Photo Credit: Social_Stratification/Flickr
Who doesn't want to be Alabama, amirite?
With 16 national titles, the school's football program is certainly something to be envied, and its record of destroying Georgia's hopes automatically cues up the "Imperial March" in the minds of many. UGA now has a head football coach who came from Alabama (although he's originally a Bulldog), a defensive coordinator who previously coached there, a fancy indoor practice facility and what seems like a new Alabama-ish mentality.
But did it really need an Alabama barbecue place inside Sanford Stadium? Much less nine locations of one?
The Alabama-based and widely famed Dreamland BBQ will be operating concessions kiosks at Sanford this fall, alongisde Dunkin' Donuts, which no one's getting too ticked off about, but barbecue is a whole other thing. Georgia's already often overlooked for its 'cue (sometimes fairly so) relative to neighboring states, so it makes sense that the choice has provoked a bit of a dust-up.
Chuck Ramsey, who owns and runs Pulaski Heights BBQ, points out that, to run an operation that feeds that many people, you need to have a certain level of production capacity to scale up, and Dreamland certainly has that. The question is whether anyone in Georgia who also makes good barbecue does.
On the other hand, would Ramsey happily run a kiosk that didn't compromise his standards? Hell yes, he would, and there are plenty of other places within the borders of the state that would probably jump at that kind of opportunity.
There's something to be said for the success rate of an athletics program that focuses on professionalism and consistency, but does following in Alabama's footsteps let us be true to who we are? One reason people are mad is that the whole affair speaks to core brand issues: Who is Georgia? Who does Georgia want to be? Are we the kind of people who believe in franchised barbecue from out of state because it's expedient?
We might be. Enjoy yelling at each other in the comments.