College rivalries are one of the greatest parts of sports. Rivalries escalate games to a higher level and lead to a greater level of competition. However, sometimes rivalries turn into hatred off the field and the worst in people comes out.
Thursday a man was arrested in Alabama after poisoning two trees on the Auburn University campus. These were not just any ordinary trees however, as they are both 130-year-old live oaks trees that have become a part of a huge Auburn tradition.Â For generations fans have thronged to Toomer’s Corner after victories and “rolled” these trees. Fans would throw toilet paper over the trees in celebration of the victory.
After a football game between Alabama and Auburn this season, a bitter Alabama fan drove to Auburn’s campus and used a herbicide poison to kill the trees and end this tradition. His actions succeeded, as both trees were poisoned and have very little chance to live. The man was picked up and arrested Thursday after calling in to a radio show and boasting about his actions.
I am not a fan of either one of theses school, but this action sickens me. I know this is arguably the biggest college football rivalry in America, but to do something like that is just wrong. Instead of fighting for his team, this man publicly disgraced Alabama and all it stands for.
Really man, what were you thinking?
He mentioned in his phone call that some Auburn fans placed a Cam Newton jersey over a Paul “Bear” Bryant statue before this year’s game, and that some students rolled Toomer’s corner after Bryant’s death in 1983. Whether or not that’s true, this man’s actions still are not justified, not even close. What would coach “Bear” Bryant say to you about your actions if he was still alive? From what I have heard about Coach Bryant, Â I don’t think he would approve.
The man will face felony charges under criminal mischief in court someday. However, regardless of what happens to the man, the damage has been done. It is a sad day for War Eagle nation, but Auburn had the last laugh after winning this year’s National Championship trophy.
This just goes down as another terrible mark and reason for these two schools to hate each other. Although, Auburn will not be as good next season without Cam Newton, I would be pretty surprised if they didn’t beat Alabama next year.
Even if they are not better than Alabama next year, they definitely will have a score to settle on the field, which is what makes rivalries and college football great.