Apr 212010

Suncoast BBQ Bash, Venice FL , April 16-17
11th Chicken, 1st Ribs, 3rd Pork, 1st Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION/33 Teams!!

Grand Champion!

This first year event was my first since the ankle surgery. I brought Woody along to help since I’m still on crutches and needed a hand – I’m thankful he was there. We were at the Venice airport in an unused section, just across the street from the beach. Unfortunately we couldn’t enjoy the view; so close yet so far. 

We arrived around 3 or so Friday, got set up and began prepping meats. It took about 90 minutes before we would get power but it did finally come. Woody covered the cook’s meeting for me, then we went to the cook’s supper where we were joined by my cousin George who lives in Venice. 

I tried something new to jump start my chicken and it did not work at all; I felt fortunate to get 11th. I was obviously very happy with the other calls and it felt good to get back up to the stage for a call. 

My Stump’s Smokers performed perfectly and as always helped me put out a great product. Also thanks to David at Butcher’s BBQ for the great injections and rubs! 

1st Place Ribs!

 Posted by at 10:26 am
Apr 052010

So for 2009, I finished in the top 10 over 85% of the time. I finished in the top 5 68% of the time. I came in Grand or Reserve Champion in over 44% of the contests I entered.  Those are numbers I’m pretty proud of, and they are what kept the Swamp Boys ranked as the #1 team in the country on the National BBQ Rankings for 67 weeks, including all of 2009. We’re talking out of over 4, 400 pro teams.

Jump forward to 2010. Here is a list of the contests I entered and where I finished overall:
Okeechobee 3rd/44
Lakeland 18th/73
Winter Haven 4th/46
Starke 5th/38
Haines City 12th/37
Clermont 14th/30
Dade City 10th/25

Granted, 3 of those above are good finishes. And  historically the start of the season is my weakest stretch.  But still, those others have me worried. In Haines City I did not get a call! It has been years since that has happened. Something is changing, now to figure out how to deal with it.

 Posted by at 11:48 pm
Apr 022010

Ankle plate and 6 screws

Stapled Shut

I twisted my ankle Saturday evening of the Clermont contest. Upon the insistance of my wife, I went to the Urgent Care place to have it looked at on Sunday. Doc said it looked sprained, gave me a prescription for some pain pills and anti-inflamatory pills, and said to come back in a week if it wasn’t better. At the end of the week it was feeling a little better – I had even cooked the Dade City contest. Of course all of that walking made it a little ‘angry’ looking, so on Sunday we went back to the UC place. This time a different doc saw me, X-rayed it, said it was broken and had begun to grow back together incorrectly. I’d have to have surgery to have it re-broken and put together the right way. NOT what I wanted to hear.

So during my spring break I had the surgery. Dr. Morin put in a plate and six screws to hold everything together, kind of like my neck that Dr. Medary took care of 3 years ago:

Neck plate and 6 screws

So I was laid up all spring break with my foot elevated and had to cancel a contest in GA. Dr. Morin says no weight on it at all for 6 weeks, which means crutches. Not fun.

Update 5/17/10: A special thanks goes out to Dr. Morin, and his great nurses Donna and Melinda for the awesome care they gave me. I’m able to walk on both feet now and am getting better every day. Now if I could just get Dr. Morin to accept barbecue in exchange for my deductible… 😉

 Posted by at 12:06 pm
Mar 142010

It has been a rather unremarkable competition year for me to date. The only contest that I was satisfied with my results was the one in Sebring, where I finished Reserve Grand Champ with a 1st in Ribs. The weather at awards was brutally cold, in the low 30’s with a damp north blow. That was my first contest of the year, and it has been a challenge ever since.

Following that we had the FBA “Celebrate Last Year” party which was fun. The whole team came along and we had a great time in Lake City, where we received the coveted FBA Team of the Year award for the second year in a row. This is a very tough award to win, as it takes a lot of time and commitment to be able to cook enough contests, and do well enough in them to win. While it would be nice to take aim at a third TOTY in 2010, I’m not sure I’m up for it. I missed out on a lot of family stuff in 2009, which I don’t want to do again. There will always be more bbq contests, but you only get one chance with your children. Good luck to you guys!

 Posted by at 10:49 am
Mar 022010

After checking out my Swamp Boys web site (www.swampboys.com) someone suggested to me that I take a look at the blogging format. The chronological set up of a blog is very similar to what I have been doing as I recap every contest I compete in. It looks like a fun change, so I am going to give it a try!

I can tell right away that it will take me some time to get used to the format of what goes where and how things should look, so please bear with me. I look forward to adding some meaningful content as I get more used to everything.





 Posted by at 2:24 pm