I made it to Auburn for the first time in October 2009 for the Kentucky-Auburn game. It’s nickname is “The Loveliest Village on the Plains”. You can’t really argue that either. The town, the campus, the people, the food, the traditions were all great. Everything I had either heard about or read about happened just like I had heard or read that it would.
For example, I had heard that the people of Auburn are really nice. Every fan base has good and bad but all the Auburn fans I met were great. I was decked out in UK blue of course. But several times throughout the day little kids, elderly ladies, and everyone in between would come up and say “Welcome to Auburn”. They were great. I had heard about Momma Goldberg’s Deli. When you go to Auburn you have to go there and get a Momma’s Love Sandwich. It was as good as advertised. Of course I also had to get a famous lemonade from Toomer’s Drugs to go with it.
The Cats won 21-14 so I didn’t get to see Toomer’s Corner get “rolled”. That will have to be another trip for another day. College football Saturdays are great, the rivalries are great, SEC football rivalries are the greatest. Alabama-Auburn is arguably the greatest of them all. But the recent incident at Toomer’s Corner crossed the line. Speaking of making a fan base look bad, Harvey Updyke, a 62 year old Alabama fan, poisoned the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner. I’ll say that again for emphasis so it can sink in. He poisoned the oak trees, the 130 year old oak trees, at Toomer’s Corner. It looks as if they won’t survive. He may or may not have had help. That’s beside the point. It doesn’t matter if he had help or not. You have to be more mature than that. This could lead to an ongoing Hatfield-McCoy type feud between the two schools. Will an Auburn fan feel the need to get even and pull a stunt like this in Tuscaloosa?
The college football universe revolves around the state of Alabama right now. Mark Ingram won the Heisman and led Alabama to the National Championship in 2009. Cam Newton does the same thing for Auburn this past season. You would think both fan bases would be fat and happy. But the idea of Auburn following up Alabama with a title was more than Tide fan Harvey could stand. If this was 1911 instead of 2011, maybe this would be a little more understandable, maybe. But people should be past this by now. It’s okay to root against your main rival, enjoy beating them, and engage in a little back and forth with opposing fans, but enough is enough.
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