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NCAA Football

The Poor Guy Who Broke Alabama’s National Championship Trophy Has Spoken


It wasn’t Carleton Tinker’s finest moment. Tinker is the father of Carson Tinker, the long snapper on last season’s BCS-national-championship-winning Alabama team, and one of the perks of producing national-championship-winning offspring is that you get to get up close and personal with the trophy if you so choose. You know, this one. It’s worth $30,000. Not just anyone gets to get their hands on it. But last weekend, at Alabama’s spring game, Carleton Tinker did. It’s not like he was the only one: recruits were picking the thing up too. Tinker decided to get in on the action. He picked the trophy up. He put it back down.

And then, the crystal football shattered.

Tinker described the experience to ESPN’s Ivan Maisel: “In my mind, it was slow motion… at night, as I went to sleep, every time I closed my eyes, 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.” And he didn’t even know exactly how it happened: “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.”

The only thing that was sure: he had just broken Alabama’s national championship trophy. Nick Saban’s national championship trophy. Mortifying? No question, but it’s hard to imagine just what the moment the trophy shattered was like with no video of the moment, so as a visual aid, watch the video below and imagine that Kelsey Grammer is the football:

It was bad, people. But then, an amazing thing happened: no one got mad. Not even Saban, who said the trophy breaking really wasn’t as big a deal as everyone seemed to think it was, and that the person who did it (Tinker hadn’t come clean publicly yet) shouldn’t feel bad.

So it doesn’t sound like Tinker does. As Maisel said, he can relive the nightmarish moment the trophy shattered because by now, he “can laugh about it.” Good. After all, it was a complete accident, and Tinker’s not the first person to break one of these things either. He’s okay with it, Saban’s okay with it, anyone who has ever felt bad about inadvertently causing some sort of accident (i.e. everyone) is okay with it. And Alabama’s getting a new trophy. All is right again. So cheer up, Kelsey.

That’s more like it.

Getty photo, by Ronald Martinez



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