Imagine opening up the sports section and reading that? Last week Gary of Pigtrip discussed whether or not competition BBQ is a sport. I have been involved in quite a few conversations with other cooks about this very topic . I don't have much to say on the topic other than my own opinion which is a big fat No! If BBQ were considered a sport then what next? Crocheting? To me watching a crocheting competition would have the same appeal as watching a BBQ comp...not much. If I wasn't cooking a contest or visiting a team that I knew at a contest I would never attend it, even if it was across the street from my own house. Maybe a first time spectator would be wowed after seeing all of the different types of cookers , after that then what? A couple of walks though the rows and its time to hit the road. That is after they have stopped at each site asking for food.....My opinions are based on the way comps are organized currently which is basically the same four meats and blind judging.
I do have a thought of what BBQ could be considered rather than a sport...Entertainment! Just some ideas that could make contests more entertaining:
1. Iron Chef: I have noticed contests are adding an additional category of Iron Chef. The only problem is the execution, cooks receive a few ingredient go back their site and once again out of the view of public for the most part. How about a central cooking area. The cooks are lined up next a row of weber kettles and a table. The secret ingredient is revealed. The clock starts now. The cook runs back to his site and grabs what he can and gets back to the central location, As they are prepping and cooking an MC does a play by play just like Alton Brown. The cooks then have to present the dish to a panels of judges. Maybe one of the judges gets picked out of the crowd.
2. Meat Carving/BBQ sculptures: Similar to a pumpkin carving challenge except the carving is out of a pork butt, ribs, brisket etc. Maybe another round where a sculpture would have to be made from ribs, chickens etc
3. Pork eating contest: I have seen rib eating contests which could still be an option. How about a pork eating contest where the contestants hands are tied behind their backs and a tray of pulled pork is put out in front of them.
4. Turn in box obstacle course: I have seen many a cook running to the judges tent with a turn in box at the last second trying to not get DQ'd and at the same time trying to not mess up the contents of their box. How about an event where an extreme obstacle course it setup and the contestant has to make it through and at the end the box is judged on how well it stayed together.