SALT LAKE CITY – It’s a big day for Ute fans as the University of Utah football team kicks off its season against the Weber State Wildcats. However, some ardent fans say they were expecting the tailgating section to be a lot busier this morning that it actually was.
The most loyal tailgaters started setting up at six in the morning. Shawn Horton was setting up Industrial Supply’s tailgate lot, complete with power inverters to supply their mobile satellite dish and their two televisions. But, they can’t have a tailgate party without their hotbox to grill hot dogs and a massive device they call “Big Sweetie.”
“It’s our big smoker. We have 19 racks of ribs on there,” he says.
Meanwhile, in another part of the lot, guys like Tim Bruett brought his famous trailer, “Lola,” with plenty of food and loudspeakers to blast the music.
Why “Lola?” Bruett says, “She’s named after the Barry Manilow song (Copacabana), because she’s a ‘showgirl.’”
He’s expecting a good season. From what he’s seen, he believes the Utes are faster and smarter than last year.
However, while they were confident that University of Utah fans would eventually fill the lot, several people say the tailgating festivities got off to a very slow start. They say there weren’t nearly as many fans setting up in the morning as there have been for other games. Ute fans like Darren Tucker have some theories why.
“I’m sure it’s because it’s during the week. Normally, this place gets packed,” Tucker says.