Save The Trees!
It would be real easy to write a boring, uninspired sports post today on what is wrong with the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes they lost to the Charlotte Bobcats and Cleveland Cavaliers in back to back road games. The truth is they are a veteran team on a long road trip and after games against New York, Boston, and Orlando they were running on fumes. They could probably use a shake up in the line up a la Glen Rice in 2000, but they seem to be saving their energy for the playoffs.
The biggest tragedy in sports is unfolding in the small college town of Auburn, Alabama. The intersection of Magnolia and College streets in Auburn, which marks the transition from downtown Auburn to the university campus, is known as Toomer’s Corner. It is named after Toomer’s Drugs, a small store on the corner that has been an Auburn landmark for over 130 years. Two massive and ancient oak trees hang over the corner. Anytime something good happens to Auburn the trees are lined with toilet paper. Those in the know simply refer to it as ‘rolling the corner.’ No one is quite sure of the exact origin of the tradition, but it is believed to have begun sometime in the early 1960s.
Last week a lab determined the soil surrounding the trees had been poisoned with a herbicide called Spike 80DF. The horticultural experts are in agreement that it will take a miracle to save the 100 year old oaks. Not even the Dr. House of horticulture could do much for the trees that have provided so many great memories for generations of Auburn students and fans.
I am hardly a member of the Green Party, but this goes beyond trees. In the name of rivalry, one rouge nut has decided to ruin one of the great traditions in college football. Since the south has cornered the market on great college football traditions, this will cut especially deep. Even those who bleed the darkest shade of crimson are outraged by the act of one man who represents no one in Crimson Tide Nation.
Investigators have a prime suspect in the case. Harvey Almorn Updyke, Jr. was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with one count of first-degree criminal mischief. If convicted, Updyke could face one to ten years in prison. Updyke called the Birmingham based Paul Finebaum show on Jan. 27 claiming to have poisoned the soil around the historic corner. Updyke’s explanation tells you all you need to know about football in Alabama. Updyke claims it was retaliation for Auburn students ‘rolling the corner’ when Bear Bryant died in 1983.