Unverified Voracity Heads For The Wall Of Shame

Submitted by Brian on February 17th, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Rock Mocked. Are you up for some uncomfortable fun made at Tate Forcier's expense?

That's the hockey team's Mock Rock thing. The marching band won with the football team in second, says AnnArbor.com's Jeff Arnold in an article that emits the faint whiff of sarcasm. Selected highlights:

The band registered a string of six perfect 10.0 scores following a flawlessly choreographed routine … The two top finishes pulled away from the pack of other performances that ranged from the ridiculously creative Pokemon (men's and women's lacrosse) to the wildly entertaining "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (men's swimming); an act that ended in a speedo-inspired tribute to Michael Jackson.

Generic overwritten newspaperese or bitterness at drawing the short straw? We'll never know. I have no idea if the thing was actually entertaining or not since I was watching the basketball game.

In related news, here's an autotuned David Moosman snorting his phone.

Morris benching explained. You were probably saying something along the lines of "aaargh where Morris" with nine minutes left in the game. Even if he had done something wrong he was sitting on seven assists and one turnover at the time—he wasn't exactly a loose cannon. In the aftermath both Beilein and  Morris are saying it was nothing except fatigue:

“I caught my breath,” Morris said. “They did a good job of pressuring the ball, and I was guarding McCamey as well. The coaches noticed I got a little bit tired and then when they took me out, we got on a little run before they separated again, but I felt rejuvenated when I came back in the game.

“It was the most rest I’ve gotten.”

Nothing to see here. /barbrady

Draft incoherence. The rejuvenated Bylaw Blog is admirably willing to say certain NCAA regulations don't make any sense, whether it's the NLI or the NCAA's willingness to let drafted kids play as long as they're not basketball (or I guess football) pplayers:

it is a violation to go through a draft if you decided you want to be in it. But it isn’t a violation in some cases if you are drafted and then attempt to negotiate the greatest possible compensation for your athletic skills. And it isn’t a violation to attempt that negotiation in order to enter the draft.

The fact that this is unfair to some student-athletes is secondary. Most important is that entering a professional draft is not sufficient evidence that you want to give up your collegiate eligibility. Entering a draft and deciding any contract offered would not be worth leaving college is no more or less an indication of a student-athlete’s intent to professionalize themselves than deciding a contract offer is not sufficient to leave college and enter the draft in the first place.

I'm not sure what harm would be done by allowing NBA teams to draft underclassmen, work them out at camps and whatnot, have them play summer league, and then send them back to school. Players wouldn't have a do-or-die decision to go pro or not and talented players might stick around another year or two. You'd also get some extra interest from NBA fans tracking their prospects.

That post also contains a discussion about NCAA president Mark Emmert's recent "over my dead body" statement about paying players. These things kind of go hand-in-hand. If paying players is a bridge too far I don't see why the NCAA can't allow players to sign with an agent or take some non-ludicrous amount of money from a pro team that's drafted them. Right now a major source of NCAA corruption comes from agents funneling money to players in the hopes of signing them; allowing kids to sign and take a bit of money wouldn't increase the amount of compensation they're getting.

Amateurism is all well and good if you can actually enforce it. If you can't—and it seems pretty clear that's the case—you should probably repeal Prohibition, make some reasonable concessions, and make your setup a little bit less hypocritical without actually spending any money yourself.

Morons on the loose, except no longer loose. You have probably heard that someone poisoned Auburn's trees at Toomer's Corner, then called into the Finebaum show to brag about it. The Auburn folk I follow on twitter and in my RSS feed spent yesterday pointedly not advocating the wholesale destruction of Tuscaloosa, which proves they're better people than I am. I'd be on the warpath. Here he is:


He was rapidly arrested because he is named "Harvey Almorn Updike" and lives in Dadeville—a town of approximately four people I drove through once en route to the Auburn-LSU game I attended—and told the radio he was "Al from Dadeville." This goes here.

Unfortunately, it's too late for this incident to remove his genes from the pool—he's got kids named "Bear" and "Crimson."

Q: is this literally the worst possible thing a single fan could do to a rival fanbase? I think so. I can't think of another tradition that's so treasured and so vulnerable. You could cut off Bear Bryant's head* and they'd just put a new one on. It's metal. You could kill Uga, but Uga dies every year and they just keep making new ones. The trees are unique: iconic symbols of the university that can expire but don't do it on the regular.

The worst thing is it's not even clever. Boo, Alabama man. Boo.

*[the statue!]

Etc.: Grant Wahl is running for FIFA president. He's got my nonexistent unimportant vote. More on the first of the 30-for-30 style documentaries about Michigan football. Hockey's senior day is Saturday—a rare opportunity for students to be there. Yost fluff.



February 17th, 2011 at 3:42 PM ^

with that inbred cracker, but if in fact he does have children, he has just placed bulls-eyes on their backs. Given the numbers of Auburn fans in that state, everywhere those kids go, they will be targeted for all manner of abuse.


February 17th, 2011 at 5:05 PM ^

I'm pretty sure the pieces of tape were for the gymnastics team. They placed blue mats at those spots to land on after jumping off of springboards.


I don't get the negative connotation with Mock Rock in the main.. I understand that the basketball game also occured last night, but this event, almost entirely organized and set up by student athletes, had a goal of raising $100,000 for Motts Children Hospital, Michigan Autism Partnership, and Student Athletes Leading Social Change. I know personally the athletes involved with it spent countless hours the past few weeks preparing for last night. We should give props to them for dedicating their time and energy, along with representing the University in their respected sports.


If anyone wants to still donate to the cause, I believe they said that it is still possible. I think this link will allow you to:



February 17th, 2011 at 4:56 PM ^

The band has an innate natural advantage at this thing (between a sense of rhythm and having 300 people to choose from; many of them relatively creative hams/dorks).  I think they or swimming have won every year since I became aware of the existence of Mock Rock.  I also appreciate hockey's transparent hazing of freshmen every year.


February 17th, 2011 at 4:35 PM ^

If paying players is a bridge too far I don't see why the NCAA can't allow players to sign with an agent or take some non-ludicrous amount of money from a pro team that's drafted them. Right now a major source of NCAA corruption comes from agents funneling money to players in the hopes of signing them; allowing kids to sign and take a bit of money wouldn't increase the amount of compensation they're getting. Amateurism is all well and good if you can actually enforce it. If you can't—and it seems pretty clear that's the case—you should probably repeal Prohibition, make some reasonable concessions, and make your setup a little bit less hypocritical without actually spending any money yourself.

Brian - you might be overstating the problem a bit here. Most student athletes aren't taking the money, or doing anything that would jeopardize their positions.

You outlined, however, the greater hypocrisy: that "amateurism" should assume the player is not at all interested in getting paid for his abilities.

The problem colleges would have with getting players drafted is then there's a dual allegiance. College programs and coaches, whatever the reality, are convinced that a player should be 100% committed to their team, not biding their time until the big club calls. I think it's silly, but it's also prevalent enough it should be a consideration, however unreasonable. All I'm saying is that there needs to be a more definitive line drawn between what a drafted player can take, and what he gets if he remains in college, so if a kid is drafted and stays in school, as with hockey, he can't leave school mid-season. Perhaps even attach a graduation requirement -- failure at which puts the player on waivers, and locks him into a league-minimum contract (so you end up making bupkis on the Islanders, which as Nabokov has shown, is less preferable to spending a winter in Russia).

I still like my idea of contracting with EA Sports to license college players' likenesses in return for a giant pot (1% of gross sales of that video game) to provide scholarships for student athletes to attend graduate school. NCAA '11 grossed about $189 million out of just its PS3 and 360 versions, and that was down from the previous year. So imagine the football title could produce $2 million per year in scholarship (a markup of $1.00 for the games gives EA a net profit, not including larger sales from not having to ship a product where everyone's names are "QB #16.") Figure scholarships averaging $14K per year, and you're sending 140 athletes to graduate school out of each graduating class. That seems small, but consider it's half the number who will be drafted by the NFL, and greater than the number of those drafted who will be on NFL rosters in 3 years.

The downside is you're basically giving Carl Tabb a scholarship for something people bought because it had Reggie Bush's face on it.  On the other hand, it's directly in line with the basis of the Okay'ed part of the collegiate amateurism scheme, since you're trading scholarship money for capitalizing on their play. Since there's a limited pot, and since the graduate schollies are merititious, it won't help all players, but can be justified because all players will have equal opportunity to get them. Plus, you benefit the colleges, since they'd be getting graduate students from a population that has consistently outperformed the mean, and who having been associated with NCAA athletics previously. EA Sports wins, since they make a 50% profit on the markup and get to ship a better product. Colleges win since it incentivizes scholarship. Players win since it gives them the ability to continue those educations that all that football was for in the first place, even after the football is over. Perhaps NCAA could even facilitate by granting those scholarship athletes an extra year/years of eligibility. Imagine the competition for the 4.0 students then!!!


February 17th, 2011 at 7:44 PM ^

If you attach a graduation requirement, quite a few more high-end players will opt for the OHL and then you might as well not allow drafted platers in the NCAA because their won't be many anyways.  I think making a no mid-season requirement is lenty.  If the players think getting a degree is important, they'll stay all four years, if not and they have a chance to bolt, they will.  It happens and if players want to take their chances in the NHL, that's their business.  It sucks when they leave early sometimes, especially when it's a guy languishing in the AHL that could be putting up 50 points for us, but I'd rather have had JMFJ for 2 years than none. Not that players leave (especially for the pros) mid-season very often. 


February 17th, 2011 at 4:39 PM ^

I'm more worried about Sparty deciding that Harvey Updike had a good idea.

Just watch -- sometime next fall, someone from East Lansing is gonna dump a whole mess of Spike 80DF on the Cube.


February 17th, 2011 at 4:43 PM ^

I like what you have to say, but I can't think of how you chose to type this:

Q: is this literally the worst possible thing a single fan could do to a rival fanbase? I think so. I can't think of another tradition that's so treasured and so vulnerable. You could cut off Bear Bryant's head* and they'd just put a new one on. It's metal. You could kill Uga, but Uga dies every year and they just keep making new ones. The trees are unique: iconic symbols of the university that can expire but don't do it on the regular.  


"the worst possible thing"....What?  These are just damn trees.  I had no idea who Toomer was until i looked it up.  It is a corner named after the drug store that is on the corner.  They happened to have some trees outside.  The trees became a landmark.   As far as I know (from looking online) no one special planted the trees.  There is nothing "irreplaceable" about them.  Killing these trees has no spirtiual signifigance.

They are just trees in a location people in (primarily) Alabama know.. They will die one day.  They are subject to being blown over in a hurricane or being hit by lightening.

A dog's life is easily more important and a worse thing to do.  How can you say a dog is reeplacable but these oaks are not?

A short list of some worse things you can do (in no order):

1. Kill Uga.

2. Bust Howard's rock in two (that particular rock is more irreplaceable than trees that just happened to be there).

3. Breaking the stained glass at Ohio Stadium

4. Beating up Phil Knight, Snoop Dogg or Matthew McConoughy.

5. burning ol'98 jersey

6. Spray painting Touchdown Jesus.


These would be worse than trees that are known for being outside a drugstore, that hold no signifigance other than it is where fans go to party after a huge win (like the president's house at U Mich).



Do you know something about these trees that makes them "sacred" ents?








February 17th, 2011 at 4:51 PM ^

1. Can't argue with, I think it was a joke about how the recent 2 UGAs have lasted a season

2. A rock can be repaired (roughly) and its significance probably wouldn't change

3. Stained glass can be replaced, if expensively

4. Phil Knight, Snoop Dogg and McConoughy will heal

5. Many Ol'98 jerseys exist, and more can be made

6. Touchdown Jesus can be repainted/tiled/whatever he is

The trees are going to take 130 years to replace, meaning no one currently there or alive will get to experience that grove again. The rest (not the dog) aren't destruction of living things and can be replaced. When OSU tore down the banner, we got a new one. Things are replaceable. Living things are a little harder to replace


February 17th, 2011 at 7:04 PM ^

You clearly don't know much about horticulture or tree transplanting. 

The success rate of transplanting an 80-year old live oak is extremely low.

The best they will probably manage is to bring in 50-year old trees. So they will need to wait 80 years to resemble what they have now.

These trees are 130 years old. Their branch structure and canopies are totally unique.

This dirtbag killed trees that literally cannot be replaced to match what exists.

And you have generations of people whose interaction with these specific trees is a very special cultural tradition for them.

Your inability to grasp the true impact of this is a bit mind boggling to me.



February 17th, 2011 at 11:15 PM ^

The exact same structure and canopies? Who cares? Seriously, lots of memories were made there in the 60s when the trees were only 80 and probably looked different. Does replacing them with younger trees really matter? (Since you sound like an environmentalist, we can use your 50 year old number)

Not to mention the memories are partying there after a big win. I can't think of a less significant reason to consider the trees iconic and part of the school.

I don't see how you don't grasp that these trees were never as famous as they are now. Sure, they were a landmark, but there is no "story" or folklore around them. Nothing that can't be replaced. Just a landmark....and you want to grouse over replacing them with younger trees and unique canopies???


February 18th, 2011 at 7:03 AM ^

...at an OSU fan for doing something like that. I would all of a sudden claim the defaced property was maybe more sacred than I thought the week before. I am not saying no one heard of the trees or thought of them as a landmark on campus. Just that the corner is really the landmark (and they call it Toomer's Corner, not Toomer Trees) and the trees themselves are not known for any other irreplacable sentimental reason.


February 18th, 2011 at 1:36 PM ^

...electrical wires are probably more important to people.  The residents would have a hard time without electricity. If they are made of a precious metal, they are probably worth more than the oaks....and if you cut down the electrical wires you will likely face a bigger criminal penalty and civil lawsuits from the power company.  (Here the biggest charge against this guy relates to groundwater..not trees.)



February 18th, 2011 at 9:57 AM ^

It would appear that you either are very mistaken about the significance of the trees at Toomer's Corner, or have a very unusual notion of what "tradition" consists of, and its meaning to people.

From Wikipedia:

The intersection of Magnolia and College streets in Auburn, which marks the transition from downtown Auburn to the university campus, is known as Toomer's Corner. It is named after Toomer's Drugs, a small store on the corner that has been an Auburn landmark for over 100 years.

Hanging over the corner are two massive old-growth oak trees, and whenever there is cause for celebration in the Auburn community, the trees are festooned with toilet paper. Also known as "rolling the corner" or "rolling Toomer's," this tradition is said to have begun when Toomer's Drugs had the only telegraph in the city. During away football games, when employees of the local drug store received news of a win, they would throw the ticker tape from the telegraph into the oak trees to signal a win to the public.

Traditionally only used as a way to celebrate football victories, in recent years it has become a way to celebrate anything good that happens concerning Auburn. The Student Government Association worked with the City of Auburn to bring pep rallies on the plains back to Toomer's Corner during football season.


February 18th, 2011 at 12:07 PM ^

...when new trees are brought in?  Not one bit. 


Furthermore, this just shows that it is the drug store and the location are the significant aspects.


To use an example we might understand at Michigan, the wires above S. Division are always littered with shoes tied together and thrown up after gradutation (of course, it also has other meanings in other areas, just like TPing a tree).  Now let's say someone cuts down those wires.  If it was an OSU fan, I would be pissed....but of course they could be replaced and the tradition lives on even with new wires that never had shoes on them before.


I don't go around cutting down trees and I think this guy is an idiot, but it is not the "worst thing" you can do to a fan base when it comes to defacing/demolition.


February 17th, 2011 at 5:17 PM ^

People are easy to replace too....does that mean they are less significant than these majestic trees?  Hardly.  Try looking beyond "time to replace" when considering what is more important and what is "irreplaceable" for sentimental reasons.

Also, trees can be transplanted.  New trees (maybe only 80 years) old can be put in the spot.


The SPOT is the only thing that matters here....not these particular trees.


February 17th, 2011 at 11:02 PM ^

Just because dogs are more mobile than trees doesn't mean they are more valuable does it?    You're not one of those all dogs go to heaven people are you?  Because yes that was a great movie, but seriously.  Only cats are going to heaven.  Line drawn.


February 17th, 2011 at 11:31 PM ^

I do not have any pets. (Not a dog person.)

Anyway, you know a dog's life is more valuable than a tree. Michael Vick became a national villan and served hard time for killing dogs. Meanwhile, Mr. T massacres a bunch of trees and hardly anyone notices in the country. I agree with the majority of people (who influence society's morals as reflected in the law.) Killing a tree just doesn't matter. (This whack job is really only facing one tough charge...about human drinking water.)


February 17th, 2011 at 9:31 PM ^

Because the stuff out in the ground to kill the tree has ruined the ground, and is spreading to kill more stuff. So if the spot is what's important, that's been ruined too.
<br>And the trees have never been replaced, and can't, equivalently. Uga's been replaced a dozen times, so it's hardly irreplaceable.


February 18th, 2011 at 11:55 AM ^

Okay, since you think I need to know more to post, please inform me from your wealth of Auburn knowledge.  My original comment asked anybody to chime in as to why these trees are special other than as a marker and a place to party after wins.


I am waiting for my education so I can be OUTRAGED about this.


February 18th, 2011 at 12:45 PM ^

After winning a football game (and now apparently when anything good happens to Auburn) fans congregate at Toomer's Corner (up to 50K) and those trees. They also have pep rallies there. The street in front of it is painted with the Auburn logo.

It is probably the spiritual centers of Auburn or at least Auburn football. But yeah, it's just where a drug store and some 130 year old trees are. Nothing compared to Snoop Dogg.

This has nothing to do with being an evironmentalist or loving trees. It will be a generation before there are trees of decent size there again.


February 18th, 2011 at 2:35 PM ^

Whatever dude, you're kind of all over the place.

You described the spot as 'some trees outside a drugstore' demonstrating zero understanding of or respect for Auburn's traditions. 

You asked what made these trees and that spot important. I told you.

I'm not going to argue with you about a dog or a mural or if 50 year old transplanted trees can replace 130 year old trees.

Go ask an SEC fan if they give a shit about some #98 Michigan jersey relative to those trees.

The FannMan

February 17th, 2011 at 4:45 PM ^

That guy looks exactly like I pictured him when I read the story.  He looks like a guy who commits a horrible destruction of property and then calls a radio station to go on air to brag ( a.k.a. confess) about it - all while using his real name and home town.  Anyone want to bet that he made the call from his home phone? 


February 17th, 2011 at 6:22 PM ^

I think killing El Palo Alto would be worse, but I'd accept argument on the subject. And maybe that dude's rock. I can't think of anything else short of arson.


February 17th, 2011 at 8:34 PM ^

That hockey skit was pretty funny and more importantly tame.  Go to any PhD department skit party.  The difference is that the hockey players aren't bitter.

I once listened to the Paul Feinbaum show.  My IQ was permanently lowered 5 points.

There are 5 aspects to a debate about what could be a worse piece of vandalism against a fanbase:

  • desecration
  • permanence
  • killing living things
  • value
  • intimidation

The relative importance you put on these things represents your own values.  A discussion is fine, but there's no point arguing about it or trying to convince someone of your position. Spray painting TD Jesus would for me represent a bigger desecration, and I'm personally more uncomortable with killing a dog.  A tree fell on my property in a storm lately.  It's still there, but if a dog died, yeah I'd bury it.  Poisoning trees is less intimidating than say hanging Uga from a tree.  Still, I can't think of anything more permanent than killing 130-year old trees, and I don't know how to put a value on it versus say the cost of cleaning up spray paint.  They're gone and can't be replaced.  Regardless, I was pretty angry hearing the story, and I don't even like Auburn.