Roe v. Wade, Cain v. Abel or Lakers v. Celtics - we all have our battles. For us, it was Belton v. Raytown. Two contests where we followed the same road but ended up at different destinations.
At Belton, fresh off of our Springfield success, we thought we were cruising down the barbecue road in a Cadillac. The barbecue world is a cruel mistress and our Cadillac ended up being a broken down Pinto as we limped to our destination. Upon arrival, we were rear ended and our Pinto, along with our dreams of a top 10 finish, went up in a ball of flames! Thirty four teams did battle and we finish in the middle at 17th. No top ten calls for us that weekend. We tuck our tail between our legs, take our smokers and go home. Gone too is the swagger of Springfield and what we are left with is the second guessing of our skills, processes and presentations. It was a weekend to forget.
Enter the dragon that is Raytown. We backed off competing for over a month before deciding to do Raytown. Humbled by our last experience , we needed to take a more serious approach to what we were doing. The weather was hot with a chance of showers. We hope we can get the cook in without any rain. At 10:15am on Saturday morning, a torrential downpour rolls in. Wind, rain and lightning roll through the contest area. The timing couldn't have been worse. Our chicken goes on at 10:30am and all I can think about is trying to keep the cooker at the temperature we need while a river of water rolls through our prep area. Brant and I our holding on to the ez-ups with thoughts of disaster racing through my head. This is the first time we have ever faced such a ferocious storm while competing. When it's all over, sixty-five teams go into the water and 10 come out on top. The barbecue sharks get the rest. We finish 7th out of the 65 teams overall with a 2nd place rib call and a 4th place brisket call. We did exactly what we set out to do. Finish in the top 10 overall and have at least one call. Mission accomplished! We have the Cadillac back but now we need to remember to respect the road.
Now we reach our down time. We have an event to cook for in July down in Grand Lake, OK and probably won't compete again until mid August in Springfield, MO. Then another break and finish the season at the American Royal in early October. Hopefully, we can continue our winning ways. It would be nice to cook more events to help us be more consistent but the current financial status just won't allow it. So I'll sit back, wait and watch from afar.