BULLSHEET!!!!!! Where the fark did THAT come from?????
Maybe I haven't been paying attention over the past 5 bbq seasons, but I fail to see the so-called "animosity" (another direct quote from the article) between the cooks & the judges. Yeah, there's always the "What was judge # 4 thinking when he gave me a 7 on taste?" that you hear and there's quite a bit of good natured ribbing that goes on - but "animosity"?
Maybe they we're talking about the "animosity" that Bubba & Herb had when they flagged me down at Nevada, Iowa this weekend to tell me about the potluck dinner that would start at 7 pm that night? Or maybe it was the "animosity" that Tyler & Becky had when they saw me walking through Excelsior Springs, Missouri a couple of weeks ago and invited me to stop & visit? Or was it the "animosity" that Steph and Kyle always show at any comp that I see them at? Or the "animosity" that Randy had for me at Nevada when we hadn't seen each other since early June? The same with Andy & Kim, or Todd, or Ryan? Or damn near any of the other cooking teams that I know? Curt? Jorge? Rob? Marc? Chris? Scott? Anyone???
While I fail to see this "animosity" that the article talks about, I do see a disconnect between judges and cooks because they don't know each other. For the most part, the only time that a cook sees a judge is Saturday morning when the judge is on his way to the tent, and at that point "fraternizing" is a no-no. The rules say no fraternizing on the day of judging until judging is completed and that is where a lot of judges have a misconception, they think that they can't talk to a cook at any time, ever.
That would help explain the fact that I have personally introduced at least 6 CBJs to cooking teams (for their Master's) because they didn't know any teams. I'm pretty sure that if a judge walked up to a team on Friday evening and said that they were judging tomorrow & wanted to see what happens on this side of the turn-in table, well, I'm thinking that 95% of the teams out there would invite them in, sit them down & try to pick the judge's brain for what THEY wanted to have served the next day. After all,the cooks know that if the judges don't like the entry then the scores are going to tank! Some of the disconnect also comes from the cook's side of the table when all they see of a judge is when he comes in carring a cooler, not even saying "Good morning & good luck!", and then leaving right after the judging. The only thing worse (and I've seen this!) is when a CBJ comes up to a team & asks if they have any "extra" ribs to get rid of.
Cooks and judges need to meet and get to know each other, they might be surprised just how much they have in common. But for that to happen the judges need to come out & visit on Friday evening. The cooks can't come to us - we have to go to them.
So that we can end this so-called "animosity".