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Sawdustguy
02-10-2009, 06:02 AM
This is from Fitz Granger of Harpoon:


Dear members of the New England Barbecue Society:

As we approach our seventh year of producing the Harpoon Championships of New England Barbecue, we are delighted to find the event has become popular for competitors and the general public alike. This success is due, in large part, to the passion and skill of the teams that have participated. We are very grateful for everyone’s contribution.

The growth of the event has meant changes to the way we plan and manage the event. Each year, we look at all the elements and make improvements wherever we can, with the goal of producing the best event possible for all who enjoy it. The large number of teams that want to participate and the relatively small number of spots available has caused a reevaluation of the admissions policies used to select teams. In 2009, we will implement a new approach.

In the past, teams who have previously competed in the event are “grandfathered”.. New teams are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon hitting capacity, a waiting list is established, and in the event of cancellations, teams on the waiting list are admitted on the basis of their position on the list. In recent years, the number of teams on the waiting list has grown substantially.

The primary problem with the approach we have been using is that it makes a team’s “place in line”, by virtue of history or timing, the only determining factor in participation. When applying this approach to the ever-growing field of teams that would like to compete, it means we are not taking into account the qualities and characteristics of a team other than the team’s “place in line”. We hope you will all agree that barbecue teams are multi-dimensional and merit consideration for all the things that make them special.

With this in mind, we want to implement a process that is based on Harpoon’s philosophy, ensures world class barbecue, and creates a fun event. Our philosophy is reflected in the application form. Harpoon values past contributions, excellence in barbecue, ability to make the event enjoyable for the general public, and a genuine appreciation for good beer. Please bear in mind that our new approach does not necessarily penalize “old” teams. Indeed, the event has reached its current level of success thanks in large part to the high levels of achievement of veteran teams.

The application process will begin the week of February 9th, 2009. We will be sending out the application to all the teams that participated in the Championship in 2008. In addition, we will be posting the application on our website under the Festivals page where we list the information for the Barbecue Festival. Applications will be accepted up until March 31st. The application process does not rely on a "first come first serve" basis, therefore all teams have until March 31 to submit the application. Further information can be found in the application.

Looking back on the early days of the Harpoon Championships of New England Barbecue, it is difficult to believe we now find ourselves encountering capacity constraints. It is both a challenge and an opportunity to create solutions as the event develops, and we have done so with the best interests of the all participants in mind.

To past competitors, thank you for the hard work, fun, and outstanding barbecue you have provided to this event in the past; to future competitors, we wish you good luck and good cooking. We are looking forward to many more great years. Please do not reply to this e-mail because we will not be checking it on a regular basis. If you do have any questions or concerns, please contact Mike Paone at mpaone@harpoonbrewery.com.


Here is the application: http://www.harpoonbrewery.com/harpoon/file/nebbq_application2009.pdf

Sawdustguy
02-10-2009, 06:12 AM
Hint: I hope the applicants are good at writing essays. :eek:

rbsnwngs
02-10-2009, 06:41 AM
so who wants to write my essay

Paola Greg
02-10-2009, 06:44 AM
It appears they have essentially turned the contest in to an invitational with the team selection process put in place. I'm not sure what the ramifications of that are, but for one I would assume the results will not count in the KCBS team of the year points standings.....?

Q Haven
02-10-2009, 06:48 AM
Being that they have opened it up to any and all all applicants, it is not really an invitational contest. It is really no different than any other contest, people apply and some may not get in. If they had no application process and just invited who they wanted to come, that would be different. I feel that with the current process, the results should and will count towards KCBS TOY.

MilitantSquatter
02-10-2009, 06:50 AM
Well... we knew it was coming.. Writing a short essay seems very silly but it's their contest so they can make the rules as they please and many will do it. Not sure how many people are on their review board but I at least hope they will sanity check they previous accomplishments section people fill in. I'd still hate to be one of those teams who have been their from year # 1 and don't have the credentials they desire or the team staffing to vend to a great degree.

I think Ted's comments above are correct based on the current KCBS system.

Motoeric can probably start a side business with his writing skills !!!

Loosenut
02-10-2009, 07:03 AM
Since we competed the last two years but didn't receive an application I'm wondering if the selection process has already begun. We didn't vend and they really want teams to do that so that may have dropped us from the list already. Maybe I'm just paranoid but . . .

Q Haven
02-10-2009, 07:05 AM
Since we competed the last two years but didn't receive an application I'm wondering if the selection process has already begun. We didn't vend and they really want teams to do that so that may have dropped us from the list already. Maybe I'm just paranoid but . . .

That application was not mailed or e-mailed out to anyone. It was posted late yesterday afternoon to the New England Barbecue Society Yahoo group.

You're paranoid :-P

ihbobry
02-10-2009, 07:08 AM
Hint: Answer for #6 Favorite beer should likely be a Harpoon product. :rolleyes:

ique
02-10-2009, 07:10 AM
It appears they have essentially turned the contest in to an invitational with the team selection process put in place. I'm not sure what the ramifications of that are, but for one I would assume the results will not count in the KCBS team of the year points standings.....?


Harpoon ran the letter past KCBS and was told that eliminating grand-fathering was not a problem.

Loosenut
02-10-2009, 07:11 AM
That application was not mailed or e-mailed out to anyone. It was posted late yesterday afternoon to the New England Barbecue Society Yahoo group.

You're paranoid :-P

Crap, I've been found out.

rbsnwngs
02-10-2009, 07:11 AM
I love Harpoon beer and Vending

Big Ugly's BBQ
02-10-2009, 08:07 AM
I've been known to pontificate with a plethora of vernacular verbiage, and express it in written form, given the right amount of motivation.:biggrin:








Damn, now my brain hurts…………… :icon_smil:icon_smil
Gotta quit doing that before the coffee takes effect!

Jacked UP BBQ
02-10-2009, 08:20 AM
I never been there, but I heard its a great comp. But looks to me like good comp turned gay!

drbbq
02-10-2009, 08:30 AM
so who wants to write my essay

I'll write it for you.

ique
02-10-2009, 08:36 AM
I never been there, but I heard its a great comp. But looks to me like good comp turned gay!

You can tell Fitz that when you come up for my cooking class.

Jacked UP BBQ
02-10-2009, 08:44 AM
You can tell Fitz that when you come up for my cooking class.

No problemo!:lol:

The Giggler
02-10-2009, 09:02 AM
Here's my take:

1. There are teams who only come to compete in the KCBS portion of the contest, and pull out Saturday Night. Those "grandfathered" teams keep other teams wanting to cook both KCBS and the Summer Sizzler out.

Bottom Line: Harpoon wants to fill the field with teams wishing to compete on BOTH days of this competition.

2. Harpoon wants to continue to host a GREAT event for the Public. This is where vending comes into play. The public, rain or shine, shows up in droves to drink Harpoon Beer and eat BBQ. Whether your team is a big or small vendor, that interaction with the public, is a key part of what makes this event so special for them.

Bottom Line: Without Public support, there is no event.

The format here is a bit different, and IMHO may have evolved due to the reasons above.

I, for one, fully intend to return my application for entry. For us, our comp season revolves around it.

Alexa RnQ
02-10-2009, 09:13 AM
The hallmark of an "open" contest is not one that accepts all applications. If a team is selected for competition based on *ANY* other criteria than paying their fee, showing up, cooking and behaving, then it's an invitational. The removal of grandfathering may not be a problem, but it doesn't make it an open contest, based on the criteria listed above.

Given the nature of this event, I can very easily see how they would wish to work the marketing side a bit harder than they have in the past. I've heard it spoken of so highly over the years, but when the emphasis shifts away from competition far enough to require teams to do things that take their focus away from their entries, the credibility level of that contest is not enhanced from a team's perspective. Of course, if you show up to vend and drink beer, it's all good!

rbsnwngs
02-10-2009, 09:15 AM
I'll write it for you.

thats like asking me to watch your beer and not drink it

ique
02-10-2009, 09:32 AM
The hallmark of an "open" contest is not one that accepts all applications. If a team is selected for competition based on *ANY* other criteria than paying their fee, showing up, cooking and behaving, then it's an invitational. The removal of grandfathering may not be a problem, but it doesn't make it an open contest, based on the criteria listed above.


Harpoon does accept all applications. What do you think any contest would do with 80 applications and 40 slots? Thats what Harpoon gets... basically as soon as the applications hit the website they quickly end up with a 30-40 team waiting list.

There needs to be some way to choose. And yes, you could pull the names out of a hat. Harpoon feels the event would be better served by selecting teams that bring something to the event (not necessarily vending).

Jacked UP BBQ
02-10-2009, 09:43 AM
I actually wish I could go to this comp, but there is one 25 minutes from my house that weekend in freehold, nj. I don't mind shwoing them my goods to get accepted, I would feel like a winner to even get accepted.

Alexa RnQ
02-10-2009, 10:06 AM
Harpoon does accept all applications. What do you think any contest would do with 80 applications and 40 slots? Thats what Harpoon gets... basically as soon as the applications hit the website they quickly end up with a 30-40 team waiting list.

There needs to be some way to choose. And yes, you could pull the names out of a hat. Harpoon feels the event would be better served by selecting teams that bring something to the event (not necessarily vending).
Of course there needs to be some way to choose the field.
But that doesn't obviate the fact that if there are any factors other than a timely entry with a good check while slots are open, it's not an open contest -- it's subject to other criteria.

ique
02-10-2009, 10:20 AM
Of course there needs to be some way to choose the field.
But that doesn't obviate the fact that if there are any factors other than a timely entry with a good check while slots are open, it's not an open contest -- it's subject to other criteria.

I'm not sure how its different than the many events that Grandfather teams.

Events that grandfather are using "other criteria".

My good check and timely entry did no good in getting me into Wildwood, NJ in the past for instance. Why? Because they used other criteria, teams that competed in previous years got preferential treatment. I have zero problem with with events that use grandfathering as a policy... fwiw.

YankeeBBQ
02-10-2009, 10:24 AM
I never been there, but I heard its a great comp. But looks to me like good comp turned gay!

Are you telling us you got a special invitation or something :?: :mrgreen:

LindaM
02-10-2009, 10:27 AM
FYI Wildwood is open to 62 teams this year. Get on the list now for applications, I understand the first 62 get in once the applications are received.

I'm not sure how its different than the many events that Grandfather teams.

Events that grandfather are using "other criteria".

My good check and timely entry did no good in getting me into Wildwood, NJ in the past for instance. Why? Because they used other criteria, teams that competed in previous years got preferential treatment. I have zero problem with with events that use grandfathering as a policy... fwiw.

YankeeBBQ
02-10-2009, 10:31 AM
I wish they would just add 50k to the prize pool and make it an invitational. Who really gives a crap if it counts towards KCBS TOY, that's rigged for Midwest teams anyway.

Alexa RnQ
02-10-2009, 10:31 AM
any factors other than a timely entry with a good check while slots are open

My good check and timely entry did no good in getting me into Wildwood, NJ
And that's where, eventually, a distinction is going to have to be made -- where grandfathering factors into whether a contest is open or not.

However, that's not the issue with this contest, since they opted to dispense with grandfathering. If an organizer, for purposes of their own event marketing, wishes to select teams on the basis of photos, essays, vending capacity or anything else, that's certainly their prerogative -- but it is disingenous to declare it an open contest.

Jacked UP BBQ
02-10-2009, 10:38 AM
Are you telling us you got a special invitation or something :?: :mrgreen:

I just assumed it was gay when I saw you and your team making bacon in your avatar. :icon_clown

MAsQue
02-10-2009, 10:42 AM
My favorite beer was always the next one. I would drink warm rat pee if it had alcohol in it. Maybe I should get someone else to answer question number 6 for me?

Scottie
02-10-2009, 10:51 AM
I wish they would just add 50k to the prize pool and make it an invitational. Who really gives a crap if it counts towards KCBS TOY, that's rigged for Midwest teams anyway.


I'd for sure do a essay then...

kcpellethead
02-10-2009, 11:06 AM
I wish they would just add 50k to the prize pool and make it an invitational. Who really gives a crap if it counts towards KCBS TOY, that's rigged for Midwest teams anyway.

What should we call that thing on your shoulder, Chippy?

Scottie
02-10-2009, 11:09 AM
He just needs to get out more Rod... :eek:

OK, I am going back and screening all calls coming in to my office line.. From KC... (Steve will get it...)

YankeeBBQ
02-10-2009, 11:43 AM
What should we call that thing on your shoulder, Chippy?

Sorry did that come out a little harsh ? :biggrin:

Sawdustguy
02-11-2009, 09:15 AM
We will put in our application but don't expect to be selected. If they truely want to get the big guns in the sport, increasing the GC winnings from $1600 would go a long way I am sure. It will be interesting to see who they pick this year but I am not holding my breath. I only wish them the best with this years contest. We have had a blast competing at Harpoon the past two years. I have a feeling that Harpoon will be Polockless this year.

Scottie
02-11-2009, 09:28 AM
I think to get the teams in from out of the area, they would have to increase the prize fund. As I believe it's a very high entry fee in comparison to the prize pool? Oh, and they would also have to open up the river for swimming again... :roll:

But with all that said. I'd go back again in a heart beat. As I'd find a way to go swimming.... :twisted:

Q Haven
02-11-2009, 09:35 AM
For many teams what makes the $$ work is that they are allowed to sell their food to the public at Harpoon. Even if you just do a small vending operation, you can easily bring in enough sales to break even for the weekend. To be able to attend a contest that is this much fun and make money, regardless of where you finish makes the weekend worth it alone. Of course a few calls make the weekend even better!

ique
02-11-2009, 09:54 AM
We will put in our application but don't expect to be selected. If they truely want to get the big guns in the sport, increasing the GC winnings from $1600 would go a long way I am sure.


It would be nice if they increased the prize pool.

I don't think they are necessarily trying to get the "big guns". I think Mike nailed it a few posts ago... there were some teams that were grandfathered in that were showing up, cooking the KCBS contest and leaving... while there were teams on the waiting list that wanted to cook both days and vend for instance.

The Anchorman
02-11-2009, 03:40 PM
there were some teams that were grandfathered in that were showing up, cooking the KCBS contest and leaving... while there were teams on the waiting list that wanted to cook both days and vend for instance.[/QUOTE]

You know Chris I think you got it there also.


But that being said it is hard for some teams with limited members to enter the contest and vend. They work on the contest entry jobs all season long and each member has a role for cooking, turn in, garnish, and kitchen bitch. You almost need another whole team of people to vend.

And the reason I am saying that is the public come in there from 11:30 on and right until awards, thats Prime contest time as we all know.
If a team doesn't have the equipment, or the man power to commit to feeding the extra amount of food, that could be a very big strain on the team.

Vending requires extra cold storage, ice, cooking area, some times specialized cooking equipment, extra transportation costs, and labor. ( which comes at an extra cost to the team just for this event)

There is also a need for extra space for just the vending, if it was to be done right. But there are very few spaces that have any extra space to spare.

Also at Harpoon if your not down there on entrance row, you are pretty much out of the loop and can be left holding quite abit of food at the end of the weekend, And if it rains... as we all Know Harpoon has a history of.

We all know that there is limited amout of space on the property, they need to have room for all those Vermonters to come out and enjoy the event. Need space for entertainment, which the stage placement change over the last two years is a strain on the teams. But there was a need for more room for contest related vendors, such as are friend Dr. Gonzo, Cabot Cheese, and various sauce people.

Team Vending takes the load of the orgainzers getting BBQ Vendors in there, but at what cost to the teams, all at a $300 entry fee.
Oh yeah, I forgot the free beer. Well IMHO at $300, its not free.

I am not bitter, I am not mad, I see the need for the vending by the teams. But at what costs to the team. Oh yes I am one of the teams that only cooked the KCBS contest last year and left on Saturday night.

It is no secret that I or The Anchormen are in semi-retirement.
It is no secret that I will be judging alot more this year.

So I am declaring that we, (The Anchormen) will not be entering The Harpoon Contest Lottery this year.
Good Luck to all who enter.
And may the best cooks win.