World Record Holder Defeated at 33rd Annual National Tobacco Spitting ContestAP , Associated Press
Jun. 27, 1987 9:31 PM ET
RALEIGH, MISS. RALEIGH, Miss. (AP) _ Jeff ''Faucet Man'' Barber, a 14-time spitting champion and world record holder, wasn't up to snuff Saturday and was dethroned in the the 33rd annual National Tobacco Spitting Contest.
''The wind made everybody spit shorter today,'' said Gary Burrows, the new distance champion. ''This morning we were spitting with the wind, but this afternoon there were some cross-winds.''
Burrows, a 23-year-old landscaper, spat the winning globule 24 feet 11 1/2 inches, far shorter than Barber's best in the competition, listed in the Guiness Book of World Records at 33 feet 7 1/2 inches.
''You saw me pray right before I went up,'' he crowed after the victory. ''I asked the Lord to do something about the wind. He did - it quit blowing.''
Concentration is the hallmark of his technique, says Burrows, who also won the distance crown in 1982.
''I'm thinking about the amount of juice in my mouth, the bits of tobacco in the juice, the wind, my stance, just everything,'' he said.
''I've always won at least one event in my 14 years of winning,'' the 27- year-old Barber said after his defeat. ''I've never come away without first place in either accuracy or distance.''
Barber, who placed second in distance competition and third in accuracy, said he isn't discouraged about his future in spitting.
''I haven't practiced much this year. My wife and I just had twin girls, and I've only practiced one or two times,'' he said. ''I'll keep competing though as long as they have this. It's the competition that I love.''
A crowd of about 3,500 people turned out at Billy John Crumpton's farm five miles west of Raleigh to watch the juice fly.
Eleven men entered in the accuracy division and 12 in the distance.
With only three entrants in the women's distance competition, Peggy Woods of Brandon returned this year to reclaim her first-place trophy. Her winning spit was 15 feet 11.5 inches. Woods won first place in that division in 1985 and 1986. There was no accuracy competition for the women.
In the men's accuracy contest, Anthony Roland's three bull's-eyes made him the first rookie in history to win the division, according to the National Tobacco Spitting Association, which sponsored the event.
''I'm thinking about the bull's-eye when I'm up there,'' the 18-year-old Roland said. ''It's just natural ability; not much to it. You just have to be born with it.''