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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 08-20-2019, 09:45 AM   #106
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Brad for BOD 2020
Lol. I may run, but only because I’m way too controversial to win!
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:41 AM   #107
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2 weeks ago, the comp I competed at had a first place pork from a team I know cooks Tyson butts from walmart. They ran my pork process. I taught them how to cook pork. This week I won pork. You people act like it's all the meat and not any of the skill of the cook. Clark, Darren, Tim, Brad, Blane, Matt walker will all whip your ass with a choice brisket from walmart. And many of those guys already cook commodity pork.
Completely agree with this 100%. The 2 contests I've done so far this year have left me with a 9th place pork in Valley, NE and a 1st place pork in Rodney, IA...both cooks were Tyson All Natural boneless butts I picked up at Walmart a couple of days before each contests.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:45 AM   #108
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Lol. I may run, but only because I’m way too controversial to win!
I would vote for you.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:56 AM   #109
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Follow me here because I'm just spit balling.

16-20 National BBQ League Events. These are high prize purse, high entry fee (for opens), high profile events around the globe with no limits. I could see a combination of invitational and open events. Everyone can cook 2 of these events in a year without giving up their "amateur" status. As soon as you take the plunge and elect to cook 3 or more, you are now a pro subject to the restrictions when competing in "local" events. This level will have it's own points chase, sponsorships that can pay entry fees, etc. All the trappings of big money BBQ.

Normal KCBS events would be considered "locals". This would be the main KCBS points chase. They could be 4 meat events, one meat events, organizer provided meat events, whatever. "Pro" teams can compete, but we can place restrictions on them of some sort. Maybe they pay a higher entry for a KCBS provided cooler of meat, maybe there is a handicap (see Pappy???), maybe you limit the number of "locals" each pro team can do, whatever. Either way, "pro" teams will not receive points for these local events. Add a big money Sam'sesque tour that caters to the lower level and we might be on to something.

Go easy on me. It's just a start.
I understand this is all hypothetical, but wondering where a team like myself would fit into this. I only compete 2-4 times per year right now, but to me the major draw is being able to get in the ring with guys like you, Tim, Darren, Travis, Joe, Fergie, etc... I understand the divisions concepts and think it would have its perks and advantages, but for someone like myself it would make me reconsider competing if I couldn't go out and compete against the best.

I only have 4 comps under my belt so I am very green to all of this, but winning the pork category in my last contest over Slaps, Dirt Road, Fergolicious, Smokey D's, and so on just made it that much more fun and rewarding. Winning will always be great, but I just don't know if it would have the same feeling for me personally without all of you big names on the lists!
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:24 AM   #110
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I understand this is all hypothetical, but wondering where a team like myself would fit into this. I only compete 2-4 times per year right now, but to me the major draw is being able to get in the ring with guys like you, Tim, Darren, Travis, Joe, Fergie, etc... I understand the divisions concepts and think it would have its perks and advantages, but for someone like myself it would make me reconsider competing if I couldn't go out and compete against the best.

I only have 4 comps under my belt so I am very green to all of this, but winning the pork category in my last contest over Slaps, Dirt Road, Fergolicious, Smokey D's, and so on just made it that much more fun and rewarding. Winning will always be great, but I just don't know if it would have the same feeling for me personally without all of you big names on the lists!
If you read my post, I'm advocating some mobility between divisions so this aspect of competition BBQ stays alive, because I think it's unique and important.

Touring teams will still cook local events. They do it now because they love to compete and to cook. That won't change. I cooked a 25 team contest in my home town 2 weeks ago. There weren't enough teams for the points to matter. I cooked it because it's my home town and I love to compete. The contest you won pork at was the same way. Teams will show up for well run, fun events regardless.

For the tour I'm talking about 16-20 (maybe it's only 10-12?) high profile events from coast to coast (and international). Most "pro" teams will only do about half of these. The rest of their schedule will be made up of smaller local events. That's no different than how we schedule now. Plus, these high profile events can be open meaning anyone who wants to pay the entry fee can sign up to cook two per year without losing your status.

The main difference between the current system and what I'm proposing is a two tiered championship points chase. Plus having 16-20 big, bankable events to drive interest, education and marketing opportunities for competition BBQ.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:27 AM   #111
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If you read my post, I'm advocating some mobility between divisions so this aspect of competition BBQ stays alive, because I think it's unique and important.

Touring teams will still cook local events. They do it now because they love to compete and to cook. That won't change. I cooked a 25 team contest in my home town 2 weeks ago. There weren't enough teams for the points to matter. I cooked it because it's my home town and I love to compete. The contest you won pork at was the same way. Teams will show up for well run, fun events regardless.

For the tour I'm talking about 16-20 (maybe it's only 10-12?) high profile events from coast to coast (and international). Most "pro" teams will only do about half of these. The rest of their schedule will be made up of smaller local events. That's no different than how we schedule now. Plus, these high profile events can be open meaning anyone who wants to pay the entry fee can sign up to cook two per year without losing your status.

The main difference between the current system and what I'm proposing is a two tiered championship points chase. Plus having 16-20 big, bankable events to drive interest, education and marketing opportunities for competition BBQ.
Makes total sense! I assumed this is what you had in mind from the original post, but thank you for making it more clear to me. I'm all for it!
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:23 PM   #112
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There are some good ideas floating upwards in this thread. But the main issue with KCBS is the interest from the public. Why would anyone show up at an event to watch 30-60 teams compete mostly behind walls (inside RVs, 5th wheels, campers or EZ UP tent walls) to then run a closed styrofoam box to another private area to then wait hours (from 12 til awards can be 3-4 hours) to see who won?

During the Pitmasters boom there was an opportunity to bring the show outside to the people. Why would Smithfield or any of these big sponsors get involved? What would drive the public to these events? They want to see the cooking, learn something and eat something. Otherwise they will go to the food truck mash up or they will go to a ball game or something else.

Contests are dying mostly because organizers have zero reason to include the freak side show that is competition BBQ. It brings very little value to an overall bigger event. So the only events that really last are the ones that are focused just on BBQ and the money is coming from the teams who buy in, etc not from larger national sponsorship money.

Get the average joe involved and KCBS can grow. KCBS has that get out more thing which is what, at maybe 10-20 events? But there are 100’s of KCBS events. When my friends ask if they should go to an event it pains me to tell them no, especially ones who do not live in my area. Sure if they are local I can toss them some leftovers but I have friends coast to coast who know that I used to compete and when they would say oh there is a contest near me should I go - why would I tell them to go? I love BBQ and BBQ people are nice, but at contests its all being the wall and there is very little fan engagement. All major “sport” find a way to engage the fan.

Also a lot of people mention NASCAR And fishing, I do not have experience in those hobbies but I see this BBQ as an analogy to poker. Put your money and play against the best. The WSOP has 50+ events, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000+ (sometimes up to $1mm). The “hole camera” made poker a TV event, and that got the public interested and there are events coast to coast from $100s to the big ones mentioned above. They need that for BBQ and the 3 team tournament style of Pitmasters where they’d cook alligator was just not up to par. Get something interesting on TV, get levels where there are $100 to $1,000 buy in’s, travel the county and find a way to let onlookers get involved. Even in poker there are “rail birds” - where are the “Rail birds” in BBQ?
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:06 AM   #113
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If you read my post, I'm advocating some mobility between divisions so this aspect of competition BBQ stays alive, because I think it's unique and important.

Touring teams will still cook local events. They do it now because they love to compete and to cook. That won't change. I cooked a 25 team contest in my home town 2 weeks ago. There weren't enough teams for the points to matter. I cooked it because it's my home town and I love to compete. The contest you won pork at was the same way. Teams will show up for well run, fun events regardless.

For the tour I'm talking about 16-20 (maybe it's only 10-12?) high profile events from coast to coast (and international). Most "pro" teams will only do about half of these. The rest of their schedule will be made up of smaller local events. That's no different than how we schedule now. Plus, these high profile events can be open meaning anyone who wants to pay the entry fee can sign up to cook two per year without losing your status.

The main difference between the current system and what I'm proposing is a two tiered championship points chase. Plus having 16-20 big, bankable events to drive interest, education and marketing opportunities for competition BBQ.
Based on your NBL experience how substantial is the budget per event? I'm not asking for a number. The cost is pretty important in determining viability as well as attracting sponsors. I don't dislike the concept.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:50 AM   #114
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There are some good ideas floating upwards in this thread. But the main issue with KCBS is the interest from the public. Why would anyone show up at an event to watch 30-60 teams compete mostly behind walls (inside RVs, 5th wheels, campers or EZ UP tent walls) to then run a closed styrofoam box to another private area to then wait hours (from 12 til awards can be 3-4 hours) to see who won?

During the Pitmasters boom there was an opportunity to bring the show outside to the people. Why would Smithfield or any of these big sponsors get involved? What would drive the public to these events? They want to see the cooking, learn something and eat something. Otherwise they will go to the food truck mash up or they will go to a ball game or something else.

Contests are dying mostly because organizers have zero reason to include the freak side show that is competition BBQ. It brings very little value to an overall bigger event. So the only events that really last are the ones that are focused just on BBQ and the money is coming from the teams who buy in, etc not from larger national sponsorship money.

Get the average joe involved and KCBS can grow. KCBS has that get out more thing which is what, at maybe 10-20 events? But there are 100’s of KCBS events. When my friends ask if they should go to an event it pains me to tell them no, especially ones who do not live in my area. Sure if they are local I can toss them some leftovers but I have friends coast to coast who know that I used to compete and when they would say oh there is a contest near me should I go - why would I tell them to go? I love BBQ and BBQ people are nice, but at contests its all being the wall and there is very little fan engagement. All major “sport” find a way to engage the fan.

Also a lot of people mention NASCAR And fishing, I do not have experience in those hobbies but I see this BBQ as an analogy to poker. Put your money and play against the best. The WSOP has 50+ events, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000+ (sometimes up to $1mm). The “hole camera” made poker a TV event, and that got the public interested and there are events coast to coast from $100s to the big ones mentioned above. They need that for BBQ and the 3 team tournament style of Pitmasters where they’d cook alligator was just not up to par. Get something interesting on TV, get levels where there are $100 to $1,000 buy in’s, travel the county and find a way to let onlookers get involved. Even in poker there are “rail birds” - where are the “Rail birds” in BBQ?
So, what does poker do to engage fans in a live setting? I get the hole cam for tv, but you obviously don't get that live. Are there lessons we can learn from poker? I don't dislike your analogy, but as far as I can tell, unless comp BBQ becomes a bigger tv presence, the poker lessons won't work.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:48 AM   #115
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There are some good ideas floating upwards in this thread...



Also a lot of people mention NASCAR And fishing, I do not have experience in those hobbies but I see this BBQ as an analogy to poker...
I agree with the poker analogy. Most of the time I'm just bluffing my way through the game.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:03 AM   #116
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So, what does poker do to engage fans in a live setting? I get the hole cam for tv, but you obviously don't get that live. Are there lessons we can learn from poker? I don't dislike your analogy, but as far as I can tell, unless comp BBQ becomes a bigger tv presence, the poker lessons won't work.

you can sit and watch poker and enjoy the hell out of it without the hole cams. You still get to the see the bets, you get to see big bets and wonder if the next guy will call or fold and then you get to the final cards revealed when all of the betting is done.

that is a great deal more than the average fan would ever get to see at a BBQ contest where they can't and don't really hang during the cooking process, they don't get to see the final product being presented and the results of whole event are hours past when the "action" was taking place.

KCBS events are not setup for fan participation, and that is understandable. some of the events I have cooked that are operated by local tourism offices seem to do a better job of trying to have some vending trucks, and live music music available which helps create an atmosphere that attracts locals to come out.....but the contest itself is not fan participation activity in my opinion.

being someone who 100% got into this "sport" based on seeing it done on TV and thinking "holy crap that looks fun", I can say that seeing it on TV and actually doing it are two TOTALLY different things.

Watching on TV I thought well that looks fun and maybe a little hard, but I had no idea how much WORK and MONEY it took to do it at a level where you at least have a shot at getting regular calls. So I think the reason some think contests are dying is because it's probably just leveling back down to where it was prior to the TV shows for one. because as people get out there and do it, they realize in a hurry you have to damn LOVE doing this or it really aint all that fun. I do love it, but I have a hard time finding others to love it enough to want to do it with me to the point of practicing and investing time and money into it. so i think alot of folks got into doing it, then quickly got out of it because of what it takes.

also, when I took Myron's class several years ago, somebody asked him what has been the biggest change in the sport in recent years.....and within two seconds he said "the competition"......he was very open and honest about it. he said that back in the 90's and early 2000's he would drive into a contest and know immediately by who he saw was there that he was going to win......and he said after Pitmasters caused a big boom that more and more people were not only doing it, but taking it much much more serious and it has gotten harder and harder to consistently win and compete. and I thought that was pretty cool of him to be that open and honest about it all.

and I have said before, I know when I go to compete that I have to get lucky, have a great cook, get good weather (because I use tents) and some of the real pros have to have an average or bad cook for me to really do well.....I have gotten multiple calls in every category over the years and even had a RGC at a local contest, but I know at the end of the day, I am one of the guys participating that my money is mostly going to help keep the real pros going.....but I love being a part of the culture......just not sure If I will always have the money, time and strength to continue doing it like I really want to do it.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:10 AM   #117
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BBQ Pitmasters 1st season was easily the best, and probably the one that got me the most interested in competing. It was cool to go along with the teams at real competitions and see behind the scenes stuff...along the same lines of what the NBBQL did last year. I think this would be the best way to get more people interested in the sport, but it's easy for someone sitting on the sidelines with no say and no money on the line to suggest.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:45 PM   #118
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So, what does poker do to engage fans in a live setting? I get the hole cam for tv, but you obviously don't get that live. Are there lessons we can learn from poker? I don't dislike your analogy, but as far as I can tell, unless comp BBQ becomes a bigger tv presence, the poker lessons won't work.
well the hole cam for TV is way more engaging than even our beloved Season 1 of Pitmasters. It really brings people right into the game, the theory, strategy, etc. I enjoyed Season 1 of Pitmasters but it was a big "Scripted" with the drama of the new guy, I heard sweet with a little heat more than I needed to, etc.

For live poker, I mean it is not like an event draws 1,000's of people but those who want to watch can at least see something. As mentioned above, they can see folds and calls. Even a big fold can be super exciting given the size of the pot relative to the point of the tournament and some folds are exciting as people will use strategy to flip their cards to get in other people's heads - its gamesmanship. At a vast majority of KCBS events, there is NOTHING re: the competition for the audience to see except for the awards. I mean nothing. There may be local BBQ vendors or local craft vendors or an antique car show, but the KCBS portion is very non audience friendly.

Point blank - if I worked for a mega corporation (Weber, Smithfield, Kingsford, WalMart, Restaurant Depot, etc) and I went to a KCBS contest I'd be hard pressed to want to invest in the program. There are always exceptions to the norm; The Sun Fest at Mohegan Sun had some interaction as teams could vend too and they have a huge stage with music, but the audience is confused because they cannot "see" the contest. This is why we are losing contests, after 2-3 years the organizer sees no payback from the KCBS piece of things and as someone said it turns into a bunch of men in a parking lot cooking for bragging rights - but who would sponsor that program? KCBS teams want water and lights and breakfast and the list goes on - but what do they give back to the event? Most of the time, just a side show.

TV/social media aspect of poker is huge - online playing (free or for real money), educational books, magazines, websites tracking earnings, etc. Ever see a poker player not wearing some sort of sponsorship gear? It may be over the top but they are driving their "sport". And though you see less poker on TV these days because of the online bubble burst, ESPN still has some coverage of the WSOP and FOX Sports and/or NBC sports have poker on at nights and I would not be shocked if there are web broadcasts of various events - I am not "that" into the poker scene.

Maybe KCBS needs a Chris Moneymaker.... He looks the part of a BBQ guy for sure....

Maybe open up the judging tent to let the audience watch people taste food and have an open comments section?

Maybe if you do these smaller "pro" contests do "live judging" so you face the judge and hear their feedback (can still be blind judging as the judge does not know who is team 1, 2, 3, etc) and the audience can watch the judges and teams reactions.

Maybe contests can sell a seat with each team (money goes to a fundraiser) so people can hang with a team for a contest?

Somehow the walls need to come down and the audience has to "get" what is going on at the contests. Pretend you never went to a KCBS event - you show up, 40-50 teams of which 80% are driving enclosed set ups, so you see a few people milling about, and then from 12-1:30 a bunch of people are running boxes to an area where you cannot go and then at 3-4pm they read awards. You'd scratch your head wouldn't you?

It may take a TV Whiz producer or someone with a live event background to crack the nut.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:14 PM   #119
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Man, I remember Black Friday like it was yesterday. I had about $3k in PokerStars, and I tried to log in as soon as I got up that morning to play some SNG tournies, and was locked out. Went to twoplustwo and you would have thought the world was burning. Thought for sure I would never see the money. Luckily, Stars got everyone paid back.

That said, I've fallen way out of the poker world, and was never that into it either outside of online and a few live cash games at the casinos here in KC.

I see what you're saying about the live aspect, and I agree, we hurt ourselves by being inside all the time (this coming from a guy that has always been an outside team except for sleeping in the camper, but this weekend is rolling out his new porch trailer and will be locked away now more than I ever have). However, a big fold or successful bluff that is shown in poker is exciting because it's a mano a mano situation. BBQ doesn't have that. Won't have that, outside of the game show TV shows. I just don't think that a big, stressful situation like that with then the payoff of a shown fold/bluff can happen in BBQ.

I think if you look around at a lot of competitions you'll see many teams flying banners, wearing shirts/hats, etc of sponsors and non sponsors (look at all the SRF hats you see around). More could probably be done for that though.

At the end of the day, it's a TV issue. If you have a pitmasters, BamaQ, BBQ Life style show that is funded well enough to get off the ground for a couple seasons, I think it could do well and start generating some interest again.

Or, we contract for another year or two, and level out to the new normal. Also, much like poker did.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:37 PM   #120
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Man, I remember Black Friday like it was yesterday. I had about $3k in PokerStars, and I tried to log in as soon as I got up that morning to play some SNG tournies, and was locked out. Went to twoplustwo and you would have thought the world was burning. Thought for sure I would never see the money. Luckily, Stars got everyone paid back.

That said, I've fallen way out of the poker world, and was never that into it either outside of online and a few live cash games at the casinos here in KC.

I see what you're saying about the live aspect, and I agree, we hurt ourselves by being inside all the time (this coming from a guy that has always been an outside team except for sleeping in the camper, but this weekend is rolling out his new porch trailer and will be locked away now more than I ever have). However, a big fold or successful bluff that is shown in poker is exciting because it's a mano a mano situation. BBQ doesn't have that. Won't have that, outside of the game show TV shows. I just don't think that a big, stressful situation like that with then the payoff of a shown fold/bluff can happen in BBQ.

I think if you look around at a lot of competitions you'll see many teams flying banners, wearing shirts/hats, etc of sponsors and non sponsors (look at all the SRF hats you see around). More could probably be done for that though.

At the end of the day, it's a TV issue. If you have a pitmasters, BamaQ, BBQ Life style show that is funded well enough to get off the ground for a couple seasons, I think it could do well and start generating some interest again.

Or, we contract for another year or two, and level out to the new normal. Also, much like poker did.
If you use the WSOP Main Event as a measuring stick - they were back over 8,000 entrants this year, the 2nd highest ever. And last 3 years were all over 7,000 entrants. True ESPN TV repeats are not as frequent, not sure what other measuring stick to use to see if poker is waning in popularity or just holding its own. Moneymaker was 2003, so its been 16 years of at least growth at their premier WSOP events.

467 teams were in the American Royal Open in 2018. 407 teams in 2017. 557 teams in 2016. 600+ teams in 2015. Little rebound in 2018, curious to see how 2019 shapes up.

BBQ may not have that mano v mano of a big bluff or fold, but it has competition with team vs team. And like poker, if you have the money you can compete openly against the best. There is a draw to that for those with competitive fire in their bellies.

Like you, I was a fringe poker player, go to a casino 1-2x a year and play some cards and I rarely played online so Black Friday was a non event for me.

I just liken BBQ to Poker due their "sport" status but also "open" status where you pay to play and can compete against the big guns if you put your money where your mouth is and sign up. Poker found a way with increasing its presence on TV and they get loads of sponsors and the game gives you the feeling that the average joe has his fair chance against the best in an open format.

I do not make TV shows or live events for a living, but they need some ideas to engage people, either in person or on TV. without either, #s will decrease.
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