I came, but I did not conquer.
Despite my trash talking and swagger, I did not walk away champion of the skillet toss competition at the Trumbull County Fair. And it is really what you think - tossing a cast iron skillet. Farthest toss wins.
I used this column to call out my opponents, Dan Polivka and Ken Kubala, both of whom ultimately took me out behind the woodshed - in this case, out behind the horse ring is a more appropriate metaphor - but regardless, the beating was the same.
Polivka and I were tied one apiece in the win column.
Polivka, Trumbull County commissioner and chairman of the Democrat Party in Trumbull County, beat me last year in a toss-off. About a dozen years earlier, I beat Polivka. It wasn't until last year that Kubala, who's a director on the fair board, revived the competition and participated in it.
Kubala and I threw about the same last year, right around 56 feet.
So the morning of July 14, my fiancee and I were there in the gravel horse ring with about a dozen or so other participants, but there was no Polivka.
Kubala assured me Polivka was on his way. Apparently, he was just running late.
It wasn't much later that Polivka rolls up in a golf cart and proceeds to underhand throw the skillet 65 feet, 6 inches. He's wearing a T-shirt with the words ''Game On'' across the front and tells me he had a large caffeine coffee that ''gave me jolt.''
My first toss, just over 54 feet. Kubala flung the skillet just a little longer than 62 feet on his first attempt.
In between throws, Polivka says to me something along the lines of, ''Doesn't seem like you have the fire in you this year.''
It wasn't so much that than avoiding falling down again. Last year, I ultimately ended up on my backside trying to get that extra ''umph'' in my throw.
I don't like to fall down and didn't want to fall down again. Flimsy excuse, I know.
For our second throws, Polivka tossed a little longer than 68 feet; myself, about 60 feet; and Kubala, slightly more than 70 feet.
Polivka argued he should have beaten Kubala based on total distance, but it wasn't a combination score. Didn't really matter to me, either way, I brought up the rear.
Regardless, it's an enjoyable event and I hope we compete again next year.
The winners, by age group, were:
Boys 7-12 - Jeremiah Adams, 11, 49 feet, 10 inches
Girls 13-17 - Tori DePizzo, 14, 40 feet
Boys 13-17 - Mark McCloskey, 16, 84 feet, 3 inches
Women 18+ - Christina Morris, 19, 49 feet, 1 inch
Men 18+ - Jason Lipps, 18, 74 feet, 1 inch