Online Now 1659

Phillip's blog: An inspiring effort

If you have a Twitter account and don’t follow Toomers4Ttown, you should. It’s inspirational.

Senior Editor Phillip Marshall

Toomers4Ttown (Toomer’s for Tuscaloosa on Facebook) is the brainchild of Warren Tidwell of Opelika. It is a grassroots effort of Auburn people to offer help and support to those affected by Wednesday night’s horrific outbreak of tornadoes in Tuscaloosa and other places. The effort has been intense and is ongoing.

This group isn’t alone. Alabama students, Alabama alumni, Auburn students, Auburn alumni, athletes and coaches from both schools, people from other states, just ordinary folks are reaching out to help. A football rivalry has, for now, been rendered irrelevant. And that’s as it should be.

When the Toomer’s Corner oak trees were poisoned, lots of Alabama people gave money to help Auburn in its fight. But tree poisoning pales compared to the death and destruction that were visited on our state on Wednesday.

Even from unspeakable tragedy, good can come. People can come together – across political, racial and religious lines and even across the lines drawn in America’ fiercest college football rivalry.

Would we be ridiculously optimistic to hope that there could be a carryover, that people would recognize the absurdity of the hatred that is spewed on a daily basis? Could it really happen?

Could grown men who trash college kids finally recognize that, when they do, they are the losers and not the young athletes who are the targets of their vitriol? Could people begin to understand that what the football team you happen to support does on the field says nothing about you as person, good or bad?

I’d like to think so, but that’s probably expecting too much.

For now, let’s celebrate those among us – those who wear the colors of Auburn, Alabama or no colors at all – who have reached out to help those who endured so much when the wrath of nature came down on our state.

Already have an account? Sign In