, but some do not prefer that lean of meat and we will save our chicken game for later in the season.
Homecoming is the second game of the season against the Wyoming Cowboys. This would be a perfect time for a brisket or something else that screams cowboy, but tradition rules at Big C’s Tailgate. As has been custom, fried and smoked turkeys will be served. Last year we had no issues carcassing three turkeys. Sticking to food that people always eat is a general tailgating rule of thumb.
The third game of the season will see Appalachian’s most hated rival travel from the plains of Eastern Georgia. This is a Thursday night kickoff and the game will be a premier battle on the gridiron. More than likely, a Sun Belt chmapionship could hinge on the outcome of this game. Fried Chicken will be our fowl of fare. Those Eagles from Statesboro are the ugly kind, time to clip some wings!
On Halloween, the Trojans of Troy will visit Kidd Brewer Stadium for the first time since the 2000 season. South Central Alabama does not offer much of a distinctive choice of a menu option. Troy is kinda far from the Gulf of Mexico, which rules out seafood. Alabama is known for barbecue, but I would dare not venture into their white barbecue sauce. It’s vinegar and nothing else in North Carolina. When in doubt, go with the fan favorite of baby back ribs. The thought of white barbecue sauce reminds us of this Youtube classic.
The Arkansas State game will be a wild card. As we keep our ear to the ground on what time we can enter a parking lot for the second Thursday game and we’ll also keep in mind the weather. Early November can be cold in Boone during the day, and even more so in the evening. We will keep everyone in the know on facebook and twitter. In a perfect world we are thinking brisket, but that might not be a possibility with cold temperatures and a short tailgate.
Black Saturday is the last home game of the season, always reserved for our toughest opponent. One could argue that Georgia Southern is that game this year, but the Eagles sell themselves. Louisiana will bring their Ragin Cajuns to Boone and per usual, we reserve the Championship Chili for the Black Saturday game. Look for some venison and our gator sausage in the chili this year.