Back in March, an Alabama Crimson Tide fan named Harvey Updyke Jr. was sentenced to at least six months in jail for admitting that he poisoned the famed trees at Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner, and I’m sure that Tigers fans everywhere were none too pleased about that light verdict. After all, those trees are so-called miracles, as they’ve grown and thrived for so long despite the fact that they can be harmed by the slightest changes in weather. They’re like nature’s Jose Reyes.
But what was so unique about their survival was that the surrounding environment of the Auburn campus actually kept them alive. That is, until Updyke dropped some Spike 80DF on them and pitifully ended their amazing legacy. To best understand what the loss of these trees has meant to Auburn and its surrounding community, ESPN.com recently re-ran Wright Thompson’s essay on the trees as a parallel for our own lives and the struggles that Auburn faces as a school in the SEC, but is that poetry enough?
Not for Giancarlo Guida, an Auburn alum and diehard fan who had Toomer’s Corner tattooed on his back. And I suppose the first question is, “Why?”