Fantastic post Phil--Thanks.
My nickle on this.
This has come up before on a smaller scale with me while Judging. Largo just drove the dangers home for me.
I just need to use my head and keep the whole competetive environment in mind, better than I have in the past.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with visiting with friends at an event--that is one of the big draws to competeting.
When you think about the "old timers" on the circuit, the teams all know each other, the judges, and the Reps and they do visit--- each and every weekend. Have a cold one, share a snack, etc. No big deal. Very natural.
But, it is a half hour "here", an hour and a half "there" and they do not wear unique attire or participate directly in chores around the cook site. Nothing wrong with that, part of the culture.
But, we are growing in numbers weekly and we have our wonderful Flaming Pig. A very unique and identifiable logo. We have hats, aprons, banners, T-Shirts and all the "trappings". We are proud of who we are, rightfully so! We encourage our members, competetors and non-competetors alike, to get certified and then actually judge.
It is easy to see why a "non-brethren team" would wonder about the status of the players--"Are they part of the team, or Judges".
Now, if the Brethren team is in the middle of the pack at awards--"who cares?" But, it the Brethren team wins big.......??????? Valid questions and concerns can be raised.
is what I intend to avoid.
I do not intent to "taint" the performance of any team or the event.
Here are my personal guidlines (just for me) in the future.
If I judge an event with no "Brethren" banners flying, I will wear my hat with pride all weekend.
If I judge an event with teams flying the colors, my hat will stay in the van. I am still a Brother without my hat and want to protect the integrity of the teams competing. Small price to pay for the overall good of the sport.
At all events, I will "share the joy" of my companionship
with all the teams I know and keep it to a reasonable level. I will share a libation, sample the wonderful creations they cook on Friday night, and have a great time.
I will avoid any actions (helping out) that could be perceived as blending me with the team.
Basically, I will support the teams the best I can while I also support the entire concept of competetive BBQ.
And, I will have fun doing it
Just my thoughts--not trying to tell anyone else what to do,