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180,000 Things I Learned Live Re-Tweeting the Cam Newton Saga

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Actually, it was 200,000. Mississippi State fans can stop reading at number 180,000.

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Since August of 2011, Twitter account @RealTimeWWII has "livetweet[ed] the 2nd World War, as it happens on this date & time," but 72 years later. Sometime over the long and boring, college football-less summer of 2015 (how many days?), I thought it would be great to live in the past live tweet the Cam Newton Saga of 2010-2011 as if it were happening today, just five years after the fact. But rather than go digging through old articles online and retelling the story myself, I would just retweet the saga as it played out on Twitter itself.

The result is @CamSagaRealTime.

If you've followed along, maybe it has reminded you of the insanity surrounding those days. Maybe you learned about a few extra details that you missed in real time. Here are some things I learned. There's no story here, just stream of consciousness plus some of my favorite individual tweets. And for brevity's sake, I'm not listing all 200,000, so I'll skip around a bit.

1) Cam wasn't allowed to speak to the media for a while, so we missed out on some great Cam-isms. Once he was allowed to speak again, we got some good ones. One of my favorites? Santa beans.

2)

3) By the way, Santa beans usually means something else entirely. You know, "Keeping a kid from spilling the Santa Beans."

683) Pete Thamel broke the news for the New York Times. Excuse my screenshots. We'll get to that later.

684) Pat Forde, Chris Low, et. al. had their own version moments later.

685) But Thayer Evans shared this sentimental tweet half an hour before anything became public. Well done.

Thayer Says Thanks

686) I found that one after the fact, so it didn't get retweeted. Another one I missed at the time, but want to share now, is this one. Gene Chizik defended Cam and Auburn in the next Tiger Talk, mere hours after the news broke. Rod Bramblett and the crowd were pleased.

No, Rod, it did not in fact nip it in the bud. It certainly did not.

13,125) Twitter.com's search works pretty well. You can search for more than just simple words. You can filter the search by who tweeted, who was mentioned, and when it was sent. Twitter Search, I couldn't have done it without you.

40,824) Some folks have changed twitter handles in the last five years, so manual RTs you see don't help you find the real thing. Pat Forde, Pete Thamel, Thayer Evans, Rand Getlin all have different handles than they did at the time. AUUndercover used to be something else and HABOTN isn't a thing anymore. Evan Woodberry's @auburnbeat turned into @TheSaintsBeat. And so on and so on.

40,825) You know who's the same? @AUBlog, Mr. Tom Green himself. Oh, and @wareagleextra. The man behind the moniker may change, but the handle remains the same. And finally, the one and only @ClayTravisBGID. Wait. What? His beard no longer gets it done? He's just @ClayTravis now? Don't fret, Clay. That beard didn't deserve you.

95,204) There were some media types that, over the course of the saga, began to legitimately give Cam and Auburn the benefit of the doubt. Rumblings of the sort of anti-NCAA stuff we see today.

95,205) The Terrell Pryor-Ohio State Five stuff happened in the middle of this and some think that was the last college football scandal in which the majority of the "media" scrutinized the players and coaches that broke NCAA rules. Since then, it's the NCAA and amateurism that's more heavily scrutinized.

111,537) WarBlogle used to RT things before he WE'd them. Now, with the quote tweet thing we got going on, we don't have to worry about things like that. Or do we?

125,987) Pete Thamel doesn't like attention. He no-show'd a few radio interviews and he also started deleting tweets when I retweeted them. So started screencapping instead. Fortunately, I already had his breaking news tweets saved. See number 683.

125,988) Others joined in on the tweet delete game. Thayer Evans, Jay G. Tate, and John Zenor, so they got screencapped too.

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140,450) Others got screencapped when they went on rants and tirades and it didn't seem fitting to retweet them one at a time. Some still took multiple tweets to get it all out there.

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148,328) You have never felt fear until you have tweeted from the wrong account. You have also never deleted a tweet faster. No one noticed. This time. Or that time. I think. Wrong, Walt saw it. You probably did, too.

152,487) The Auburner's Sports By Brooks parody page is amazing. I used it in my twitter profile, and if even just one person found it, it was worth it.

157,492) There was a lot of push for Boise State and TCU to be in the national championship. Maybe because they were really good that year. Probably because folks really didn't want Auburn in the game. Bus.

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161,115) I hate that Chris Low didn't have much of a twitter presence in those days. He was the man behind the ESPN SEC blog, but he didn't tweet much other than links to the blog. I specifically remember hearing him on the radio months after all this happened. An Auburn fan called into Clay Travis' show (back when he was just a millionaire sports radio host and blogger) and questioned Chris' reporting on the Cam stuff. Chris basically told him, "Oh you have more info than me? Because you don't. I heard tapes. That's right, tapes. And if you heard them, then you'd feel different." He and Clay had a good laugh after that. Good times.

179,999) Was @AUBlog the only one to make it to New York? He had so many Cam quotes surrounding the Heisman Trophy ceremonies that nobody else on twitter had, at all.

180,000) Now's a good time to say thanks to the beat writers of the time (that didn't block me). I used a lot of their material, especially during games, and they might have gotten tired of me quoting their tweets. But no, they were gracious, some even favoriting and following back. Ah, memories.

180,050) "Ruh Roh" was a thing people said while manually RTing things. Was Scooby Doo that big in 2010?

189,488) Thayer Evans reeeeeealy liked to respond to people. You can't always see the original tweet, but they're still great.

199,997 Brooks Melchior was one of my favorites to check in on. He's been missing from the internet for some time. I truly hope everything is well with him. Some of his best...

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Brooks, I think the same can be said of the whole Cam Saga of 2010. Five years after the fact, at least in my eyes, it has become a timeless classic.

***

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead

The story's not quite over. I've decided to avoid most of the draft coverage (you can laugh at bad scout predictions any old time), so it will be a little sparse, but Danny Sheridan and Julie Roe Lach haven't made their appearances yet. Plus, we all know how the story ends.