By Jason Herman SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — It’s been 113 years of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines fighting it out on the gridiron. It’s been three years of my family fighting it out in the living room.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving marks the annual day where my family divides in two: The Ohio State fans and the Michigan fans. The two teams have faced each other on this day every year since 1935. My dad Seth is an Ohio State graduate. The Scarlet and Gray passion has rubbed off to the rest of my family, as almost all of the family call themselves Ohio State football fans. Three years ago, my cousin Dana enrolled at Michigan; a move which would shake up Thanksgiving weekend for years to come.
Dana’s dad, my Uncle Randy, quickly converted to a Michigan fan. On 364 days of the year, my dad and my uncle are very close and respectful of each other. But, on that Saturday, there are no limits.
“I always look forward to seeing them of course, some you know because they’re my family and I wanna see them, and partly because I feel sorry for them. I mean, to be associated with a losing situation since 1897, that’s just, it’s just hard,” Uncle Randy said.
While Randy defends the Wolverines because of their winning history, my dad says that since Ohio State has won every year Dana has been a student at Michigan, he isn’t intimidated.
“It’s like me hanging out with an infant who is holding a football thinking he can throw the football further than me,” my dad said. “I still like playing with the infant because it’s a baby, it’s fun. But, he’s not gonna be able to throw the football further than me.”
The whole family stays in one house from Wednesday to Sunday every Thanksgiving. Therefore, the losers of the game have no escape from the winners’ constant showing off. The Michigan side of the family is still waiting for its chance at bragging rights, while the Ohio State side is all too familiar with the feeling.
“They’re in a bad mood all of Saturday, all Saturday night, then they have to drive home knowing that they lost again, while the winners are in the car usually in front of them, because we’re the winners so why would we be behind them,” my dad said.
Despite the constant bickering and fighting the game causes, once the sun shines on Sunday morning, all is forgotten. Everyone typically leaves Sunday morning to go back home. It is tough to tell which team won and lost while the families embrace and say goodbye, Dana said. The weekend always ends on happy terms.
The comradery for this year’s game has already started. My dad has been sending Dana memes making fun of Michigan football, Dana said. Let the Thanksgiving fun begin.