this isn't your typical bbq comp story. I've been smoking for 14 years now and never considered doing a competition. Why? I guess you could say im a BBQ Purist. yea I know, im old fashioned for a 30 year old. If your bbq is good it does not need BBQ sauce. Just meat trimmed correctly, rub, smoke, steady temp, wrap, and slice only when you need it. I don't believe in basting ribs with jelly, injecting a perfectly good brisket etc. However, I do make 3 different sauces and my wife and I will bring our sauce to a bbq restaurant if there bbq isn't up to par. anyway, my friend wanted to do the in town Homers Backyard Ball in Amarillo, Tx (State Texas Championship cookoff) it was for Make a Wish so I told him if he found sponsorship we would do it. (The $10,000 up for grabs was a good incentive also) he found sponsorship so we were in and all food got paid for. I told him I would do ribs he could do the other three categories (we only did chicken, chili ribs, brisket) I quickly noticed I was the only bbq guy out there who was not a 'painter' (the guys that paint on the honey, jelly, sauces, glaze, etc.) My cooking partner could not believe I was not injecting my ribs, drowning them in marinade, and coating them in jelly. I simply trimmed them nicely, de-felted, squared them up rubbed them with my rub, smoked them and when they were done I broke down and lightly sauced them with my 'sweet garlic' bbq sauce. After 60mph winds at 4 am friday where I lost a NEW 12'x12' canopy and ALOT of dust being blown around the results were in...There were 105 teams that participated My ribs scored out to put me in 8th place. It paid $80.00 and was overall a fun experience. My cooking partner did not place anywhere, but we had a fun time drinking some beer, listening to Texas Country, and smoking some Q' ...sometimes less is more and to stick out of the crowd you have to do something non-conventional (plus I think I had a tough judges table haha) the ribs had a perfect horseshoe bite mark when bitten into. Overall a fun experience and will probably do again next year.