So, I'm sitting at a table eating my lunch in the press box at the Georgia Dome when I'm joined by Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports and Pete Thamel of The New York Times. They sit right across from me. A few minutes later, Clay Travis and Andy Staples join us.
Without realizing it, I'm sitting with four of the big boys on the national scene who were breaking the Cam Newton scandal story. Of course, they all talked about Newton for a few minutes, swapping stories of who they've talked to and what they said, the crazy NCAA ruling that came down this week and the ripples it might have. Musings about how asking for money is not a violation, but "agreeing to receive" money is.
From there, the conversation transitioned over to crazy Auburn people and media members who only write what their readers want to hear, and how a person can reasonably believe that Newton had no knowledge he was being shopped or that Mississippi State of all places was the only school that Cecil Newton asked for money.
Seated directly behind was Phillip Marshall, lifer on the AU beat and unrepentent Auburn apologist. Marshall is pretty much the epitome of all that the four national columnists at my table were complaining about. His column headline after the NCAA reinstated Newton was something along the lines of "The nightmare is over." Clearly staying objective there, PMarsh.
After about 15 minutes on Newton, the conversation drifted back to the writers' children, how much more difficult the second child's arrival was than the the first, travel arrangements in all corners of the country, normal things like that.
I'm not sure what I expected, but after 20 minutes, the conversation was pretty much like any group of guys gathering around over a few beers. No matter who these guys work for or how many people read their last column, the vast majority of these sports guys are pretty much the same. It's cool to be reminded of that from time to time.