Wings and burgers under the shadow of Archie
Photos, text and audio by Alexa Horn, NewsNetNebraska
Fresh from the smoker
One hundred and eighty burgers, 192 hotdogs, 40 pounds of chicken wings, two beef briskets, 20 lbs of pork feather bones, one pork loin and some “big fatties” — bacon-wrapped sausage with cheese: This is a Hank Vice tailgate.
Vice, a tailgater for over 20 years and the owner of Wahoo Superstore, said he made this food for the Nebraska-Illinois game. It’s no wonder his tailgates often elicit responses from passersby like, “Boy, that smells good.” Luckily for them, strangers and friends alike are welcome to join in the food and fun.
One hundred and fifty people usually come by the tailgate, Vice said, but on bigger game days, the number can be as high as 450.
A history of tailgating
Bob Nelson of Norfolk, Nebraska said he has been coming to the tailgate for five or 10 years. He has had some good memories tailgating here over the years.
“It adds to the flavor of the game,” Nelson said.
Kelly Pippin of Omaha, Vice’s neighbor, said she enjoys the tailgate experience.
Vice’s food doesn’t just fill stomachs on game days. Caleb Marlatt, a junior at Elmwood-Murdock High School, said Vice was coming to his school on Monday to feed the students in celebration of their good test scores.
“(Vice is) one of the most generous guys there is,” Susan Marlatt, Caleb’s mother, said.
Vice’s generosity comes at a price though. His tailgate spot in front of Morrill Hall costs around $5,000 in donations per year. He said they’ve moved tailgate locations over the years, but now they’ve landed next to the famous mammoth statue, nicknamed “Archie.”