Am I the only one who feels somewhat sorry for the arborcidal Harvey Updyke? I know what he did was a bizarre, heinous act which could have only been brought about by far too fervent a fandom and a whopping load of stupididty, but is he the monster many of us, especially the Auburn faithful, want to paint him out to be?
Put your football allegiances aside for just a second and really think about this guy. He is, for starters, human, just like the rest of us, and he has his flaws, just like the rest of us. He loves the Alabama Crimson Tide to a fault and, well, he just too that a bit too far. Sure, you can say what you want about trees and tradition and the innocence of plants (has anyone even tried to make this argument?), but the fact remains that what he did is almost as innocuous as it sounds: he killed some plants.
Big deal. Plants. They're everywhere. Right?
And yet some of y'all want him tossed in prison or even hurt over this. He's already suffered the humiliating judgment of his peers and the general public, so why should he suffer to be further ostracized and ridiculed?
He has told people that the stress of the situation is nearly killing him, and that he legitimately fears for his safety. Is that not retribution enough for what he did, considering that it was nothing more than a glorified act of vandalism?
Here, just take a look at this interview ESPN's original Oxonian (there are now two people from Oxford, Mississippi who write for ESPN.com), Wright Thompson, had with Mr. Updyke. I'll just take the piece and look at it line by line.
MANCHAC, LA - Harvey Updyke walks into the famous catfish place down in the swamp, takes off his crimson houndstooth baseball cap and asks, right off the bat, if I know where he could get some cheap tickets to next year's Alabama-Ole Miss game.
Hold on. No, seriously, Harvey, hold the phone. What was that again?
..know where he could get some cheap tickets to next year's Alabama-Ole Miss game.
...some cheap tickets to next year's Alabama-Ole Miss game.
...next year's Alabama-Ole Miss game.
...Alabama-Ole Miss game.
Alright. That's all I need to know. Lunatic it is. Sorry, Harvey, but you're probably going to get hosed royally here, and we're just gonna sit and watch. Think of it this way though, you'll send a lesson to our kids that maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't take this football shit so personally.