That kind of sums up our 2008 BBQ season.
The year started off great this spring with back to back Reserve Grand Championships. One at Peter’s Pond and the other at the New Hampshire State Championship in Merrimac, NH. Momentum was great going into the Troy Pig Out which was a New York State Championship. We finished fourth overall but it was one of our best scores of the season. Even better than that we got a first place in chicken! That made us feel great. We had been working on our chicken for over two years and now we finally had a great call for it. Then I got an email that made my summer: we got into Harpoon!! A team backed out last minute and we were next on the list. This summer could not get any better. Harpoon was one of the most fun contests we had ever been to. Unfortunately, we bombed! We got one call for chicken (of all things) but that was it. We licked our wounds and looked forward to the Hudson Valley Ribfest in New Paltz, NY. We received a second place in chicken, and finished in third place overall. That felt great…but now comes the whimper… Off to the Harvard Fall Festival in September. No Calls! That was the first time in two and a half years we did not get a call. Everything finished just outside tenth place. That one hurt. Even though we bombed Harpoon, we still got a call to the stage and walked away with a ribbon. Next we went to Westport, CT. Fifth place brisket and sixth overall, not bad, not great. The last contest of the season for us was the Battle of the BBQ Brethren in Sayville, NY. Second place ribs, but we tanked chicken. Chicken! Again, the chicken kills us. That dragged our overall score way down.
So, there it is: the good and the bad of our 2008 BBQ season. But, beyond the trophies, the BBQ, the prize money; the sunshine and the rain; I will have all winter to remember the good times with my friends. Years from now when all the trophies are in the attic, I’ll still have the memories of our times on the BBQ circuit…and for that I’m a happy man.