Jennie Finch heats up the grill and the competition with Johnsonville and ACL, interview

Jennie Finch, credited to @JFinch27
Jennie Finch, credited to @JFinch27 /

While some people might think of the ESPN Ocho and dodgeball, SuperHole III is coming to the channel. As the official sponsor of the American Cornhole League (ACL), Johnsonville turned to USA Gold Medalist Jennie Finch and asked her to throw down some competitive advice ahead of the big tournament. While this competition might not have Olympic glory on the line, there is plenty of fun to be enjoyed. More importantly, Johnsonville Brats and cornhole are a winning combination for any game day.

Throughout her stellar career, Finch was more than one of the most recognizable softball pitchers. Her determination yet humble demeanor endeared her to all athletes and inspired many young women to take to the diamond. Still, the old adage of once and athlete always an athlete can come into play.

Recently, FoodSided spoke to Finch about her collaboration with Johnsonville and the American Cornhole League ahead of the SuperHole III competition. While there might not be Olympic Gold on the line in this competition, her experience does come into play.

When asked if her precision as a pitcher helps to sink that perfect shot, Finch responded that she initially thought it would help, but it was not quite that simple. Still, one aspect definitely gave her an edge. Finch said, “I think my mental strength and toughness carries over into anything that I do especially when you’re trying to hit that strike zone in competitive cornhole.”

Although this weekend’s competition is for all the glory, Finch appreciates that cornhole can be just for fun. Specifically, she spoke how all of her kids can come together for a spirited game. It is perfect night with a brat in one hand and a bag in another.

While her family purchased a set as a Christmas present one year, she recalled being introduced to a homemade version over 20 years ago. Even though that first experience might not be quite as sophisticated as the competitive version today, there was still a fierce competition to be had.

One of the things that makes cornhole universally enjoyable is that the game is simple backyard fun. Sure, there is some skill to sinking the perfect shot and possibly some witty banter, but the idea is to just throw some bags and enjoy good times with friends.

Since every event needs some food, Johnsonville, as the Official Sponsor of the ACL, would recommend firing up some brats on the grill. Even though grill masters might have their tried and true methods, Finch has one requirement for any brat.

Finch said that her go to brat topping is mustard. “I can’t get enough mustard. I like sweet mustard, any kind of mustard. I love it.”

While the condiment choice is clear, Finch shared another favorite food to enjoy with that Johnsonville brat. She recommends a red cabbage slaw. Her recipe consists of “red cabbage with red wine vinegar with a little bit of oil salt and pepper onion powder. Then, just let it sit for a couple of hours.”

Whether that brat is served with Finch’s slaw suggestion, a bag of chips or just enjoyed on its own, brats and cornhole are always a winning combination. Just make sure that you throw the bag, not the brat when playing.

And, remember to watch SuperHole III and Jennie Finch on ESPN2: The Ocho. The special event will feature a wide array of famous faces looking to raise the coveted trophy.