Monday, February 21, 2011

All That and a Bag of Mail: Treeson Takes Center Stage

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If you gave me 50 guesses which state would feature a pair of historic campus trees being intentionally poisoned by a rival fan base, I would guess Alabama every time. Nothing in that state surprises me.

Granted, Alabama and Auburn is the best rivalry in all of sports, but it also has a toxic fan hate that produces pure insanity. When NBC news travels to Auburn to report on the insanity of your state's football obsession on a national news broadcast, it's not a good sign.

The latest absurdity in the Alabama-Auburn rivalry comes via Harvey Updyke, a 62-year-old retired Texas state trooper who allegedly poisoned the trees at Toomer's Corner. Now that he's free on bail and in need of a lawyer -- I volunteered to be his attorney, pro bono, on Twitter -- can you imagine the insanity that would come from a jury trial?

This would have to be televised, right?

I'd watch every minute. Who does Updyke call as character witnesses? His children, and I'm not making this up, who are named Crimson and Bear? Greg McElroy? Paul Finebaum? Certainly not Nick Saban who issued a statement condemning the act. The entire trial would be a circus. And I think you'll probably need a trial because I don't know if the local district attorney would be able to plea this case down. Not if he wants to keep his job anyway. Local residents are going to demand zero leniency.

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