For the first time in the 76-year history of the Iron Bowl rivalry, Auburn (AL) Police has stationed a “manned mobile surveillance tower” adjacent to the school’s Toomer’s Oaks to, as Auburn Police Captain Tommy Carswell told the WAR EAGLE READER, “keep the peace” this weekend.
Why is Carswell and the Auburn P.D. “beefing up our security” around the trees?
Saturday Alabama will tee it up at Auburn for the first time since Crimson Tide fan Harvey Updyke admitted to poisoning trees that have long marked the site of postgame victory celebrations by Tiger football fans.
Carswell to War Eagle Reader reporter Jeremy Henderson:
“I don’t know if there’s a concrete or tangible reason for putting it there, but we’ll be doing some recording there. This thing about poisoning the tree—I don’t think anybody else is is trying to do that but if so we very well may have it recorded.”
Carswell was careful to point out to Henderson that none of the increased security around the trees was to prevent the traditional “rolling” of the Toomer’s Oaks with toilet paper - as is custom after an Auburn football win. But if Alabama is victorious, let’s just say that “keeping the peace” will take on a whole knew meaning for Carswell and the other 106 Auburn Police Officers who will be on duty Saturday:
“Our goal is not to say no Alabama fan can throw toilet paper. It’s not illegal for an Alabama fan to throw toilet paper any more than it is for an Auburn fan to throw toilet paper. We’re going to do our jobs without violating anybody’s rights.”
Translation: If Auburn wins, the streets around the Toomer’s Oaks will be closed so Tiger fans can roll them. If Alabama wins, not-so-much. Carswell:
“We don’t have any plans of closing off the corner if Alabama wins. We do if Auburn wins. That’s our call. If someone else wins, we’re not making the decision to close it off and let them have it for an hour. All the roads will remain open. Now, if it comes to a point where the roads are open but someone is doing or causing something that’s keeping traffic from coming through, that’s an arrestable offense.”
Maybe it’s just me, but if there is a breach of the Toomer’s trees by Alabama fans, I’m thinking the last thing Auburn fans want is to have the scene recorded.
Come to think of it, this may be the best thing to happen to Alabama fans since Cam’s graduation.Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates