Friday, January 26, 2007

Promoting BBQ Contests

I'm in favor of anything, anyone, and any idea(s) that will have a positive effect on the sport of bbq.

I enjoy the challenge of competing against others to prepare bbq samples that are judged the "best" at any given event. I enjoy traveling to new places and meeting new people. BBQ has been good to me. However, I am not in favor of policies, agendas, or people that create a windfall for one group of competitors and a disadvantage or difficulty for another group of competitors. I would like more and more people that see media coverage of bbq contests on Internet websites, on television programs like those on Food Network or Travel Channel, or in magazines/newspapers to become involved in the sport.

I've been reading some of the discussions over at The BBQ Forum with great interest this week. There have been many threads about the rumored and proposed "changing trends" in the professional sport of competing in KCBS sanctioned bbq contests.

I can see the pro's and con's of almost all the discussions and feel that discussions to generate new ideas are good. As anyone that has ever worked with or as a part of a large group or corporation knows, some of the best ideas come during informal casual conversation.

So....along those lines, I'd like to offer yet another idea for consideration.

Why not create a separate parking lot for RV's at bbq contests? I'm not referring to small trailers that serve as kitchens and commisaries, but rather to the large 35 and 40-plus foot rollling mega-mansions that are gaining popularity at contests. Some of the rigs are priced upwards of $750,000.

In my personal opinion, if I were a spectator attending a bbq contest with thoughts of future competion in the sport and I saw a row of luxury RV's at an event, I'd begin to question whether I could really afford the sport.

And if we want to promote the sport of bbq to spectators and potential sponsors at the bbq events, what better way to promote to free exchange of bbq information than to remove the RV's from the cooking area so competitors are more accessible for spectators who want to ask questions about our wonderful sport?

At the American Royal a few years ago I actually witnessed three RV's parked in a sort of triangle, which I'm sure was aimed at preventing passers-by from bothering the competitors. These were some of the "big" names of the sport who I looked up too at the time. It made me question how "approachable" we as contest competitors actually are. In this particular example at the American Royal it was the opposite; they were anything but approachable. They had made themselves "unapproachable" on purpose.

Oh well, I'll put my soap box away for today. Just some food for thought.

What do you think?

4 comments: said...

And some people live full-time in these $250k+ RVs. Is living in an RV, traveling and competing less acceptable than staying in a motel room while traveling and competing? Is a person somehow less a worthy competitor if they live in an RV rather than a $250k house?

These behemoths are full-time homes for many, many people, no different than your house. Does a competitor have to live in a dilapidated old school bus to be acceptable?

The BBQ Guy said...

One of the things that attracted me to the sport of competitive bbq was the idea that for the most part we all compete on a level playing field. There is minimal advantage to how much money one competitor has versus another.

I only brought this up because there is a certain number of potential future competitors and even sponsors that might get the wrong idea about how much it really costs to compete.

My wife and I are perfect examples. We competed for three years with the minimal equipment one could probably ever hope to use--F-150, WSM, and Backwoods Smoker, a cot, a couple of tables, a canopy, and some dish washing supplies. We spent about $1,700 for the equipment and often performed better than those with more expensive equipment. I do believe it's the cook that counts most, not the equipment.

I am not saying it's bad to live in an RV. I was merely asking the question if potential future competitors and spectators would find us easier to approach if the RV's were parked in a separate parking lot at bbq events?

I think they would.

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