Alabama and Auburn hate each other. Their hate festers, congeals into unexpected forms of hate. From killing trees to, well, killing trees. Through a long hot summer Alabama has found its program under seige due to the relationship between players and T-Town Menswear owner and disassociated booster Tom Albetar. That incredibly suspicious relationship has been well-chronicled on this site and others. Earlier this week SportsByBrooks posted pictures from Tom Albetar's album of Trent Richardson filling up a rather nice ride. Those pictures found their way to an Auburn message board where, you guessed it, speculation about where Richardson might have gotten the money for that ride was a primary topic of conversation.
But then things got interesting. An Auburn fan suggested that one way to find out who owned the car would be to intentionally drive into Richardson's vehicle. (If Alabama and Auburn fans ever put the mental energy they put into the rivalry in to worthwhile projects, it's possible the national debt would be erased in a matter of weeks.) If that direction surprises you then you haven't ever spent any time on message boards. Remember back when talk radio was considered a cesspool? The dark corners of Internet message board life make talk radio seem like a mid-day stroll in a well-kept garden. Where did the idea to poison Toomer's Corner originate? On message boards.
Which brings us to this, did someone intentionally drive his 18 wheeler into Mark Ingram's car already?
Seriously, you can't even make these allegations up in Alabama.
Nor can you make up the controversies. Not even if you tried.
Could it be a message board joke when ProwlinTiger99, a truck driver from Huntsville, says on The Bunker, a premium site on Auburn's Rivals message board:
“Well, we sent AuburnProud to Huntsville to give Ingram a little going away present. Anyone have a high mileage truck or SUV with a sturdy brushguard looking for adventure?”
Of course, it could be a joke. But could it also mean that the individual who crashed his semi-truck into Mark Ingram in Huntsville was up to something illegal? That someone intentionally drove his semi-truck into Ingram's car? Welcome to the fertile world of Alabama-Auburn conspiracies. Where a traffic accident is never just an accident. And let's be honest, would anything coming out of the state of Alabama about the Auburn-Bama rivalry suprise y'all at this point? In addition to the poisoned trees, we're talking about a place where three years ago an Alabama fan pled guilty to stabbing five Auburn kids and then convincing a retarded person to take the blame.
He only got 1.5 years in jail!
That story really happened.
My point in all this? Alabama-Auburn fandom is past the point of a simple truth/fiction divide. You don't know what's true and I don't know what's true. Somewhere between everything that is alleged and nothing that is alleged is the truth. And I'll be damned if I can draw that line when it comes to the state of Alabama anymore. No one can. So we give you stories and you decide if they have any merit.
Anyway, read the message board thread yourself, I've received it from over a dozen people tonight. Make your own determination. (In the meantime, there has been a conspiracy theory long percolating on the Internet -- which I've also been tipped off about a ton of times -- about the hit-and-run incident involving Trent Richardson -- and the car he might have been driving -- earlier this summer. Why didn't Richardson press charges and why didn't the car he was driving become a matter of public record?)
The number of tips OKTC gets every day that involve Alabama or Auburn is truly mind-boggling. I try and chase them all down and a small percentage ever make their way to the site. But this message board thread and the work done by IBleedCrimsonRed is truly fascinating. We've already had a tree-poisoner incriminate himself on the most-popular radio show in the state, why couldn't a message board poster do the same?
One of the things you learn really quick on the Internet is that your joke might well be someone else's literal truth. The Internet does a lot really, really well, but one thing it doesn't do is convey tone. And many people, God love them, believe every single word they read on the Internet no matter how outlandish. So what starts as a joke can ultimately turn into trees being poisoned.
Did someone intentionally run into Mark Ingram's car? Perhaps, perhaps not. And if they didn't, how scary is it that someone is bragging on a message board that they know who did in order to gain message board credibility?
It's beginning to look like neither Auburn nor Alabama fans will rest until both schools end up on probation.
We know they'll kill trees, but will they also use cars as battering rams of truth to attempt to uncover improper benefits?