An Open Letter to the Auburn Family from the Alabama Faithful
As former students of the University of Alabama, we understand the importance of tradition; it is what binds past generations with those yet to come. The rolling of the trees at Toomer’s Corner is a unique and long-held tradition at Auburn University, one which we grudgingly respect. We may not understand your strange rituals, but we too have our own cherished traditions. We appreciate the culture of college football and, as such, have decided to take a stand.
The Alabama-Auburn rivalry is the best in all of sports. It makes the fall more interesting and enjoyable. We like taunting you, you enjoy poking fun at us, and even when it gets heated, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What we don’t like is when good-natured rivalry is taken too far. That is exactly what happened when “Al from Dadeville” maliciously vandalised the 135-year-old oaks at Toomer’s Corner. Those oak trees have withstood hundreds of storms, numerous droughts, and more than a few rolls of Charmin. You could say that they have been through and seen it all, and they are landmarks of our state. The trees were there long before “Al” was born, and presumably would have been there long after he is gone.
We want you to know, in no uncertain terms, that we do not accept what “Al” has done--there is simply no excuse for this type of abhorrent behavior. We condemn his actions in the strongest possible manner. While he may claim the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, he does not represent us in any capacity.
As a token of good faith, we have established "Tide for Toomer’s," a small fund through which fans of the Crimson Tide can contribute money to Auburn University’s efforts to rehabilitate or replace the poisoned trees. None of these funds may be used for any other purpose, and especially not, of course, for your beloved Auburn Tigers football team (let’s not get crazy here).
On behalf of Tide for Toomer’s and the Alabama Nation, we pledge to uphold and safeguard the traditions in this state by showing reverence for the greatest rivalry in sports. We ask that supporters of the University of Alabama join with us in contributing to Tide for Toomer’s. With this, we hope to prove that though our rivalry is strong, our mutual respect is stronger.
Jennifer Hanson, Birmingham; Clay Loftin, Prattville;
Taylor Nichols, Tuscaloosa; Camaran Williams, Pell City