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In Reply to: Re: 40% cbjs? posted by monty on March 15, 2011 at 08:03:33:
Great to meet you! I was rooting for you, man - I wanted to see someone walk to the stage wearing a Rush 2112 shirt (I loaded my truck while wearing an Iron Maiden t Friday, but had to swap it for a team t-shirt), but forgot that you had to bolt before awards. But I gotta tell ya man, if 22nd overall out of 108 teams is the worst beating you've ever taken, then you're doing pretty danged well. My 92nd-place brisket wasn't even close to the worst we've done.
I think the judges, certified or not, may well have known exactly what the scores and numbers mean. It's still about personal taste. My nephew was there. He's 21 now and has been around competition barbecue since he was four. He knows exactly how scoring works, and he loved my chewy, way-over-peppered brisket. Had he been judging, he would have given it 8's and 9's - and he'd have been right, because that's what he likes.
My wife's the same way. Back in the day, we mastered grilling boneless skinless breasts so they were tender and juicy - fifth place at the Royal Open. When I gave my girlfriend (now wife) her first taste of it, she asked me to cook it more. She prefers well-well-well done, and light on the seasonings. Our chicken at NKC was excellent - 12th place was right on - but she hated it. Too moist, too much seasoning. She knows how the scoring works, but I guarantee she'd have given that chicken a 7 on flavor, at the most. And she'd be right - We can't expect people to say they like something that they don't. It just won't work.
A huge part of barbecue judging is luck of the judging table. It's always been that way, always will be. The basics can be explained, but personal taste isn't a science, so it can't be taught. All you can do is roll the dice, cross your fingers and have fun.
As for NKC, I don't know what happened with the CBJs. I do know that Jay was on a medical mission in central America when everyone was trying to email him, and I saw first hand the work the NKC Rotary was doing weeks before the contest. I can't fault them for any of that. And if having local dignitary non-certified judges at a contest helps them reach out to the community to support their charities, then I'm OK with that, too.
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