OTC: ‘Bama Fanatic Poisons Auburn’s Sacred Oaks @ Tommoer’s Corner


“Auburn tree killer should be forced to work on Auburn’s grounds crew on game days, in a cheerleader’s uniform.”
Dave Matter, columnist for Columbia Tribune, Twitter
GH: If you missed this little story, it appears an Alabama fan poisoned a grove of 130-year-old oak trees at Toomer’s Corner that the Auburn fans hold in the same high regard ‘Bama holds Bear Bryant. The trees are now all dying and there is no hope of saving them. Read on.
“On Jan. 27, an anonymous caller to Paul Finebaum’s Birmingham radio show claimed he’d done the foul deed. Soil samples were taken the next day and tests — at Mississippi State, of all places — showed the presence of a poison known as Spike 8oDF. And here we pause to say: An anonymous caller? Spike 80DF? Exactly what sort of world is it in which we live? People get excited about football in the South. Sometimes excited people do silly things. The poisoning of trees goes beyond silliness. The poisoning of trees is, to use a word I don’t use lightly, evil. There are times when I wonder if the games we follow are worth following. This isn’t just one of those times; this is the worst of those times.”
Mark Bradley, writer, Atlanta Journal Constitution
GH: The Auburn/Alabama feud has long been considered by many as the nastiest rivalry in all of college football. How can sports and school loyalty lead to such a deranged act? And what will some Alabama fan do now to extract revenge?
“Police arrested suspect Harvey Almorn Updyke, 62, of Dadeville, Ala., and charged him with Criminal Mischief for applying a lethal dose of herbicide to the trees, which host one of most unique traditions in American college sports—after Auburn Tigers victories, fans gather at Toomer’s Glenn to roll the trees with toilet paper.”
Brad Cohen, writer, SportsGrid.com
GH: We all know the South is a place where college football is a religion – and not your every day church-going Wednesday/Sunday religion. We’re talking the Waco cult kinda fanatics. It is bizarre to think this nut was so obsessed with Auburn hatred that he wanted to kill a bunch of 130-year-old oak trees.
“There have been countless ill-conceived pranks pulled against rivals throughout the years, but Harvey Almorn Updyke’s may go down as the most needlessly malicious.”
Brad Cohen, writer, SportsGrid.com
GH: What is the worst offense Mizzou has perpetrated on Kansas? Or Kansas on Mizzou? While the genesis of the Kansas/Missouri border war was an actual war, I don’t recall anything by either fan base that was as malicious as the Auburn tree poisoning. List your memories of any rivalry acts of disgust that you participated in or are aware of from your school or hated rival. Hopefully none of them will require legal action.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

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24 Responses to OTC: ‘Bama Fanatic Poisons Auburn’s Sacred Oaks @ Tommoer’s Corner

  1. Jip says:

    The Antlers just use words, but making fun of Nick Collison’s grandpa for dying in a World War II plane crash isn’t exactly classy.

  2. Jip says:

    The other one…
    that comes to mind that completely lacked class was, I believe, before the Colorado-Nebraska football game in 1991 or so, when a Nebraska fan had a sign that said “Sal is Dead, Go Big Red”

    I mean, c’mon people…

  3. Gavin says:

    The best one I know if pre-dates me a little bit but sometime in the 1970s, I think around 1974, K-State got into Allen Fieldhouse and managed to cover the scoreboard with a banner that belied the sentiment “Go State! Beat Snob Hill!” or something like that. I have to give credit. That must have taken some doing.

    Also, I am pretty sure that the K-State fans continue to paint the statue of Jimmy Green, first Dean of the law school, purple every year. And of course, K-State does like to bring those chickens to throw at KU but I always thought that one sort of played to stereotypes and maybe wasn’t all that good for K-State either.

    But those are just pranks. That business with the trees is malicious.

  4. JP says:

    Low blows
    I believe one that stuck with me occurred in 1988 when Arizona was on their run to the Final Four. They were playing at Arizona State when the student section began mocking Steve Kerr’s father, who either was ill or died recently prior to the game (I don’t recall the exact circumstance). Those fans were called out as it was one of the most insensitive and disgusting displays ever. The other act was the Santa Clause in Jacksonville, who told a kid that Santa doesn’t visit Gator fans houses, but only Florida State. OK this is minor in comparison.

  5. JP says:

    I meant Santa Clause and it was around 1993 when this happened. Some people just take their fandom a bit too far.

  6. Gavin says:

    Steve Kerr’s dad was killed by terrorists. He had been President of the American University of Beirut when he was killed. Even though no one has ever definitively established what group was responsible, rival students chanted “P-L-O! P-L-O!” at Steve Kerr. I think it might have been UC Santa Clara, but maybe not. Anyway, that one was also disgusting.

  7. Jayhawk Fan says:

    Those comparison to killing a 130 year old tree, wtf?

    For the record, I never heard of this tree and I couldnt care less about bama or auborn but this asshole killing a magnificent 130 year tree should be ….. well…. VERY bad things should happen to him, and I am sure they will. fuck him. No mercy for this malicous asshole.

  8. MrOlathe says:

    Burning Down a City?
    There was a brutal attack on an innocent city and it’s residents by a rival back in 1863. A group known as Quantrill’s Raiders. They later changed their name to The Antlers.

  9. Jayhawk Fan says:

    Winning the Big 12 title every year
    I think KU winning the BIG 12 title in Basketball, every year, says all KU needs to say as far as rubbing mu, or ksu’s, nose in anything.

  10. Jayhawk Fan says:

    stay classy mu
    “”There was a brutal attack on an innocent city and it’s residents by a rival back in 1863. A group known as Quantrill’s Raiders. They later changed their name to The Antlers””

    YUP, nothing like supporting slavery of blacks and killing women and children to make one proud of their school, stay classy mu.

  11. MrOlathe says:

    Burning Down a City?
    There was a brutal attack on an innocent city and it’s residents by a rival back in 1863. A group known as Quantrill’s Raiders. They later changed their name to The Antlers.

  12. Gavin says:

    another prank
    I recall this one juvenile website that set up its comments section so that everybody’s comments would just repeat and repeat and repeat until you wanted to jab an icepick in your ear. You couldn’t read ANY cogent commentary because the actual staff writers weren’t cogent and the posters who made comments were impossible to read because they’d just keep repeating and eventually you’d say “fuck it” and stop reading or posting comments.

    I still don’t understand why that was supposed to be funny and it wasn’t really related to college, I guess.

  13. Arte says:

    Curtis Redding and Donnie Von Moore
    One particular ugly incident involving KU and K-State occurred in the late 1970s. K-State had a fabulous player by the name of Curtis Redding who was a bit flashy on the court and Jayhawk fans always referred to him as a hotdog. So when K-State played at Allen Fieldhouse, students threw hot dogs (no buns) on the court before the game.
    Later in the season when the Jayhawks played at Ahearn fieldhouse, K-State fans made the unfortunate decision to throw bananas at KU’s Donnie Von Moore. This was ugly on several levels. Aside from the obvious racial overtones, fans apparently didn’t take into account that unlike bouncing hot dogs, bananas instead smashed on to the court and created quite a mess. The start of the game was delayed by about 20 minutes to clean up the mess and to cool down some tempers.
    Could you imagine if that incident happened in this day and age of the internet and cable news? There would be protests; town-hall discussions on race; ESPN outside the lines would do a special; political pundits on both sides would weigh-in; even Jon Stewart would probably have a take.

  14. History Prof says:

    Not so innocent city
    You guys always forget to mention the attacks and murders carried out by red leggers on Missourians prior to Quantrill raiding lawrence. The historical fact is that Quantrill’s raid was actually a counter attack.

    That ofcourse is typical of elitist KU…..ignore your own thuggish history and just focus on ours. The red leggers were just as brutal and vicious. But somehow you all forget that part of the story.

  15. Cliffy says:

    MrOlathe … stupid, uninformed comment.
    And, of course, the retarded Jayhawk Fan had to weigh in too. Two peas in a pod.

    History Prof has it right.

  16. Ptolemy says:

    Trees…are you kidding me? We’re talking about trees? I have pissed on trees. I have crapped on trees. Trees are plants.

    If I found a tree that a bunch of Squawks held sacred, I would burn it to the ground!

    That being established, I cower in a strange mix of fear and homage for the ONE that forwarded the thought that an appropriate response to hotdogs for Curtis Redding was bananas for Donnie Von Moore. I was a kid when that happened and while too young to completely absorb it…I cannot deny that it didn’t play a part in earning my respect for originality alone.

  17. MrOlathe says:

    Prof & Cliffy
    The difference between Quantrill’s Raid and the “Red Legger’s” attacks you speak of is that Kansans do not celebrate them today. I taligated next to a Missouri fan at Arrowhead this year who had a large poster of Quantrill’s Raid staked in the ground next to his beer (& moonshine I suppose). Now, that’s wht I brought it up. And I don’t think it’s really up for debate which state was on the correct side of the issue.

  18. Jim says:

    You Can’t Be Serious
    As if ANYONE gives a shit about Quantrill’s Raiders or The Redleggers 150 years ago! That is all backgound fluff that gets thrown out every freaking Border War game. What? You all inherited your hatred for MU or KU from your great-great-great grandparents that may or may not have even lived in KS or MO back then? Face it. The Tigers are KU’s daddy in football and The ‘Hawks have OWNED the Tigers in basketball……… forever. What MU fans can’t stand is the fact that KU has reached the pinnacle in the sport they own (multiple times) and MU hasn’t SNIFFED it in either one. Now, get back to your history books!

  19. Cliffy says:

    I choose to look at it this way ….
    Suppose a southern university was starting up an athletics program 50 or 100 years from now and decided they wanted to use Klansmen as their mascot. The university could say why is the black community upset? Its ancient history. What

  20. MrOlathe says:

    The “Tigers”
    only protected Columbia from those awful bushwackers? And Quantrill had a strict policy to not harm women and children? Are you serious????

  21. Cliffy says:

    I havn’t decided if MrOlathe is real young …
    or just kind of slow. Do a little research. Stop questioning facts.

  22. Jay Bee says:

    oh good lord…
    “…and nobody knew he was a virgin until the age of 28! And now? ROLL TIDE…”

    sorry, had to do it.

  23. History Prof says:

    Aaron B is correct
    MrOlathe AaronB is 100% histrically correct. I know it doesn’t match what you have been told all your life, but it is correct. Now no one in his right mind today supports slavery. It is however possible to detest a practice useds by people generations before, but still have pride in the state in which you were born. We are proud of what it is now. At one point, no states were “free states.” So are we to not have pride in the country now?

    Everyone else….you need to realize that civil war history is not taught accuratly in the state of Kansas. I know this because I have done adjunct work at several universities in Kansas. When I begin to tell the entire story I get met with blank stares and disbelief. Upon further research, they are taught only the positive kansas part of the story in high school and college.

    During that time period a lot of wrong doings were happening on all sides of the war.

  24. Charles Manson says:

    ‘Bama Fanatic Poisons Auburn’s Sacred Oaks
    I’m not happy about this, Harvey…

    ATWA – Air, Trees, Water, Animals / All The Way Alive (http://www.allthewayalive.com/One_World_Order/one.html)

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