KANSAS CITY, Kan. — After the Kansas City Barbeque Society apologized for errors in this year’s American Royal World Series of Barbecue competition, leading to a different Open Grand Champion, American Royal issued its own statement Friday.
American Royal said:
“The American Royal sympathizes with our barbecue teams affected by the technical data issue with the Kansas City Barbeque Society scoring system. The American Royal has a rich history in producing high-quality events and experiences, which remains our highest priority, and we share in the disappointment and frustrations experienced by our teams.
The American Royal appreciates the transparency of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and plans to work with them in the coming months to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future. On behalf of the American Royal Board, staff and volunteers, we share the disappointment of our competitors and express our apologies for the entire situation.”
One of the teams negatively impacted is Bill Heyen’s Triple H BBQ, which originally placed third when the initial results were read over the weekend. The corrected results moved the team to fourth, costing the team prize money, a trophy, and some bragging rights. Still, Heyen is taking it in stride
“You do 100 things right and one wrong and everybody throws you under the bus,” Heyen said. “I’m looking at it the other way. They have what was described to me as the perfect storm of things that went wrong.”
While other people are lobbing sharp criticism towards KCBS, Heyen says he appreciates that it’s being upfront about the mistakes and that they’re being fixed.
“[KCBS is] keying in somewhere between 9,000 and 10,000 digits for that contest so if you don’t make some mistakes in 9,000 and 10,000 key entries then you’re a whole lot better person than I am,” Heyen said. “Unfortunately, it happened to be a mistake at the top.”