Most everybody that is invited to the “Jack” is really excited just to be there. Widely viewed as the most prestigious invitational BBQ competition, it is a dream of every professional BBQ competitor. Winning a competition with over 25 teams is not an easy task, but winning a competition is only the beginning of qualifying for the Jack. Many states have more than a dozen competitions and only one team is drawn from each state. Each year, around Labor Day weekend, in a special ceremony down in the Holler, bungs (wooden plugs for the whiskey barrels with the team’s name) are drawn randomly to decide which champions get to go. With an amazing streak of luck (and some skill thrown in) the Dizzy Pig competition team was invited to the Jack 6 years straight, from 2004-2009. It was a great run that we’ll never forget.
But in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 the Dizzy Pig team came up short, and with this, our first Jack in 5 years, we were clearly reminded how special it is to be down in the holler at the end of October!! Set up between 3Eyz and Jamie Geer’s team “The Bar-B-Que Commanders,” we had our full cooking site along with the RV trailers. Our little home was off the beaten path, but cozy and quiet enough for us to focus on the task of turning in the best food we could. The weather, while cold at night, was as good as we’ve seen in Lynchburg, and the atmosphere was bright and festive!
The team consisted of the 5 cooks that cooked most with Chris during the year, and we were blessed to have “The Dream Team” in attendance! Brian and Nicole Junkins, Susan Handy, Teresa Nester, Neil Fleitell made up the team, and we had great help from former Dizzy Pig team member Kenny Baker and his girl Lisa Jo. The cook went smoothly, and once the turn ins were finished, we knew we had turned in some of the best chicken and brisket we had ever cooked. Unfortunately, the brisket did not score nearly as well as we expected on table number 981, but our chicken received a 177.7 out of a possible 180 catapulting Dizzy Pig to a 2nd place call in Chicken! It is difficult to describe the feeling to get a call at the Jack, and the entire team got to experience this rush!
When we got the scoresheet in our hands, we were delighted to learn that Dizzy Pig had compiled an overall score that was good enough for 17th place overall of 92. As usual, looking at the talented teams we came out ahead of us made the ride home a lot easier!