We’ve been hiding this issue for far too long in the professional BBQ Family. The Bullying in BBQ has to end. Many of us grew up in a time when there was nothing but shame when admitting that we were a victim of bullying, so it was left alone....only to weave into our adult lives, destroying self confidence, ruining marriages and careers and making us piti-ful people on so many levels...
And now, as Professional BBQ athletes, we find ourselves dealing with ritualistic bullying at each and every contest. The sport has evolved into a “clicke” of winners and the rest of us are losers, week in, and week out.... Some of us percolate to the winner circle now and again, but it’s mostly for that select group who wind up in all the fancy contests with great names and awesome goodie bags, while we are at home scraping grates and getting the grease out of our barrels.
I’m not suggesting the winners are the perpetrators of bullying in Pro BBQ, not by far. It’s the JUDGES! The Judges who routinely feel that they are bettering themselves when the give a “7” and then another “7” and then a “6” which makes them feel all powerful and mighty.... They just write those horrifying numbers down and turn in their score sheets, Knowing that the hopes and dreams of the cook have just been CRUSHED. And they don’t care.... You know How I know this....they never stick around for awards!! Yeah, they are gone, pecan, headed home laughing all the way at the joy of their misery perpetration on those fat PitMasters who deserve it.
And why do the Judges bully? It’s a reflection of their incompetence to cook anything worth eating themselves. They are reminded with each and every bite, that they are terrible cooks and the men, recognize that they really should turn in their Man-Cards after sampling what real Men cook. So they lash out, 7,7,7,6,6,6 “I’ll never give you a 9”.....
So the answer for us now is to establish a sense of compassion for us victims of this bullying. We need “SAFE” zones set up after competitions very close to where the score packets are handed out. A place where we can go and not be intimidated with those that won. We need to have counselors on hand to help with the grieving process that attacks each and every one of us, after studying the score packet. Therapy dogs would also play a positive role for us to have someone to show us unconditional Love at a time when it’s desperately needed.
The horrible reality of Bullying in Pro BBQ has been thrown into the OPEN for all to see. Let’s get over this together, as One Family, helping each other and signing joyful melodies in the face of 15th-89th place. Where there’s compassion, there is HOPE. Pro BBQ deserves to move forward!
Jeff Loves Jesus and since being saved... born-again... my desire is to work for Him in whatever capacity that becomes. :)