Did anyone say congratulations?
It's official: Auburn's 2010 national championship. The NCAA said so in a two-page lettter Wednesday announcing that not a darn thing -- besides daddy having his hand out -- had been found in the Cammy Cam Cam scandal. Further, it couldn't find a speck of dust resulting from HBO Sports' report that four former Tiger players took money.
So let me be the first to say it: Congratulations on that crystal football, Gene Chizik. War Damn Eagle? You bet. Be proud, Tigers. Shout it in the streets. You won the 2010 title ... in October 2011. Never mind that even the book stores are running low on championship game gear nine months later. It's taken a while but it was worth it.
Until this week my lasting memory of January's championship game was Michael Dyer's rollover and a screen shot of Cecil Newton in the stands. Those of us who have chased ghosts the last few months don't know whether to laugh, cry or go to the mall.
Reputations were ruined, speculation ran rampant, achievements were questioned. The fallout from the allegations has been a sad reflection of modern media. Check that. The media did fine for the most part. The likes of Danny Sheridan should be ashamed. Remember the infamous Bag Man? The oddsmaker -- yeah, I said it Danny -- got it to sound like a Batman villain. Sheridan knew a guy who knew a guy. It got him a lot of national attention. It drove traffic to his website. Newton and Auburn took a beating. Sheridan laughed all the way to the First National Bank of Fabrication.
The NCAA deserves some blame too. The fact that these investigations took 13 months shows how overtaxed the enforcement staff is. Fifty interviews over 13 months averages out to less than four per month. Not to wave my notebook, but I do that in the average day.
In June the association put out fire with gasoline. Challenged by Chizik, NCAA enforcement chief Julie Roe Lach said: "You'll know when we're finished, and we're not finished."
Well, now they're done. If those trees die, it will not be in vain. Harvey Updyke was, is and will be a nut job. Allegedly. The championship is legitimate. Scream it from the top of Toomer's. It's a day to celebrate at Auburn. Again. Officially. Today.
Question, though. Have the Toomer's trees ever been rolled at lunch time on a Thursday?