Some Final Words From Updyke
By Paul Myerberg // Apr 21, 2011
Bless Jason Kirk of SBNation, who devoted much of his afternoon to not only listening to alleged tree poisoner Harvey Updyke wax poetic on the Paul Finebaum radio show but transcribed the conversation in its entirety. Hats off to Jason — truly a commendable effort. Can words capture the insanity that was this lengthy conversation? Oh, I think you’ll get the message. Updyke hits a home run early, saying in his opening statement that he’d “like to apologize to my children, the University of Alabama, and my high school coach.” You wouldn’t think it could get stranger, but it does.
More choice clips, again thanks to Jason’s leg work. Asked how long he might have been unconscious after yesterday’s incident at a gas station near the courthouse in Opelika, Ala., Updyke said:
I don’t think I was knocked out. May have been. They didn’t try to kill me. If we were trying to get publicity about this, wouldn’t it have been better for me to get attacked before the hearing? I was in Auburn from 9 am yesterday morning, I drove in from out of state. Went into Tiger Town, went into Books-A-Million to buy a book — The Lost Ring. It’s on sale in there for $4.95.
I’ve been trying to find out about The Lost Ring, but the only book I can find by that name on Amazon.com is written by Fawzia Gilani-Williams and published by The Islamic Foundation — I’m not sure if that’s the book Updyke was shopping for.
Asked whether this was a “Charlie Sheen” stunt, meaning one done merely for publicity, Updyke responded:
I am not winning. I am losing. I know it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have called into your show. My rent has gone up three times as high as it was. They put me on a $50,000 bond. Wayne Barnes put the money up. I’m attempting to pay him back. I am losing a lot of stuff over this. Paul, I just want it to go away.
Is prison a possibility? Finebaum asked Upydke:
I really believe they gone put me in prison. There’s probably a third of the people sitting back and laughing at this train wreck. Some Alabama people believe me, and no Auburn people believe me. I was not afraid. If I’d planned this, it would’ve happened out in the sticks. There was a lot of people there. Why somebody didn’t see it, I don’t know.
What of remorse, Mr. Updyke; have you any? Updyke’s response to the original tree poisoning:
One of the biggest mistakes I ever made in my life. All my adult life my wives kinda said I’m a crap-stirrer. I like to stir crap. I was just trying to upset the Auburn nation. Paul, I never thought it’d come to this… I don’t want those trees to die. I would give anything in the world if this had never happened. I don’t want my legacy to be the Auburn tree-poisoner.
And we have a winner with this quote, which should stand for all-time as one of the more rambling, ridiculous, spot-on assessments of college football rivalries in the South:
All my life I’ve been an Alabama fan. I have children 30 years old named Bear Bryant and Crimson Tide… My baby girl, I wanted to name her Ally Bama. That is true… I have 40 different Alabama hats. Every time I go out I have an Alabama t-shirt. If I was listening to me on the radio, I’d say, yeah he’s a nut. I went through the bad years. I saw Tommy Tuberville sticking his fingers and thumbs up in the air. I don’t have season tickets. I never went to Alabama. I went to a small junior college. But I am an Alabama fan. They can put me in prison. I am an Alabama fan. I’ll apologize for what I’ve done to the university. I saw Nick Saban sent money. It’s not their fault, and I apologize.
And his closing remarks for those who wish him ill:
Well, I can’t blame them. I can understand. If I was an Auburn fan, I would be upset too. I just want to tell them I’m not a bad person. I’m a Alabama fan. Tommy Lewis and the ’54 Cotton Bowl. He came off the bench and tackled the Rice player. They asked him why’d you do it? He said, “I just have too much Bama in me.” Too full of Bama. To the Auburn people, I don’t blame them. I’m gonna get what I deserve… This is gonna make people mad, but I gotta do it. Roll damn Tide.
That’s all from Updyke — for now, and hopefully for good.
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Tags: Alabama, Auburn, Harvey Updyke, Paul Finebaum
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