It’s been awhile since I have logged a post here, and I figured as Chris and I put together our 2009 competition schedule, that I better at least put a little effort into a wrap up of 2008. So here it is…
We had a great year. In fact, I am not sure that we can do much better! We had a lot pretty cool moments in 2008. Competing in the Butt to Butt Invitational in Shannon, IL (and finishing 3rd) was awesome. Then turning around and winning a Reserve Grand Championship in the KCBS contest the next day was just a great feeling. Being awarded 5th place in Pork at the American Royal Invitational was pretty cool and winning a Reserve Grand in Fairbury with our friends finishing at the top with us was a lot of fun too.
But the highlight of the year had to be our two Grand Championships. First I have to explain that I live in Mission, KS and Chris lives just south of Lansing, KS (even though his address says Leavenworth). So Mission and Lansing are our two “home town” contests. So what are the odds of us winning those two events? Probably pretty slim, but we did just that. It’s pretty cool to open up the paper in your town and see a picture of yourself with the grand champion trophy. It one thing to see that stuff in publications and websites dedicated to BBQ, but when your neighbors and coworkers see it and say “congrats,” well, that's pretty cool. Organizers and contest officials seem to really like the fact that a team from their town won their contest as well. We’d have to agree.
Also I would like to touch on some of our overall accomplishments for the year. In 2008 the Dodge County Smokers BBQ Team finished in 37th place out of more than 4,000 BBQ competitors who took part in KCBS contests (full results here). In our individual categories, our worst was chicken at 149th place (I happening to be cooking some practice chicken as I type this entry…hmmmm). Ribs seem to have been our most consistent entry since the very beginning and we did well there again, finishing 40th. Brisket was out worst category in 2007. In fact, we only won one ribbon in brisket all year and that was 9th place finish in a 20 team contest. We were able to turn that around (with some help from our friends) and it was actually our best meat last year, finishing 32nd.
We also finished 84th in Pork, but our two biggest Pork wins didn’t even count toward the final points standings. The first one was a 3rd place win at the World Pork Expo’s BBQLossal contest. We teamed up with our buddies from Pork Me Purple to form the Dodge County Purple Porkers, so the points from that win went to that team name. Our 5th place win in the Royal Invite does not count either, as it was not a contest that any team could enter – you had to be invited to compete, therefore making those point exempt from the total count. If those two wins would have counted, it would have put us somewhere in the top 30.
But I digest…these are just numbers and although it’s fun to take a look at websites that track this stuff, what really matters happens at the contests themselves. We performed much better than I thought we would in 2008 and we’ll hope to keep it up ‘09.