Ragin’ Cajuns Tailgate TV: UL Homecoming [VIDEO]
Homecoming is the best week of tailgating every season. People bust out the big guns at the grill, old friends come back in town to party, and this year, the weather was perfect.
For another edition of Ragin' Cajuns Tailgate TV, I took my $100 gift card to Academy and a camouflage backpack cooler from Service Chevrolet to Cajun Field and starting searching for the action. I showed up with an empty stomach and walked away stuffed silly.
Here's the list of everything Cajun Nation fed me: two catfish filets, a piece of fried chicken, slow-roasted pig skin (what I call pork candy), grilled duck breast wrapped in bacon and stuffed with jalapeno and cream cheese, white beans cooked with pork ribs, some deer sausage, some hushpuppies and an entire barbecue pork chop. Somehow, I found a way to fit all of it in my stomach without going into a food coma.
It was meat heaven this Saturday. Every tailgate I stopped at had pounds and piles of meat on the grill. One group called "The Retired Guys" took a 265 pound hog and turned it into chops, steaks, ribs...enough to feed an army.
— ESPN 1420 (@espn1420) November 5, 2016
They would know about feeding an army, as the leading members of the group were all retired military members. Every week, they invite the police and their fellow veterans to the tailgate for a bite to eat, so I thanked them for their service with the camo backpack cooler. It was the least I could do, plus, the pork chop they gave me was DELICIOUS.
I usually give the Academy gift card away to the most creative Cajuns every week. This time, I didn't even have to search for them. They rolled right up to me.
You've probably seen Brandon and Blake at the tailgate before. They used to drive around in a lawn mower with a side car, decked out in full Cajun costume, yelling "GO CAJUNS" through a megaphone. Their beloved lawn mower isn't allowed at the tailgate anymore, but instead of giving up, they adapted.
Blake and Brandon now drive the "Cajun Nutria Rat-Rod." It's a bike, mixed with a lawnmower, decked out in vermilion and white, with a tiny bell to ring. The two of them are full-blown crazy, and I mean that in the nicest of ways.
From the Sun Belt wrestling belts, to the decorated helmets and pads, the shrimp boots and of course, the Cajun Nutria Rat-Rod, this was an easy pick for the $100 Academy gift card.
The most impressive act of devotion I saw came from one Cajun fan named Eddie. He decided to cook cracklin for homecoming, and he informed me about the labor-intensive process it takes. Hours of constant stirring, seasoning, and frying result in one of the best Cajun delicacies on the planet, but there's a reason they only decided to do it once this season. The entire tailgate had to take turns stirring the pot, so poor Eddie's arm didn't fall off. It paid off though with crispy, crunchy perfection.
There's only one more home game left this season, Cajun Nation. I won't know what to do with myself on Saturdays when football season ends, so we all have to make our last tailgate worth it against Arkansas State.