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Harvey Updyke: ‘I’m a Very Unhealthy Alabama Fan’

Harvey Updyke is the Alabama football fan accused of poisoning the 130-year-old oak trees on Auburn’s campus as a form a revenge following Bama’s defeat in the Iron Bowl. Updyke admits he called into a radio show under the alias of “Al from Dadeville” to say he poisoned the trees, but he denies actually poisoning them. Updyke’s scheduled for arraignment on Thursday and he has a tentative trial date of June 20th. He also had an interview with Wright Thompson recently who portrayed him as a dual-personality type.

In the feature, Thompson decides that the split personality has a sensible person — Harvey Updyke — the 62-year-old grandfather and former state trooper. On the other side there’s “Al from Dadeville,” an obsessed Alabama fan who named his children after the Crimson Tide. Updyke even explained how passionate he is as a fan.

“Well, I’m just a very unhealthy Alabama fan,” he says. “I live it. I breathe it. I think about Alabama football, I’m not exaggerating, 18 hours a day. I have always been that way. It just didn’t start. That’s what people don’t understand. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is get on Tiderinsider and see what’s going on. I mean, I know it’s not healthy. I’ve been knowing that a long time. I have a daughter 33 years old named Crimson Tyde.”

Though Updyke understands that poisoning trees is wrong, he keeps trying to justify his actions but comparison. “I understand completely why they’re pissed,” Updyke said. “You know, they’ve been s—ting on Bear Bryant’s grave for 30 years. That’s a felony, and they’re not doing anything about that. They vandalized Nick Saban’s lake house. Painted it orange and blue.”

He tried to compare poisoning the trees to your typical rivalry prank, which shows you how off he is. But Updyke does understand the severity of the charges he faces, and he is in fear of going to prison. He says he’s contemplated suicide and that he would have killed himself if there weren’t a strong link between suicide by parents and suicide by the children.

“That is the only reason I haven’t killed myself,” he says. “I mean, I’m serious. I just can’t see a future. Auburn is not gonna be satisfied until they put me in prison.”

Thompson somehow manages to make Updyke into a sad, sympathetic figure, but then you have to get back to reality and realize how sick of a fanatic Updyke is. He called into a radio show to brag about poisoning the rival school’s beloved oak trees. That’s disgusting. What’s really going on is Updyke appears to understand that the fun and games are over, and now he regrets his actions. He just does not want to pay the price for what he did. It’s hard to have sympathy for someone like that.



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  • Gene

    Updyke did something egregious and now he must pay for it.  There is no sane reason to kill oak trees which have been there for over a century.  I hope that his sentence serves as an example to overzealous college fans to tone down their expressions and actions of support.