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Posted by Tuffy on February 01, 2011 at 07:47:18:

Well as probably everyone knows by now, we experienced our first DQ this weekend. It was a very long drive back to Virginia and I had ample time to beat up on myself. In retrospect, I would have not tweaked my brisket box at all, since I only needed 131 points to win. If I look at the bright side of things, I cooked new rib and pork recipes and they seem to have worked out, so that is good. I can now say from experience that being DQd is an awful thing to experience and I will always remember that day.

My first three turn ins went in without issue and my cook was going smooth. We had liked our food on Saturday, including our brisket, and were enjoying cooking bbq. While I may have to run for turn ins upon occasions , I dont try to test the limits. I felt like I had began to build my brisket box on time and would be ok. My clock was 1 minute slower than the official clock and I was aware of that. We knew when we closed the box that it was going to be close and I ran my skinny butt off to turn in. Turn in area was a little tight, because of a narrow doorway and cooks exiting and this made for an interesting entry. When I placed my box on the table, I looked at Carolyn and then down at the clock which was still in her hand. I did not know if I had made it or not. I did know that this was the closest I have ever been and I never wanted to be this close again. I was told to place my box on the tray, which I did, and then the tray went to judging. I dont know if I was DQd at that point or not. I believe that this event had happened so fast that everyone at that table was stunned. It may be easy to look at a video from the perspective of that camera and determine I was late, but I think from other perspective in the room it wasnt so easy. I can truthfully say I had no idea. I suspect that Carolyn and the other gentleman at the table wanted to make sure that they made the right call. From looking at the video it looks close enough to be considered a tie, but I know I am biased.

Anyways, I ended up being disqualified for being late and it was tough. It was tough on my Dad, myself, and some my friends there. It was extremely tough on the reps there. I was doing an interview and my Dad called multiple times, which made me realize it was important. I took the call and went to my site to find Carolyn and Wayne there. My heart sunk and they looked very upset. It was a tough moment and no one was enjoying it. I went back and resumed my interview which was difficult.

We went to awards where we ended up being 4th in Chicken, 1st in Ribs, and 2nd in Pork which underscored how significant our late entry was. On a bright note, we witnessed our good friends Serial Grillers and Hambones by the Fire take GC and RGC. This was Serial Grillers first GC and I took some good pictures of them. Congrats again to you both and way to go on making Virginia proud.

The ladies of Lakeland did a fantastic job as always and this contest is great. The rep crew was great also and I am sorry that I created such a difficult situation!! I didnt mean to be so close. I would like to say that this experience will help me to never get DQd again, but I am too superstitious to say that! Congrats again to Serial Grillers and Hambones by the Fire!!

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