I've been following a discussion over over on The BBQ Forum with quite a bit of interest. There were accusations made about the fairness and consistency of the selection of teams for an upcoming invitational bbq contest. The issue has been rectified, but it brings a few things to my mind that I have to get off my chest.
The internet has become such a large part of daily life that rather than pick up the telephone and call someone directly, or even communicate one-on-one via e-mail with direct questions people sometimes choose to post their grievances on a public discussion board.
I'm not against the internet or discussion boards, but I think the parties being accused should have been approached "off line" first and given a chance to provide a solution before accusations were made about a conspiracy and stirring the pot. In the future I hope that before complaints about bbq sanctioning organizations are posted on discussion boards, that those with authority to make changes are contacted first and given a chance to correct the issue(s). If a satisfactory answer is not given or an alternative provided, perhaps it's o.k. to air the issue publicly. Maybe it's just me, but I suspect there are others who feel the same way.
The same logic goes for product purchases. If I purchase a defective product from a retailer or directly from the manufacturer, I try to contact the manager or owner for a resolution. In 99% of the cases, a solution is given.
These types of petty squables only hurt (not help) the sport in the long run. I'm a pretty big NASCAR fan and I can't really imagine Jimmy Johnson or Dale Earnhardt, Jr. making their complaints known to NASCAR through an internet website. I'll bet they pick up the phone and go straight the source - someone who can actually address issues and solve problems.