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View Full Version : Pro vs Am - Your opinion please


BMinahan
09-09-2012, 10:53 AM
BBQ Brothers,
I am the Pit Boss for a rookie BBQ team. We have competed in 12 KCBS events thus far in 2012. Currently, we are ranked nationally 282nd in Chicken, 586th in Ribs, 153rd in Pork, 475th in Brisket, and 512th overall. In addition, we are about 25 points ahead of our closest competitor to be rookie team of the year for New England (1 event remaining) and we have had many walks, calls, and filled trophy case so far this year.
The question is,

#1. In your opinion, would it be right for a team with our qualifications to enter into an amateur backyard contest?
#2. In your opinion, are we considered a “PRO” Team?
#3. What would your opinion be if a cook on my team competed in the contest as the Pit Boss and mentored two other BBQ enthusiasts for the day? Would you opinion change if the team took 3 out of 4 first place trophies, 1st overall, and 77% of the prize money?

Thanks in advance - Bill

The_Kapn
09-09-2012, 11:04 AM
A little historical reading for you.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=135720&highlight=pro+backyard

Couple of links within that thread also.

TIM

TooSaucedToPork
09-09-2012, 11:50 AM
BBQ Brothers,
I am the Pit Boss for a rookie BBQ team. We have competed in 12 KCBS events thus far in 2012. Currently, we are ranked nationally 282nd in Chicken, 586th in Ribs, 153rd in Pork, 475th in Brisket, and 512th overall. In addition, we are about 25 points ahead of our closest competitor to be rookie team of the year for New England (1 event remaining) and we have had many walks, calls, and filled trophy case so far this year.
The question is,

#1. In your opinion, would it be right for a team with our qualifications to enter into an amateur backyard contest?
#2. In your opinion, are we considered a “PRO” Team?
#3. What would your opinion be if a cook on my team competed in the contest as the Pit Boss and mentored two other BBQ enthusiasts for the day? Would you opinion change if the team took 3 out of 4 first place trophies, 1st overall, and 77% of the prize money?

Thanks in advance - Bill


Its all Karma.

My opinion is - If you have to ask whether you should or should not enter than your conscience is telling you not to enter. Listen to it. :thumb:

Big Mike
09-09-2012, 01:57 PM
You are a pro team and should not enter a backyard contest. If you or someone on your team wants to provide advice to the two bbq enthusiasts prior to the competition, that is one thing. But my opinion is that nobody on your team should be cooking

BBQ Bandit
09-09-2012, 02:01 PM
Short answer - no.

Its one thing starting in a Backyard/amateur division and step-up into a sanctioned event.

You admitted having a successful first year in sanctioned events.
That in itself is an unfair advantage at many levels of experiences at the Backyard division..
To go backwards and enter into a Backyard event is nothing but unethical. 

Besides - being in the running of the ROTY does imply first year in the "PRO" level.

LTG
09-09-2012, 04:20 PM
1. No.
2. Yes. You've done 12 sanctioned contests already this year alone.
3. Depends. Did he do all the work while the others being mentored did remedial tasks? Lots of variables there.

CivilWarBBQ
09-09-2012, 05:14 PM
1. No
2. Obviously Yes - since you have cooked Pro division a dozen times
3. If your teammate cooks under a different team name, his own gear and the head cook is NOT at the event, then I'd give the benefit of the doubt. If it's just your Pro team in camouflage nobody will be fooled.

What it really boils down to is who you want to be perceived as. Pros who sweep up at amateur events get called bottom feeders and worse. However, only you know the circumstances of the event so you make your own choice - there is nothing beyond the ruling of the organizer to say who can cook their event and who can not.

pigmaker23
09-09-2012, 08:42 PM
No...

HawgNationBBQ
09-09-2012, 08:45 PM
#1. No
#2. Yes
#3. Would not do it.

YankeeBBQ
09-09-2012, 08:59 PM
What's a backyard contest ? What were the rules ? Did anything in the rules exclude an experienced team ?

sitnfat
09-09-2012, 09:31 PM
If its a non sanctioned contest I would say go cook it. The ones around here have people that only cook the non sanctioned stuff along with guys that cook sanctioned. Check with the originizer first but if they welcome you and other teams welcome you go cook. If its sanctioned don't do it

Butt Rubb'n BBQ
09-09-2012, 09:44 PM
1. No. In contest around here they put in the rules if you have competed in a pro event under any sanctioning body you are not allowed to compete in BY.
2. What else would you be. Nice plug on the trophies.
3. I bet you wrote the test answers in the palm of your hand to didn't you.

BBQ Bandit
09-09-2012, 09:52 PM
What's a backyard contest ? What were the rules ? Did anything in the rules exclude an experienced team ?

Intended to be run alongside/the next day/day before at the site of a sanctioned event.

Some established pro teams take clear advantage of undefined parameters and limitations and enter as a secondary amateur team for the amateur/non-sanctioned/backyard event.

The clarity becomes blurred and since the Amateur event is not sanctioned - is it or is it not a violation of an existing KCBS rule#2?

#2) Each team shall consist of a chief cook and as many assistants as the chief cook deems necessary. A team shall not compete in more than one contest under the same team name, on the same date. Chief cooks and/or assistant cooks may only cook for their designated team at the contest they are attending.


It will eventually need to be clearly defined regarding unsanctioned events held at the same contest..

If not addressed - you'll see RV's and a 20' trailer for a backyard team that has Sponsors.

TheJackal
09-09-2012, 11:30 PM
You are ametuers. I can't wait to kick your ass in Seaside just like we did in Green Lane! :jaw:


JK. Joking aside, stop by our spot on Saturday to hang out. We are cooking for our friends, family, and sponsors since this is our last comp of the season. You will get a chance to taste some 'real' award winning Q. :biggrin1:

Meat Man
09-09-2012, 11:40 PM
I've always felt backyard events are great for new cooks to come out and test the water. To get some limited competition experience under their belts before cooking at the pro level. In our area backyard events are generally two meat cooks, and a great way to get started for newbies.

kenthanson
09-10-2012, 12:13 AM
Sounds like this happened and somebody or a lot of somebodies got pissed and now you wanna know if you're in the wrong. First and foremost you are a pro team, I considered my team pro team before we even competed in our first event. From the time we started running practices and building practice boxes that would be the time we would have bowed out of AMs if we were doing them.

Now onto the guys who are pissed that a AM team had a ringer, it would be fine as long as he was just mentoring the two other guys, if they are using any of his/your teams equipment its crossed the line or as soon as he starts trimming or adjusting temps than he crosses the line IMO. If these guys wanted to learn how to run a pro team than they should have shadowed your team instead. I don't know the structure of this particular comp and the set ups of the other teams, but if you got 9 guys out there with a single kettle or wsm and a team with tables and a ez up and wash stations and a ringer those other 9 guys are gonna be pissed when you walk away with 77% of the cash. The only way to save face would be to donate the cash to a charity of the contest organizers choosing.

Crash
09-10-2012, 06:35 AM
I think it depends on what the BY contest turn-ins are. Case in point, we have cooked 4 meat sanctioned events and a BY on the same day. The BY turn-ins were: burger, carne asada, salsa and chicken.

I had no moral/ethical problem cooking that BY event. If it was the same 4 meats as a sanctioned contest, I'd pass.

chrisnjenn
09-10-2012, 06:42 AM
Sounds like this happened and somebody or a lot of somebodies got pissed and now you wanna know if you're in the wrong. First and foremost you are a pro team, I considered my team pro team before we even competed in our first event. From the time we started running practices and building practice boxes that would be the time we would have bowed out of AMs if we were doing them.

Now onto the guys who are pissed that a AM team had a ringer, it would be fine as long as he was just mentoring the two other guys, if they are using any of his/your teams equipment its crossed the line or as soon as he starts trimming or adjusting temps than he crosses the line IMO. If these guys wanted to learn how to run a pro team than they should have shadowed your team instead. I don't know the structure of this particular comp and the set ups of the other teams, but if you got 9 guys out there with a single kettle or wsm and a team with tables and a ez up and wash stations and a ringer those other 9 guys are gonna be pissed when you walk away with 77% of the cash. The only way to save face would be to donate the cash to a charity of the contest organizers choosing.

Excellent post. It is like an NFL team playing a middle school team and then acting like they accomplished something great. It is an easy way for a "pro" team to lose any respect they had with their peers.

CBQ
09-10-2012, 12:04 PM
Que and a Half Men is a pro team, for sure. We see you guys everywhere. I mean, if you show up with your monster travel trailer with your team logo on the side, the backyarders may think you have done this before. :becky:

On the other hand, when Norwalk got cancelled at the last minute in 2011, we cooked an unsanctioned rib event in Pawtucket, RI because the organizer asked us to. He knew we were a pro team, and even asked us to display our awards because he wanted to make a big deal of out it with the local town.

In 2011, ribs were our worst dish, so we only finished in 2nd. :becky: The 1st place winners were thrilled to beat us, and they were from a local charity, so we were happy for them too.

I would also suggest that maybe an unsanctioned event might not be a slam dunk. Pawtucket hadn't even though about HOW judging would work at all. We gave them a few suggestions beforehand, but believe me...wasn't anything close to KCBS. Anything could happen, including the local judges knowing who the teams are and giving points to their buddies. (and since a number of BOD members read this: no we didn't give them any KCBS IP. :becky:)

CarolinaQue
09-10-2012, 01:57 PM
I think this depends on a couple of things.

I think that there's a difference between a sanctioned backyard event and a non-sanctioned contest that allows any one to compete. The Cabella's contest in Maine comes to mind. It is a non-sanctioned contest that they put on and make it clear that it doesn't matter if this is your first ever contest or if you're a team that won the Jack last year. It's all fair game. To those types of contests, I say it's fair game considering every one competing knows, or should know, that there is the potential for "pro" teams to be there and should expect it.

However, contests like the Mann Orchards contest that clearly states on the application that it was an amatuer contest is a different story. I believe that this year they are going a step further and actually stating that if you have competed in 2 KCBS contests in the last year, you are not eligable to compete in their contest. If you showed up there to compete, then yes...you would be "that guy"!!!

If it is a KCBS contest that has both a "Pro" and a "Back Yard" division, and you've been competing on the other side of the fence and doing well, then no, you should not be competing in the back yard division. And I would expect that mentoring would be having a team member on standby to help the other team in regards to advice on technique and process, but not actually doing the cooking for them. Kind of sitting in the back ground and letting them do the process they think should be done, but advising on how to help them get the most out of their technique.

But, if you are "Que and a Half Men", then no, I would not expect to see you at a "sanctioned" back yard contest competing in it.

Sawdustguy
09-10-2012, 02:13 PM
No for anything but a MBN event. You would be a beginner at a MBN competition and would fit right in to the Back Yard division.

Q-Dat
09-10-2012, 08:23 PM
IMHO if this is an umsanctioned event with Joe Blow off the street judges with no training, then I would have to say that I really don't see what the advantage would be. If you make KCBS style Q for those judges, you just might be looking at a DAL

INmitch
09-10-2012, 11:40 PM
Go with your gut feeling. If you compete in this BY deeliebob and win......when your going to bed thinking about it.......are you going to feel guilty or be happy that you beat the sh!t out of a bunch of guys (with Pitmaster stars in their eyes) that are there competing for the first time.







If your asking I think you already know the answer to your question.

K-Train
09-11-2012, 07:37 AM
In my opinion you're pro. We've have a similar situation one of our team members and a friend of the team both have wanted us to cook amature events. We are by no means a big team, but we have won a couple awards and a small amount of $$. I tell them that to me once you hear your name and take $$, no matter how small the amount or insignifigant the award you are pro. Also in my little mind if you pay to enter a pro event, regardless of how you place you're saying your pro.

BMinahan
09-11-2012, 02:05 PM
BBQ Brethren,
I first want to thank everyone who responded. Thank you for your opinions! Secondly, I tried to keep it simple, but in as all things, everyone on here is way too smart for that and was able to see that even though the questions were simple, the answer is somewhat complex based on circumstances.

A little history. Each year the Fraternal Club I and my teammates are from have an amateur smoke-off. One of my teammates was one of guys who started the contest and both I and my other teammate both got our BBQ bug on by cooking in previous events. The event does not prohibit Pro cooks, however the event attracts only amateurs. My personal definition of “amateurs” is a team or any member of a team that has not cashed more than $500 over the last 24 months.

Because of this and 18 other reasons, I decided NOT to cook this event this past weekend and Team Que and a Half Men would not participate. However, the teammate that helped start this event decided to cook on his own as Pitt Boss (OK with me!) and enlisted 2 other friends of our to help. He took 1st in 3 categories and 1st overall. Cashed $500 of the $650 in prize money. Total cost to cook the event was north of $500.00.

Now comes the politics! Some of the organizers feel that team Q1/2Men should have participated and that our (mostly directed at me) are “Pompous A$$holes” and feel that we think we are better than them by not competing. They also took offense to my teammate displaying Q1/2Men trophies and selling some T-Shirts and koozies to our local friends and family who don’t get to visit us on the circuit.

Others are pissed that Pro team/team member was allowed to cook and think that it was unfair of my teammate to cook the event. They feel he should know better and are disappointed.
At the end of the day, we are in a lose – lose situation. Even though my teammate was able to get two other involved (one wants to join our team) and he was able to win the event he founded, there is way too much bad for this to ever be good.

My advice to others – If you think you are a Pro, you are. Stay clear of the amateur events.
- Bill

BMinahan
09-11-2012, 02:14 PM
Que and a Half Men is a pro team, for sure. We see you guys everywhere. I mean, if you show up with your monster travel trailer with your team logo on the side, the backyarders may think you have done this before. :becky:


Moster travel trailer??? Look whose talking!!! You could fit two of mine into yours! Ohh, that's right... The engine blew on yours. Now your slumming for a few events and my trailer looks like the Taj! LOL!

Hey! Great to see you all representing New England at the Jack. We're rooting for ya!

BMinahan
09-11-2012, 02:25 PM
You are ametuers. I can't wait to kick your ass in Seaside just like we did in Green Lane! :jaw:


JK. Joking aside, stop by our spot on Saturday to hang out. We are cooking for our friends, family, and sponsors since this is our last comp of the season. You will get a chance to taste some 'real' award winning Q. :biggrin1:

Too Funny! Green Lane was a really bad cook for us. We'll see what happens in a few weeks! LOL!

Will be sure to stop by. We drink Bud Light. Have plenty cause we're always thirsty. We need to celebrate your Green Lane sucess!

- Bill

va92bronco
09-11-2012, 02:55 PM
BBQ Brethren,

Now comes the politics! Some of the organizers feel that team Q1/2Men should have participated and that our (mostly directed at me) are “Pompous A$$holes” and feel that we think we are better than them by not competing. They also took offense to my teammate displaying Q1/2Men trophies and selling some T-Shirts and koozies to our local friends and family who don’t get to visit us on the circuit.

Others are pissed that Pro team/team member was allowed to cook and think that it was unfair of my teammate to cook the event. They feel he should know better and are disappointed.
At the end of the day, we are in a lose – lose situation. Even though my teammate was able to get two other involved (one wants to join our team) and he was able to win the event he founded, there is way too much bad for this to ever be good.

- Bill

Sound like you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Though if your teammate was cooking and not your team, then why were you selling team stuff if the team is not in the event. Seemed like if Q1/2Men are not involved, then the shirts and stuff should have stayed home.

BMinahan
09-11-2012, 03:08 PM
Hind sight being 20/20 your probably right. The reasoning behind it was that we (Q1/2Men) are a Rockland, MA team, the event was at our club in Rockland, and many of our family and friends who attended the event have not seen first hand our accomplishments. My teammate has earned the bling and it was his decision to display it. They also have not had the opportunity to purchase any of our wares and my teammate wanted to make sure they had that opportunity.
- Bill

Fatback Joe
09-11-2012, 03:14 PM
So.........what got farked up on the 4th category? :tsk::becky::caked:

Better luck next year.


All joking aside, as you said, it was a "lose/lose". That is too bad.

deez butts
09-11-2012, 08:20 PM
Bill man, that is a pretty lousy situation. Sounds like you pissed off all kinds of people. Did that other team from your club compete? Mad Mike's Smoking Hogs I think it is. Maybe next year your team could do a demo or something and maybe judge it. That way you are involved but not competing against anyone. Hopefully that will prevent a good number of people in your organization from getting pissy. But then again you can never make everyone happy.

See you this weekend in Harvard, I hope you get RGC. :grin:

CBQ
09-11-2012, 09:27 PM
Moster travel trailer??? Look whose talking!!! You could fit two of mine into yours! Ohh, that's right... The engine blew on yours. Now your slumming for a few events and my trailer looks like the Taj! LOL!

Hey! Great to see you all representing New England at the Jack. We're rooting for ya!

LOL, that thing is farking huge. :becky:

It's true we did save 50 bucks on our first oil change by putting in a new engine instead, but we are back on the road and looking forward to our road trip to the AR and The Jack. Lots of NEBS teams heading to The Jack, should be fun.

Sounds like you had a no win situation there.