Take a Minute
I swear baseball content is coming. In fact, I would expect a pretty slammed Friday morning on AUPPL. However, before I shift focus completely to baseball, I just want to get something off my chest. You haven't been under a rock. You know what's happened in Auburn over the past two days. You know who did it. You know why he did it. You know more than you ever thought you would know about a 62 year old man in East Alabama.
That is where it needs to stop. I'm not going to preach and carry on and say people have overstepped boundaries but at this moment, it is venturing dangerously close. Especially now that people have discovered the identities of his children.
Poisoning the trees was a horrible thing to do. I agree. Not just for Auburn fans, but for fans around the nation:
You don't have to be an Auburn grad to have a Toomer's story. I have one.
I would recommend reading Andy Staples's personal account of Toomer's Corner at the link above. He's not alone. There are millions of people who have "Toomer's Stories".
So where do we go from here. Well, I can't tell you what you can and can not do. That's not my place. I can only give a level headed recommendation.
Don't Go After Harvey Updyke
That's not your place. I can say that. I can also say this: his life is over. Leave it to the Legal system. Don't be a vigilante. Don't have your own personal Falling Down moment. His story should end here.
Don't Roll the Trees
Rolling Toomer's at this point would be even more detrimental. Removing the Toilet Paper with water hoses (which is normally done) is out of the question now. The oaks are in a state where they are not actively drawing water from the soil. Blasting the tress with water will allow the herbicide to spread in the soil and whatever slim chance of survival the Oaks had...will slowly diminish.
Plant a tree
Don't Equate This Action with All Alabama Fans
Here's where we are getting into murky waters. Yes, an Alabama fan did this. Yes, he did this because he hated Auburn. Still, and this might be asking much, but in the words of the Osmonds, "One Bad Apple Don't Spoil the Whole Bunch". Chief Tommy Dawson of the Auburn Police Department mentioned it. Jimmy Rane's comments at the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce this afternoon will back up the same sentiment. Even my buddy Will Health, who paraphrased a quote from Se7en mentioned something to the same affect. Here is that quote:
I've been trying to figure something in my head, and maybe you can help me out, yeah? When a person is insane, as you clearly are, do you know that you're insane?
This guy was insane. Sane people don't use herbicide to destroy the monuments of Rivals. Unfortunately, he was an Alabama fan and that's the buzz of the story. In any situation, the good might outnumber the bad, but damn if that bad doesn't become the most vocal and poisonous minority.
Instead, let's use this as a lesson for both sides. We passed Hatfields/McCoy territory a long time ago. Living in this state, seeing the success of both programs, watching as facebook/twitter/blogs become a monster of (mis)information and accusations. It's becoming a recipe for disaster.
The majority of Alabama fans are sane, rational, and don't condone the actions of one of their own. Yet, the vocal, adamant, and poisonous minority in their fan base (and in Auburn's too) is growing and it's scary. It truly is.
Hug Toomer's One Last Time
An impromptu display/rally will take place on Saturday:
Join us in hugging the tree. It needs our love. Invite your friends!
Our tree needs us. The city and university have spent so much time and effort preserving this great landmark and tradition for us, and for other generations to enjoy. I personally grew up loving the atmosphere and beauty of Toomer's Corner after a game and even when it wasn't being rolled. Someone has attacked the place we gather in victory and celebration.
I know that the university said the fate of the beloved tree is grim, but maybe we can show it and the rest of the nation how much we love not only the tree but what it stands for, which was so cruelly attacked.
The even starts at Noon. Auburn baseball starts at 1pm. Auburn basketball starts at 3pm. There, I've planned your Saturday for you. You're welcome.