Monday, December 2, 2013

Lessons in losing, and winning, and not Updyking

The Auburn Family can’t stop smiling. We rewatched the Iron Bowl of all Iron Bowls last night, and yes, we won, again!! Yes, Auburn University fans can’t stop smiling, and, it seems, some in the Bama nation can’t stop Updyking.

Updyking: (verb) Acting like a crazed, destructive Alabama fan.

I thought I made that word up, but not really, because the original updyker, Harvey, has @getupdyked as his Twitter handle. Let’s now pause for full cyber gross out.

Even as I talk about updyking, it’s near impossible to believe anyone I know who is a fan of The University of Alabama – and I know many gracious ones -- would condone or send twitter death threats to kicker Cade Foster, as have been reported (and printed) on the national news. Really? Don’t you think he feels bad enough?

But then, who would have ever thought that some crazed Alabama fan would creep onto the Auburn campus under cover of darkness, armed with the strongest of herbicides to poison oak trees. All because Bama lost a ball game. The game had been at Tuscaloosa, in 2010, the year Auburn got its first national championship since shortly after I was born.

The Toomer’s Oaks are gone; but thankfully, Auburn is an agriculture school, you know, we’re “Barners,” with a forestry and wildlife school and horticulture experts, too. (We’ve got cows, and fisheries, and poultry, too and that raptor center.) We’ll fix it; it’ll take a while, but we’ll replace and nurture the oaks.  Meanwhile, that corner got rolled fine and dandy Saturday night.

Harvey Updike, who in the end served six months, was recently ordered to pay $800,000 in restitution (we’re holding our breath on that one). He’s on probation, surely, (and worst to him, he’s been banned from any Alabama sporting event). He got off easy, we think, and he’s not sorry, apparently. He said he wishes he could poison them again. And, that was before Bama lost the game. 

Read this post, from several days ago:

The Iron Bowl is hyped as the most fierce college rivalry in the country, and it probably is. In Alabama, you know you have to “go for” one or other. But things like poisoning trees and death treats make me wish the Iron Bowl rivalry wasn’t so big, so fierce, so crazy. But it just is.

We hoped, had a feeling, believed we might win this game by another miracle. I’m giving some mystical credit to my daddy, C.H. Romine, who raised me Auburn, helped me graduate from there and wanted to study engineering there, but married Momma, stayed in Birmingham and graduated from Birmingham Southern instead. He died in July and didn’t get to see this miracle season. But then again, maybe he has seen it and – kinda like the angel wings Aubie was wearing -- could have been running in spirit along with Chris Davis on his 109-yard game winning return. It has seemed a season of destiny.

Auburn Coach Gus Malzaln – our Harry Porter-looking coach whom a clever sportswriter compared to Dirty Harry with a play book-- and staff and a crew of young men who believe in the “together” message have brought Auburn back from last year, one of our worst seasons ever. The Auburn family accepted last year’s mess, made adjustments and moved on. 

See, we know how to lose, and yes, we remember how to win. That’s football, college football at its best.  Death threats and poisoning trees are not, and both sides know it.

I know these are a crazy few sore losers and not typical fans. And fans and players have come to Foster’s defense, and rightly so. Wins and losses are team things. But crazy sore losers, they make the team, school, fans, and the state look, well, CRAZY.

Take it from us, folks who know that you can’t win them all. Instead of killing trees or wishing you could kill them again, or threatening kickers, Updykers, closet Updykers and frustrated Alabama fans, please try these tried-and-true reactions to losing:

  1.  “There’s always next year.”
  2.  “We ran out of time.”
  3.  “I’m getting tired of wearing houndstooth, anyway.”
  4.  “I’m ready for basketball season. Really.”
  5. “I didn’t go to Alabama anyway.”

That’s the spirit!

Postscript: I know this post may bother some Alabama friends. But, to paraphrase Harvey, the Updyker, who said on the “Roll Tide-War Eagle” documentary, where he denied poisoning the trees but said he couldn’t help it: “This is pro-bly gonna make some people mad, but…”

Picture of the day:
Don't know origin of this; my cousin reposted it on Facebook. It's a bit smarty-pants. But I couldn't resist. Love Aubie, too.

 Song of the Day: 

Crazy Train

Crazy, but that's how it goes 
Millions of people living as foes 
Maybe it's not too late 
To learn how to love 
And forget how to hate 
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train 
Let's Go! 

--From Crazy Train, written by Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley