The poisoning of the trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner is not a "horrible act"; the word we are searching for is, "bummer." Even if the General Sherman Tree -- arguably the greatest tree in the world -- keeled over and died, it would be a "giant bummer," not a "horrible act."
Some have literally cried over the poisoning of Auburn's trees, and while I giggled for a while about the prospect of finding these people and hitting them in the face with a pie ("pie-ing the crying," to use a phrase I just made up), I admit that I might have a slightly different perspective if any of the trees in question actually meant something to me. Surely, though, nobody would place this on the same shelf as DUI manslaughter, right?
Welp. To back up for a moment, Harvey Updyke is the name of the fellow who allegedly poisoned the trees.
Don’t think there’s not another Harvey Updyke out there. Don’t think there’s not another burnt orange and blue fan bent on revenge, the thought of those majestic oaks at Toomer’s Corner slowly dying enraging him to carry out the unthinkable.
Sadly, this is where sports has evolved in the 21st century—and it’s not just college football.
When Ron Artest goes into the stands to attack a fan; when Donte Stallworth and Leonard Little kill the innocent while drunk driving; when Delmon Young throws his bat at an umpire—and are all still paid millions to play a game—the dynamics of our sports world irrevocably change.
The forwarding of the notion that sports have become worse and/or more evil over the last decade or so is a pretty impressive instance of historical revisionism, but I don't take major fault with that, because if you are going to practice historical revisionism, you may as well quarantine yourself within the sports trailer.
The invocation of "killing the innocent" is a little troubling, though. Not worth despairing over, since this guy is likely just having the sort of bad day that ruins one's ability to write. Even on the worst day, though, most of us won't confuse trees for people.
It would be easy to point to Updyke—a man who named his children Bear and Crimson—and single him out as all that is wrong with fandom. A single, horrible act by a wayward, sick individual.
(p.s. they're trees)
Look, I don’t want this to turn into a parenting moment, but poor behavior—wait, unspeakable behavior—isn’t learned, it’s modeled.
(trees lack a central nervous system and there is no evidence to suggest that they care whether they are alive or dead)
We stand in disgust, decrying all that is unreal in this sick, sadistic moment.
(no seriously dude, they are trees)
We shake our fingers and heads at the utter lunacy
Yeah dude it sucked, after doing this for a while my finger and head fell further and further out of sync until my finger poked my eye. It hurt, but I bet it didn't hurt as much as those trees were hurting. Do you think it was a "horrible act"? Okay, well, what if the trees were super-old and people enjoyed looking at them on account of how old they were?
Anyway, yeah, we're crying about trees. On behalf of all sportswriters, readers, you are welcome. Roll Eagle, and what have you.