Thursday, October 08, 2009

American Bass Anglers BBQ Cookoff, Florence, AL

September 25-26, 2009

Let me begin by saying "THANKS" to all the DoRagQ Fans & Friends for the kind words we received for winning our first contest last week in Guntersville Alabama. It is an experience that I will not forget. I hope every team has the opportunity to experience the emotions felt in winning a contest. But that was last week. this week is another town, another contest, another victory or disappointment. Either way it goes you can't dwell on it for very long. Just do what you do & hope you don't make anyone sick! Ok enough about that.......

Late September found the DoRagQ Gang heading to Florence Alabama for the third leg of the American Bass Anglers Early Times BBQ Contest. For the 7th weekend in a row we have been cooking or judging. We have experienced both the highs & lows of competitive cooking (scoring wise). Through it all we strived to maintain our consistency. The one thing that was really consistant was the RAIN! Once again we faced another weekend with rain in the forecast. We barely get things dried out & they are wet again! We are thankful for Casa DoRag! At least we can get in out of the weather for a few minutes & stay dry. The rain does not seem to effect our cookers either. The FE100s keep on burnin & smokin like Champs!

As the contest unfolded we began our normal ritual of prepping meat. No surprises everything just as it has been for weeks. Chicken looked good, ribs were meaty, nice butts, & the brisket looked awesome. Time to relax & do some socializin! Making the rounds we ran into many members of our BBQ Family. JoBeaz Blazin Butts & Wings, High on the Hawg, Delta Smoke,Gettin Piggy With It, Team Top Chick, Lotta Bull, House of Q, Smokey Mountain Smokers, & Butts, Bellies, & Buddies just to name a few. It was great seeing everyone & a few we hadn't seen in a while. We also caught up with many of our ABA Friends such as Kevin Rake, Debra Talley, David & Chris Hagood, & Morris Sheehan. It was great catching up with them. Soon it was time for the Cook's Meeting. KCBS Reps Tana Shupe & Ron Harwell lived up to their reputation conducting the meeting & making sure everyone was on the same page. With the "Biz" out of the way it was time for some chow! A Mexican dinner was provided by one of the teams, & I am sorry but I don't remember who they were! It was fantastic & the Margaritas ROCKED! THANKS SO MUCH! I hope to find out who it was so I can thank them properly....maybe a little Apple Pie! After dinner we hung out with John & Rodney of House of Q, Jim of Butts Bellies & Buddies, & David & Pam of Gettin Piggy With It & drank Apple Pie! We even managed to get Kevin Rake & "Mo" himself to take a chug! I knew it was time for bed when the "Disco" music started playing. So it was off to Casa DoRag to get some shut-eye.

We awoke Saturday to the pitter patter of raindrops falling on our roof. Yes Mother Nature decided to mess with us and she wasn't foolin around. I thought we might need a boat to get to turn ins. Somehow we managed to get everything done, boxed, & turned in on time. Then the rain stopped! At least we could pack up without gettin wet! As usual Gary, Richard, & I had a few minutes to reflect on our product and we all thought it was consistent with what we had been turning in the past few contest. I have to admit, the thought a winning brisket for the third week in a row did pass through my mind, not to mention the prospect of winning back-to-back contests! Oh but hold on just a dang minute.........BBQ can be such a cruel mistress! We went from singing Queen's "We Are The Champions" to The Little River Band's "Lonesome Looser"! It was not to be as we did not hear DoRagQ's name called during the entire awards except we asked to "Move our truck"! As I said in the beginning, you can't dwell on the good or the bad too long! I just hope we didn't make anyone sick!

Congrats to Butts, Bellies, & Buddies for taking 1st in chicken, Team Top Chick for top honors in ribs, Jiggy Piggy 1st in pork, & E.M. Azing BBQ taking the win in brisket. The overall win went to E.M. Azing BBQ with Team Top Chick taking RGC! Great finish! Other notables were House of Q in 3rd, Jiggy Piggy in 4th, & Butts, Bellies, & Buddies rounding out the top five. The DoRagQ gang managed a 14th overall with a 14th in chicken, 19th in ribs, 10th in pork, & 12th in brisket. Not our best effort but hey, at least we had a great time! But it did make for a rather long drive home. So as I close this post, I look forward to next week at Smokin' on the Square in Gallatin TN. We will go home, dry out, re-stock, & look forward to seeing our BBQ Family once again.

Best wishes to Jiggy Piggy, Lotta Bull, Swiggin Pig, Team Top Chick, & Wild Bunch Butt Burners as they make their way to Kansas City to compete in the American Royal. Good luck & safe travels.

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