Alabama Fans Spray Paint a Treasured Landmark on Tennessee Campus

Brian Leigh@@BLeighDATFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2013

Photo Credit: Twitter – @SECblackout
Photo Credit: Twitter – @SECblackout

Tennessee travels to Tuscaloosa to play the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday, but back home in Knoxville, a moronic Tide fan (or group of moronic Tide fans) has spent their time "vandalizing" a beloved UT landmark.

SEC Blackout tweeted this picture of "The Rock" on Tennessee's campus:

In all fairness to the alleged "vandals," scribbling messages on The Rock is nothing new, but they're typically (and obviously) less vulgar and pointless. Per the university's official website:

Unearthed in the 1960s, The Rock soon thereafter became a “canvas” for student messages. For years the university sandblasted away the messages but eventually deferred to students’ artistic endeavors.

The Daily Beacon has editorialized: “Originally a smaller rock, The Rock has grown in prestige and size while thousands of coats of paint have been thrown on its jagged face. Really, its function is as an open forum for students.”

This is the second questionable act by an Alabama fans on another SEC school's campus in a span of just a few years.  The second, of course, referring to the poisoning of the famous trees at Toomer's Corner at Auburn which caused them to be removed.

/Getty Images

The man responsible for that incident, 64-year-old Harvey Updyke Jr., was sentenced to six months in jail but released after 76 days, according to John Zenor of the Associated Press.

What happened in Knoxville is far less serious, especially since the message can be sandblasted away without removing the Rock, but it's a reminder that some college football fans are just plain stupid.

At risk of sounding self-righteous, what's the point? I love college football as much as the next guy—I'm here writing about it for a living, after all—but at the end of the day, it's just a game.

That rock is a part of nature and the property of a public university. There is no sense in defaming it, no matter how much you dislike another team.

Instead of embarrassing their rival, the fans who did this made a mockery of their own institution.

So I guess the joke's on them.