It is getting close to that time of the year again. Our good friend GreatAppSt has issued his official Tailgater’s Warning which marks the middle of his yearly countdown. What does that mean here? It means it is time to release our menu for the upcoming football season. Some may ask why this is important, to know what food you will be eating on Saturday’s in the coming months? For some, they may have an allergy or a preference not to eat a certain food, and it allows them plenty of time to plan ahead. Another reason to release a menu is that it makes us feel like the long summer is coming ever closer to an end, which brings us to our favorite time of the year.
For our most loyal of supporters, they are very familiar with how our system works. Tailgaters have either paid their “dues” up front at Fan Fest or at the first game for the entire season, or for those who prefer a game by game donation, we are also very flexible in that matter. Although the up front, full donation is always appreciated, and allows for better planning throughout the season, we understand that not everyone can shell it out all at once. Even though inflation has gone up through the years, the dues have never changed. For six full home tailgates, a $50 donation per person, $100 per couple, covers everything from plates and napkins to propane and meat. There is not a better deal anywhere else.
This season brings a twist to our tailgate. We have lived in the past on perfecting at least a dozen main courses, if not more. With Appalachian State’s move up to the FBS and Sun Belt conference, we also have to move up our tailgate game to incorporate more exotic cuisine that is native to our new conference opponents. We have had crawfish boils and jambalaya in the past, so 2014 will not be completely new territory. The eats of the past will not disappear. You will still find some of our best dishes in 2014 and beyond. Without further hesitation, we present the 2014 Tailgate Menu.
The first home game of the season brings the Campbell Camels for a night game. With the extra two and half hours to tailgate from the rather normal 3:30 kickoff, we’ll pull double duty on the food as well. Pulled pork shoulder sliders will be prepared for lunch and our famous smoked baby back ribs will follow in the late afternoon.
South Alabama is the second game of the season but also Appalachian’s first home game against an FBS and Sun Belt school. The Jaguars are located to Mobile, Alabama where the seafood industry is big on the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico. We’ll honor that area with our Shrimp Po’boy sandwich which will be served on Stick Boy Bread and topped with our own angry mayo. These sandwiches were featured by Taylor Tailgates back in 2011.
Homecoming is the following week and that brings on the Liberty Flames. Another old favorite returns as we will continue with our Thanksgiving tailgate them from past years. Cajun Fried Turkey and a buttery smoked turkey will remain the main dish. We’ll call this Noah Ark’s Tailgate for a nice play on Liberty’s spiritual mission statement. Two turkeys and Noah bringing two of every animal on the ark might be a stretch, but it does provide some light, corny humor as well.
On November 1st, Georgia State comes to town for another Sun Belt contest. Plenty of times in the past we have done our fried chicken wings and nuggets to the tune of colors of Coastal Carolina or North Carolina A&T. The Panthers will get the nod this year, and we’ll throw some blueberries in the batter on the side for a perfect chicken and blueberry waffle tailgate.
Black Saturday brings on the Louisiana Monroe WarHawks. With the explosion of so many swamp oriented reality television shows, we’ll have a typical cajun dish. Alligator Gumbo will makes its debut at our tailgate. Don’t be shy. Alligator in Louisiana is like pigs in North Carolina. They have a ton of them, and one way to control the population is eat them. We promise, it might become one of your favorite dishes.
The Idaho Vandals from Moscow, Idaho come to Boone for the final game of the season. Don’t pronounce it like the Moscow in Russia. It’s pronounced MOSS-koh. I doubt we’ll switch to a clearer spirit for the game, but potatoes are a must. We’ll provide a Potato Bar with all the toppings you can imagine. From cheese and shredded chicken to sour cream and our famous championship chili, we’ll have your spud covered.