Free Form Friday is the open comment thread your mother warned you about. Sure, the tattoo of Champ Bailey should have given it away, but if not, be prepared for us squander your paycheck on bourbon and a velvet David Pollack portrait for the mantle. It's tasteful, but with just enough "Hey Corey Jenkins . . .U Still Mad?!?!?" to make our point. Enjoy . . .
The above Stewie Mandel-approved video features Gringo Grande, one of 46 acts you can catch next weekend at Bragg Jam, a music and arts festival started here in Macon to honor the memory of brothers Brax and Tate Bragg. I don't get preachy very often in this space (unless there's barbecue involved), but I'm making an exception here for a variety of reasons. Two of which are a) that Bragg Jam is a great event which allows you to pay $20 to see a metric crapload of great musicians (including Randall Bramblett, outer space ambassador Colonel Bruce Hampton, and former DBT'er Jason Isbell and his outfit the 400 Unit), and b) the event benefits a host of great causes in the central Georgia area. Check out the full schedule here, and come on out if you're so inclined. Again, merely a suggestion, but one which I doubt you'll regret.
Speaking of me getting preachy about barbecue, well, here's me getting preachy about barbecue. Recently I was minding my own business, watching a replay of the 2011 Baylor/Oklahoma game on ESPNU and waiting for the moment when you actually see Robert Griffin, III run to the sideline and punch Bob Stoops square in the heart. This is the offseason, and this is how it is for me.
Then it happened. I saw a Burger King commercial in which some poor cubicle dweller leans over to one of his cubemates (that's the correct term, right?) and says "let's have a barbecue today." They then proceed to Burger King to eat Whoppers. I cannot believe I am having to say this. Grilling is not barbecue. Barbecue is not grilling. They are two entirely distinct culinary activities, each of which has validity, but which are not synonymous. I don't begrudge you your homogenous beef patties, fast food titans. But when you call it barbecue you could not be more wrong. Well, I suppose if you were grilling zucchini that would be more wrong, but only by a nose. Don't lie to the American people, Burger King. Barbecue involves the slow cooking of pork over an open fire for hours at a time. And while you're at it, why don't you go ahead and release your tax returns for public viewing. The truth shall set you free.
SEC Media Days is now behind us, and we've learned a few things about the upcoming season. Among them the following:
1) Tyler Bray really should simply be referred to as "Tyler Bro." In fact, I will be referring to him as such from here on out. Also Bulldog fans are not, in my opinion at least, appropriately terrified about the Tennessee game. We barely left Knoxville without a loss in 2011, before Justin Hunter came back from injury, Cordarelle Patterson signed with the Vols, and Da'Rick Rogers added another year of maturity.
2) Mark Richt has lost control of the weather in Alabama. Jeff Schultz is suitably outraged by this.
3) John L. Smith is like some crazy combo of former Vandy coach Robbie Caldwell, Howard Dean, and Kurtwood Smith. I haven't worked out the percentages of each yet, but I'll get back to you.
4) Steve Spurrier is still the only man pushing 70 who I feel safe calling a . . . and this is a very technical term which I want to use correctly . . . whiny little bitch. Again I say: if you want to play in Atlanta, beat Auburn. We did. Instead of focusing on how much he wants to play Ole Miss, Spurrier should instead be worried about the unlikely but still conceivable feat of going 0-for-October in 2012.
5) Tavarres King is well aware that he only caught one touchdown pass last season despite having 53 catches overall. Tavarres King may or may not be aware that he could have had two if he'd caught one in the opening minutes of the SEC Championship Game. I'm kind of hoping he forgot all about that one and has moved on.
6) Hugh Freeze has sort of a Memphis dollar store Mark Richt aura to him. Though he's not as well tanned. And I am still not entirely convinced Ole Miss will ever win more than 7 games with him at the helm. But other than that, he could be Coach Richt's long lost cousin Denny from Vicksburg.
7) Derek Dooley may be adopted. Seriously, I think he's the lost Brooks Brother who Mrs. Brooks gave up for adoption after a brief but heated affair with a traveling haberdasher. Though in fairness he's done as good a job of beating Tennessee as Vince ever did.
8) Gene Chizik and Michael Irvin have the same tailor.
9) They haven't given his number to Will Muschamp.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the upcoming SEC football season or whatever else strikes your fancy in the comments, have a great weekend, and . . .