Ladies and gentleman we would like to introduce you to the BIGGEST loser in America. His name, Harvey Almorn Updyke Jr., 62, from Dadeville, Alabama. Why is this man lucky enough to receive this designation? He was the culprit who poisoned the trees at Auburn University’s famed Toomers Corner. Last month Mr. Updyke called into the Paul Finebaum Show (on a side note this is a call in radio show displaying some of the dumbest SEC fans in the country) and proclaimed that he had driven to Toomers Corner and poisoned the two 130 year old trees with a lethal dose of the herbicide Spike 80DF.
“The weekend after the Iron Bowl, I went to Auburn, Alabama, because I live 30 miles away, and I poisoned the two Toomer’s trees,” the caller said. “I put Spike 80DF in them.”
When Finebaum asked if the trees were dead Updyke replied, “They’re not dead yet, but they definitely will die.”
Updyke then signed off with “Roll Damn Tide!”
Soon after, Auburn officials had the soil beneath the two trees tested for the herbicide. Tests showed showed positive for the poison and officials immediately started investigating the situation. Today, February 17th, Harvey Updyke Jr. was arrested and charged with felony criminal mischief. This offense carries a penalty of 1-10 years in prison. Personally, if someone is cruel enough to carry out this crime AND dumb enough to call a national radio show and brag about it, we should lock this guy up and throw away the key.
Reaction around the country has been fierce. Former Auburn head coach Pat Dye stated, “Anyone who would do that would poison your children or poison your dog. He needs to pay a price. I believe most of the Alabama people would agree with me. The smart and intelligent Alabama people are embarrassed and ashamed. This isn’t a cultural thing; it’s an individual act.”
Former Auburn standout and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley made a more pointed remark, “We’re from Alabama — you can’t make this shit up. Some things just happen there, and people want to know why we rank 48th in education. It’s just sad. I would have felt better about it if it was a young kid. But an old man who has nothing better to do? That’s just sad.”
And so who wins in the wake of this horrendous crime? No one! Not one person in America wins in this instance. Everyone loses! The bar has now been raised and the damage is done. What’s next? Coaches getting kidnapped….mascots being slaughtered for hamburger meat…..the murder of a star player? Where will it end? Wednesday night Alabama state troopers stood watch over the Paul “Bear” Bryant statue outside of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. What a nice use of tax payers dollars!
The SEC and its fans have gotten out of hand and should be ashamed. Paying players, recruiting violations, poisoning trees, and lewd behavior is now your identity. No one wants to be a part of that mess…..except those in the South. What happened to the love of the game? What happened to the innocence of a student athlete who is seen as a role model and not just a piece of marketing meat? Have egos and greed taken their place in the college landscape? Fans, boosters, and schools need to take a long look at themselves and remember why we love the game of college football so much. Its the highs of winning and the lows of losing COLLECTIVELY. That’s the ride we love. It’s not always about being on top……it’s about the journey of getting to the top and the resilience when you’re at the bottom. Accept both and you will find the true sweet spot in college football. If a picture says a thousand words…see below.