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UPDATE: Fans won’t get to throw a pie in Harvey Updyke’s face

Harvey Almorn Updyke Jr.

I don’t know who this’ll be more popular amongst, Alabama fans or Auburn fans. Or who’d more want to take a shot at him.

Regardless, Harvey Updyke, the Alabama fan who poisoned the famed oak trees at Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner a couple of years ago, has agreed to appear at a charity function in Mobile, Ala., next month, ESPN.com‘s Mark Schlabach reported. At this charity event, which is being held to raise funds for a family whose young son died of cancer last month, “fans will be allowed to either dunk [Updyke] in a dunking booth or throw pies at his face,” Schlabach wrote.

Former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and his mother are helping raise awareness to the event, but it’s Updyke’s (potential) presence that’ll trigger the most attention nationally. The event’s organizer, Alabama fan T.J. Hodges, stated the “Updyke idea came from me thinking outside the box to raise money for the family” and that “I thought I’d take a chance and see if Harvey was interested in helping, and he said he’d do whatever we wanted.”

It did, though, take Updyke a while to get to that point.

“He thought about it and thought about it,” Updyke’s wife, Elva, told Schlabach. “His daughter said he needed to do it because it will show that he’s not as big of a nut as some people believe. He told them they can do whatever they want to him if it will raise money for kids.”

Updyke, as “Al from Dadeville,” infamously called into the Paul Finebaum radio show in February of 2011 and claimed to have poisoned the Toomer’s oaks after Auburn beat Alabama in the 2010 Iron Bowl. He was subsequently arrested, charged and ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage of an agricultural facility, a Class-C felony. He was sentenced to three years in jailhe served 180 days of the sentence – and was placed on supervised probation for a period of five years. During that probationary period, he has a 7 p.m. curfew.

Additionally, Updyke, who now lives in Louisiana less than an hour from the LSU campus, was ordered to pay $800,000 in restitution and has been barred from the following: any Auburn University property, any collegiate sporting event and speaking to the media.

While there was initial hope that the oaks could be saved, they were ultimately taken down after one final roll. New trees are expected to be planted next year.

UPDATE (8:20 p.m.):  Who would have thought the opportunity to throw a pie in the face or dunk infamous Alabama fan Harvey Updyke in water would take a turn for the worse? OK, it was probably inevitable.

Upon the announcement that Updyke would make an appearance at a charity function in Mobile, Ala. for children with cancer, it turned ugly. The mother, Dee Dee Bonner, and wife, Katherine Webb, of former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron both received death threats on social media due to their help organizing the event. As a result, Updyke’s appearance has been cancelled.

“It seems to be taking away from the primary purpose, which is raising awareness for children’s cancer,” Bonner told ESPN.com. “We don’t want to take away from the focus. We needed to get away from it.”

“I think Mr. Updyke’s heart was in the right place with what he wanted to do, but I think too many people are still upset about what he did and haven’t gotten over it. I didn’t approve of what he did, but I think he really wanted to help.”

“We want to focus on the real heroes, which are these children fighting for their lives and their families.”

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19 Responses to “UPDATE: Fans won’t get to throw a pie in Harvey Updyke’s face”
  1. brtndr4u says: Aug 21, 2014 12:22 PM

    Do they still make Spike80 ? I hear new young trees are very sensitive.

  2. overratedgators says: Aug 21, 2014 12:50 PM

    While I admire the creativity, and certainly, it’s for a good cause, I question the wisdom of calling any more attention to this lunatic and his actions. He poisoned the oaks, and immediately called Finebaum to brag about it, so it’s clear that he wanted notoriety. I know by turning him into a punching bag, the gag here is to paint him as a villain, but I worry that giving him the notoriety he obviously wanted might end up inadvertantly sending exactly the opposite message – do something moronic, and you too could be turned into a crowd attraction someday.

  3. 1990tiger says: Aug 21, 2014 2:05 PM

    Agree with overratedgators. If he is going to appear, can I load my pie with Spike80 DF??

  4. rufneklac5 says: Aug 21, 2014 2:25 PM

    As I learned from the 30 for 30, a guy that seriously names his 2 sons, bear Bryant and crimson tide, and his daughter, ally bama, is certifiably nuts.

  5. thraiderskin says: Aug 21, 2014 3:44 PM

    Isn’t this country about second chances? Let the man save a little face and in the process help some kids. You don’t have to like the man, especially Auburn fans, but don’t knock the guy when he does good. The loss of those trees sucks, I don’t think the outrage was crazy at all, but at least learn a little forgiveness now that time has passed. You want to hit the guy in the face with poison laced pies?.. grow the f— up bumpkins.

  6. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 21, 2014 3:48 PM

    I agree that this might send the wrong message…

    But at least the immediate impact will be this event will raise FAR more funds than it would have without this attraction. I imagine Auburn fans and Bama fans alike will pay money hit this moron in the face…. with a pie.

  7. wadaea says: Aug 21, 2014 4:30 PM

    I never can get used to how classless al fans are. This was a criminal offense and should not be promoted. Now if you want to throw cow dung on the statue of that old fart bear Bryant I’m ALL IN….WDE!!!!’

  8. dhardy8207 says: Aug 21, 2014 5:25 PM

    ^^^^^
    It’s rich that you call Alabama fans “classless” yet you talk of throwing cow dung on a statue thereby defacing private property. Updyke was an idiot for poisoning those trees but there was a lot of money raised by the students at UA from those “classless fans” you speak ill of.

    BTW, were you equally upset at the two drunk AU students that set the trees on fire because one tossed a lit cigarette down after the rolling of the trees and caught the toilet paper on fire?? I’m going to assume since they were classless AU fans that was ok…

  9. dcroz says: Aug 21, 2014 8:45 PM

    What Updyke did was moronic and classless, but for someone to post death threats to these women because they were promoting this event makes what Updyke did seem like a childish prank. I have no idea who these people are or which team they cheer for–if in fact any–but I hope they are caught and serve more time than ol’ Al from Dadeville did.

  10. dmcgrann says: Aug 21, 2014 9:21 PM

    It was a really bad idea to begin with, but it seems like some fans in Alabama and maybe the entire SEC seem to thrive on bad ideas, like making death threats over this affair.

  11. auburntigers34 says: Aug 21, 2014 10:50 PM

    when they come up with a “piss on Harvey Updyke’s grave” for charity, i might stand in line. until then, he needs to go away.

  12. bigedefense says: Aug 22, 2014 1:50 AM

    While I don’t agree with what Updike did, I think a lot of people are taking this to the extreme. Is it because he is a ‘redneck’? Updike ultimately killed trees, yes. He is now a household name. I personally do not think he did it for the fame. I think he did it to ‘get revenge’ on Auburn fans for placing a ‘Scam’ Newton (Updikes words, not mine) jersey on the Bryant statue. Looking at this man, I would take a guess and say he had NO clue that he would gain that type of fame. He went WAY too far & caused the death of two trees that were very important to Auburn while Bryant’s statue was fine after (and during) Cam’s jersey was removed. There have been murders committed after big time losses & those murderers are not house hold names. I see no posts calling them ‘morons’, idiots, or wanting to throw dung at them, or lacing pies with poison. I can’t personally remember when, but sometime in the recent past a woman shot & killed a family member for ‘not taking the loss serious enough’ after Alabama lost a game. To me, that is infinitely worse than what Updike did. They are trees people! There are reality show on cable where they cut trees down by the hundreds! Axe Men and Swamp Loggers come to mind & yes, I understand that they weren’t as popular as the trees that Auburn fans gather and roll. Updike was punished, he did his time & now he is going to help a Mom & Dad that lost their son to cancer. Not being a fan of either school, I haven’t put much thought into what Updike did. When I read this story, I personally give the man tons of respect. He moved out of state to get away from the criticism he received & he is going back into this ‘pit’ knowing that he is going to be called every name in the book. Why? It’s not for personal gain or fame, but to help a family he has never met after the worst tragedy that a parent could go thru. I say to you Mr. Updike, I disagree with your actions in poisoning the trees, but I respect you as much as I respect any man for what you are doing for this Mom & Dad! I dare say none of you message board tough guys would put your necks out there like Harvey Updike is.

  13. longborer69 says: Aug 22, 2014 3:21 AM

    A sorry tale grows sorrier. What a pathetic mess. Death threats?

    Richard Dawkins said yesterday that it would be immoral bring a Down’s Syndrome baby into the world, that it should be aborted. Even HE shouldn’t have death threats, as disgusting as he is.

    But someone threatens the life of women who come up with a dumb idea to raise funds for cancer? Really?

    There are twisted people in the world, and yes, there do seem to be more than the normal share of them circling SEC football. It’s not the fault of football — it’s just a game.

  14. osage44 says: Aug 22, 2014 9:55 AM

    Looking at the accompanying photo of Updyke, I can only conclude that his is the real face of not just UA football, but the University of Alabama itself. Roll Tide!

  15. osage44 says: Aug 22, 2014 10:04 AM

    bigedefense: your post is just weird. it sounds like the kind of drunken screed Updyke may have shouted from the back of the patrol car. Are you Updyke? If not, these sound eerily like the ravings of some other lunatic wearing a plush elephant hat. Roll Tide!

  16. thraiderskin says: Aug 22, 2014 1:12 PM

    Awesome… congrats to the cowards.

  17. rlane97 says: Aug 22, 2014 1:42 PM

    First of all, people have gone through the twitter feeds of both DeeDee and Katherine and found NO death threats. They were getting a truck load of bad publicity and tried to make up an excuse to make themselves look like victims.

    Next, part of Harvey’s punishment in his plea deal was for him to be banned stepping foot on Auburn’s campus and from attending sporting events for life. This was added because he was hotel rooms, food, and game tickets from Alabama fans to attend games like the UA-LSU BCS game in New Orleans. You know, the one where a Bama fan tea-bagged a drunk LSU fan.

    And finally, as an Auburn Alum (former yankee with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, so you can stow your redneck/hillbilly/etc. comments) who spent many wonderful Saturday nights at Toomer’s Corner celebrating with my fellow fans and making amazing memories, it’s pretty disappointing to think the first time I take my newborn daughter to Toomer’s I have to tell her a story about two “just trees” that were water oaks that shouldn’t have survived in the climate of central Alabama (meant for Florida climate), but did for 150 years until an adult, former Texas Highway Patrolmen got mad about a football game and killed them. He then became famous.

  18. charger383 says: Aug 22, 2014 11:42 PM

    anybody making fun of Alabama for having Updike as a fan, remember, the State of Texas paid him to be a cop

  19. southernpatriots says: Aug 23, 2014 8:00 AM

    I thought this demented man was in an institution to get help for his psychosis and by that method avoided legal prosecution?

    I wonder if Auburn has recourse to sue him for all their cost in trying to save the trees at Toomer’s Corner?

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