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Free Form Friday Fears Suicidal James Franklin, White BBQ Sauce, And Nothing Else.

Maestro, cue the periodic reminder that if you missed the opportunity to see R.E.M. live, whether in 1985, 1995, or 2005, you missed out on something special indeed. Not to be a geezer about this, but Peter Buck laughs his FAO at LMFAO:

On to the show. . .

If it's Friday there's a very real chance that the University of Georgia may be receiving one or more football commitments today. I'm not thinking of anyone specifically, mind you, it's just that's kind of been the pattern here lately.

Two things are noteworthy about the recent avalanche of players joining the Bulldogs' 2013 and even 2014 classes. One is that some fans are a little leery of the recruiting rankings of some of these players. They don't understand why we're taking commitments from a boatload of 2 and 3 star rated recruits when there are so many 4 and 5 star players still out there with interest in coming to Athens.

I would like to reassure those fans by pointing out that this has happened before. Richt and Co. have often taken early commitments from players who they felt strongly were underrated, only to have those guys climb the rankings later in the process. Prime examples include Geno Atkins, Brandon Boykin and Sanders Commings. Those guys were all 2 and 3 star recruits when early junior evaluations, before rocketing up the rankings once the folks who run those sites watched them play some football. Mark Richt, Rodney Garner, Mike Bobo, Todd Grantham, and the rest of the Bulldog coaches have a pretty good idea what they're looking for.

What's more, we're not about to run out of scholarships. Georgia signed 19 recruits in February 2012, 3 of whom (Mark Beard, Faton Bauta, and Keith Marshall) enrolled early and counted back to the 2011 recruiting cycle. With offseason attrition and a slew of recruits in 2013 who are likely to enroll early, Georgia could very likely sign 30 or 31 players next February. In other words, we may not even be halfway full. There's still plenty of room for blue chip players who want to get on board. The Bulldog coaching staff isn't clowning around this year, and I salute them for it.

Of course some people not only don't like clowning around; they're terrified of it. I'm talking about the thousands of Americans who suffer from coulrophobia, the fear of clowns. MSNBC reports that fear of clowns is no laughing matter, and that a surprising number of Americans suffer from it. I don't particularly enjoy clowns, but I have considered punching one or two. But I can sympathize with irrational fears. I have a few myself and I'd like to admit to them today as a first step toward getting over them. In no particular order of terror, I am afraid . . .

  • That Paul Johnson will steal a huge instate football recruit right out from under us, probably at a Bruce Pearl-style illicit backyard fish fry.
  • That Nick Saban will revoke the scholarship I didn't even know I had.
  • That James Franklin will divebomb his recruitocoptor into my house kamikaze style after snatching yet another 2 star offensive lineman from the Peach State. The headline in the AJC will read "Insane Georgia Fan Lures Franklin To Home, Destroys Vanderbilt University Property, And Kills Beloved Coach."
  • That Aaron Murray's driver's license and insurance are not up to date.
  • That NCT has a cache of my Dawg Sports grammatical errors ready to be published at an inconvenient and embarrassing time.
  • That Rules of Engagement will get renewed again.

The point being we all have things that frighten us. We'd love to indulge your football-related fears in the comments below.

Finally, I'd like to ask your help in settling a little disagreement I had with someone recently. The subject? Barbecue sauce. White barbecue sauce. If you're not from Alabama, and God help you if you are, you may never have heard of the stuff. So far as I can tell it's practically unknown east of Columbus. But in some parts of northern Alabama barbecue sauce is apparently made with mayonnaise, horseradish, apple cider vinegar, black pepper and few other things.

Look, I have nothing bad to say about any recipe which begins with "1 quart mayonnaise." But the question I have is this: is it barbecue sauce? A barbecue purist whom I highly respect made the argument to me recently that white barbecue sauce is not in fact barbecue sauce. His reasoning? It's used generally only on chicken and as a dipping sauce. As someone who takes barbecue sauce seriously, he was dismayed at the thought that anything you can slather on meat coming off a smoker is, ipso facto, "barbecue sauce."

I'm not going to venture an opinion on this. Rather, I will defer to the vox populi: