It took four days, but the identity of the man who broke Alabama's national championship trophy has finally been revealed.
Carleton Tinker, father of Alabama long snapper Carson Tinker, told Ivan Maisel after admiring the trophy during A-Day last weekend, as several parents and fans had done before him and were hoping to do after him, when he turned away from the trophy and felt something was amiss.
"In my mind, it was slow motion," Tinker said, "as it rolled off the top of the trophy case onto the table onto the floor. I'm not sure if I bumped the table when I turned around, or if my foot caught on the large tablecloth they had draped and puddled on the floor. That's exactly what happened."
Tinker can say that because he has seen it happen over and over again.
"At night, as I went to sleep, every time I closed my eyes," Tinker said. "I kept seeing it roll off and hit the floor. That marble floor in the trophy room - it wasn't going to be a soft landing. It shattered. It spread out all over the place."
It was definitely one of those Steve Urkel, "Did I do that?" moments as Tinker watched everyone back away as the ball hit the floor and shattered into a million pieces.
This has been a rough year for the Tinker family. Carson Tinker was injured in last year's tornado as he and his girlfriend, Ashley Harrison, huddled in the closet of his house and were ripped out and thrown into a nearby field. Harrison was killed.
Tinker said the tornado helped his son and his family grow stronger and it does make the destruction of the trophy seem a bit trivial, though some Alabama fans might not see it that way.
Tinker actually offered to pay for the $30,000 trophy by working the wage off in the athletic department, but Alabama declined and said insurance covered the replacement, which is on its way.
As for the aftermath, I hope everyone can find the humor in this and not do something stupid. This was an innocent accident and one that will no doubt haunt Tinker for years to come. But it's a trophy; the Tinker family has lost a lot more in the past year.
And for those who have asked, I emailed and called Alabama media relations, but still have no confirmation as to what, if anything, is going to happen to the pieces of the crystal ball. Maybe now that Alabama is back from Washington, D.C., I'll hear something.