ALMOST two weeks have passed and no seismic activity has been reported in the Columbus area.
No Ohio State football fans have jumped off tall buildings because they couldn't go on any longer without Jim Tressel as coach of the Buckeyes. Flags are flying at full staff outside of office buildings.
Ohio State nation has taken a collective deep breath and realized that life will go on without their beloved leader. There will be painful moments when all seems lost, but fans can live with the thought that the Buckeyes will probably beat Michigan for an eighth straight time.
The problem with being an icon - which is what Tressel had become - is that followers are often swept away by either the charisma, talent or physical presence of the man. There are fans that probably think the "H" in he should be capitalized when reading about Tressel.
It's time to put the hero worship into the past, along with Tressel's 10 seasons at Ohio State, and it's time to be honest about things. Tressel isn't as squeaky clean as we thought. He did know of wrongdoings by some players, and he did lie when asked about the situation.
He was caught, and he was taken out to the woodshed to pay the price. That doesn't make him a bad man. It makes him a flawed person, which is difficult for some to wrap their scarlet-and-gray brains around.
How easy it is for the faithful to say that Buckeye haters were out to get Tressel because of his success and his image of being above the dark side of big-time college sports. Many of them probably didn't feel sorry for USC when the NCAA came down with a heavy hand on its football program.
The love of sports is blind to reality. We see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear, which is a convenient way to filter out the dirty details and view only the purity that shines through with top-10 ratings and bowl appearances. When the dirt can't be swept under the rug, there's outcry when the media dares begin investigations.
Former Buckeyes football coach Earle Bruce was critical of "ESPN" for spending so much time discussing Tressel's dilemma. Apparently he feels that if everyone had simply turned an ear or an eye away from the story that all would have been well and peace would have spread throughout the world with Tressel still coaching.
This is a time for everyone currently or formerly associated with the program to dish out some tough love; not misguided ignorance. It's time to "fess up" to the obvious and be prepared for what the future might hold when the NCAA completes its investigation. It's called being a man about it.
Please, end the whining. It doesn't look good to fans in Ann Arbor, Iowa City and Madison, to name a few cities, which is exactly what makes them happy.
Ohio State football ascended to great heights under Tressel's leadership, but the program developed a high-browed aura that made it almost as hated as Notre Dame nationally. When former players stress the word "The" prior to Ohio State University, it pinches the last raw nerve of fans in competing cities and sends out a message of arrogance.
You can be sure that Tressel's demise is being celebrated far from the city limits of Columbus. While Buckeye fans think he wasn't treated fairly, others say "welcome to the real world."
I once heard it said that the city of Orlando bows to the mouse - namely Mickey Mouse and Disneyworld by extension. Columbus bows to Ohio State football and Tressel by extension.
It's time to get off the ride and deal with reality.