Vandalism Of Trees Despicable Act

Where to begin. There are many, many elements to the vandalism of the historic trees in the middle of Auburn. First and foremost is that all who are sports fans should be appalled at the action and hope for stern punishment of the criminal, who almost certainly considers himself to be an Alabama fan.

As we wrote in 'BAMA Magazine prior to last football season, there is far too much hate between Alabama and Auburn fans. Neither side has a monopoly on the ignorant or the nasty.

The trees at Toomer's Corner are part of an Auburn tradition. A school's traditions are for its supporters, not to be judged by others. The desecration of those trees went far beyond judgment. It was despicable. Vile. Contemptible. Inexcusable.

That the act was reportedly revealed on the Paul Finebaum radio show is apropos. I have noticed that anyone who reports what he has heard on the show begins with an apology of sorts: "I never listen, but it was on when I got in the car." Or, "I probably don't listen to 15 minutes a week, but..." And those are just the listeners. Presumably, the participants are of the ilk who get their knowledge from tabloids at the market checkout.

Nothing has fanned the flames of hatred between the schools more than talk radio, though the Internet is in contention.

Those few defenders of the disgraceful damage in Auburn cite the factor of revenge. Auburn rolling the trees when legendary Alabama Coach Paul Bryant died. The man who calls talk radio to brag about going to Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham to urinate on Coach Bryant's grave. The recent vandalism of the Bryant statue on the plaza outside the North end zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Coach Nick Saban's lake home suffering vandalism, including his boat house being painted orange and blue.

I go to Auburn once every two years to cover a football game. One year I chanced upon the area where Auburn fans celebrate with the lowlife who displays skeleton dummy wearing a Houndstooth hat and holding a whiskey bottle. I wanted to whip his ass, but I knew his legion of supporters would kill me.

Now I've done it. A former sub-standard Alabama coach used this technique after poor performances on his watch. "We didn't have so-and-so, but we're not going to use that for an excuse," he would say, his excuse made.

There will be retribution. Some Auburn fan is now incensed and will take action. That's how events escalate into war.

Perhaps a stiff sentence for the trees murderer will have a calming effect. But I doubt it.

Check out images from Toomer's Corner after news of the poisoning.

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