I almost urinated in my trousers hearing about the Auburn Tree Killer:
News that a rabid Crimson Tide fan poisoned 130-year-old live oaks at Auburn University's historic Toomer's Corner has whipped the state into a frenzy usually reserved for the Iron Bowl. The bizarre incident has exposed an old-fashioned hate that's not always clean.
"I think [Harvey Almorn Updyke, charged with the poisoning] is representative of a fringe element of fans right now who are angry about a lot of things," sports talk show host Paul Finebaum told the Birmingham News. "They are angry about Auburn winning the national championship, but they are equally angry about what happened at the game in Tuscaloosa, and about the fact that they don't believe Cam Newton should have been eligible, and they don't believe Auburn won a legitimate national championship.
"You get all of these different things working together, and I think the anger level for this is much higher than it's been," said Finebaum, who, on Jan. 27, received a call from an Alabama fan claiming to have poisoned the treasured oaks. According to an affidavit released by the Lee County District Court, Updyke admitted to making that call and one other, to a Auburn professor of turfgrass management and weed science, regarding the incident.
The trees are given almost no chance of surviving the Spike 80DF, or tebuthiuron, that Updyke is accused of applying in lethal amounts. "It'll take divine intervention" to save them, former Auburn Athletic Director David Housel told the AJC.
While the 62-year-old former Texas state trooper bragged about the incident, he told police he didn't actually spread the herbicide, according to the affidavit.
A $50,000 bond was set for Updyke, who spent Thursday night in the Lee County Jail. The Dadeville, Ala., resident was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with first-degree criminal mischief.
A childhood friend of Updyke's told the Opelika-Auburn News the Texas native -- who, according to a school spokeswoman, did not attend the University of Alabama -- had no criminal past.
"He was always fun-loving and enjoyed laughter," said Dadeville resident Howard Wayne Barnes.
I mean the Moronic dude called a radio talk show to boast!
They interviewed his *childhood friends* for crying out loud!
And they'll probably spend $10 million to try to save this tree - just you watch.