The results are in. The pig cooked by the StateFans Nation Barbecue Team was chosen as the favorite of celebrity judges Mario Williams and Willie Young in a blind taste test at the first-annual Wolfpack BBQ Bowl! And, I just received in the mail the results for all the teams. We placed FOURTH out of 25 teams in the official competition and were only 14 points out of third place! From the outset, our goal was to represent the Statefans Nation readership in a positive manner, spread goodwill about our online community and cook up some amazing ‘cue. I’d say we easily accomplished our goals.
From the moment on Friday afternoon when we put up the Statefans Nation banner on our canopy, we had folks coming by to say hi. There was plenty of Wolfpack fellowship to be had as the 25 competing teams set up camp in the RV parking lot at Carter-Finley. The piggies were given to each team starting at 8pm. Once we gave our piggy a loving bath in olive oil and kosher salt and then injected him with the secret sauce, it was time to go slow and low.
Time and heat do wondrous things to a piece of pork. After cooking for 11 hours at about 225 degrees, we reached pork nirvana.
And then it was time to let the pork speak for itself. There were actually two competitions. The first was the NC Pork Council sanctioned cookoff. While the StateFans Nation Barbecue Team did not place in the Top 3, we learned that the top score was 1400, the low score was 1000 and our score was 1296. The judges didn’t list placements outside the Top 3, but based on that scoring, you had to figure we were near the top. That’s not too bad for a first time competing!
The second competition was a blind taste test of celebrity judges Mario Williams, Willie Young, Jay Jennings and Julius Hodge. We would not be denied glory and were chosen as favorites by both Mario and Willie – the only team to win over two different judges! Here’s the closest thing we get to a “trophy” for StateFans Nation;
The designation as Mario and Willie’s favorite turned out to be quite a good marketing hook and once it was time to serve the public our samples, we ran out of ‘cue very quickly. We gave so much away that the team members had less than a pound apiece to bring home for ourselves! I guess that’s the price of success.
Besides the fun of spending the entire evening with my teammates, it was really nice to meet many of you in person. We always knew that Statefans Nation was a special community and putting faces to keyboards confirms that we were right. Our readers are the best!
It’s not everyday that you have two NFL players avow their love for your barbecue, but I’m already planning for next year to win over the NC Pork Council judges!
Thanks to the management of StateFans Nation for sponsoring our team and thanks to you, the readers, for showing your support.