For many UAHS students, college football season is a time to cheer on the Buckeyes. What is it like for the opposing fans?
by Hallie Underwood, ’20
Many graduating seniors attend The Ohio University after they graduate, and UAHS is located about 2.6 miles from Ohio stadium. It’s only human nature that most students retire their Golden Bear pride after Friday night football games to root for the Buckeyes on Saturdays.
Meanwhile, a select few football fans do not sport scarlet and grey on game days. Whether because of family tradition or a mere liking for the opposing team, some students rally for University of Michigan.
Sophomore Jacob Larmor said it was his grandpa’s enthusiasm for the team that caused him to root for the Wolverines. His mom’s side of the family are Michigan fans, while his dad’s side cheers on Ohio State.
“99 percent of my friends are OSU fans,” Larmor said. “Almost all of those friends find some way to talk trash. That’s just part of the rivalry.”
The OSU-Michigan game is an easy way to ‘stir up drama’ between Larmor and his Buckeye-loving pals. Although Larmor said he tries not to get involved in the rivalry’s antics, he said it’s almost impossible during the week of the big game.
“The week of the game, you become public enemy number one at school. Even non-OSU fans who couldn’t care less about the game are joining in on the fun. During the game, I talk a lot of trash because usually I’m the only Michigan fan in the group I’m watching the game with,” Larmor said. “Go Blue!”
Senior Andrew Mastruserio has been a Michigan fan for as long as he can remember. His mother graduated from the university and currently lives in Michigan. Mastruserio’s immediate family are all Michigan fans, as both of his brothers graduated from the University of Michigan.
However, Mastruserio said his grandparents are Ohio State fans, his grandfather being such a dedicated fan that he holds a season ticket.
“The best way to describe being a Michigan fan in Columbus is just the constant banter during football season,” Mastruserio said. “Anyone who knows me knows I root for Michigan, and they’ll take any chance they can to jab at me. Naturally, of course, I do the same things to them and get a good laugh out of Ohio State losing. In general, it’s all in good fun.”
Mastruserio said not a single one of his close friends don’t root for OSU, and it’s a common topic of conversation. Although he’s never been in town for the much-anticipated OSU-Michigan game each year, he said he’d love to watch it with them.
Although he’s not in Columbus, Mastruserio said he can still feel the intensity of the rivalry during the game.
“It’s like rooting for any other game, except the tensions are much higher, seemingly in correlation to my blood pressure, and there’s a lot of stress,” Mastruserio said. “A single controversial fourth-down call that directly influences the outcome of a game, and it can change the way banter goes for the next year. It’s also always a big game for both teams in terms of making the playoff, which only adds to the tensions.”
Junior Ava Tingley said her family also experiences a great divide between Ohio State and Michigan. Her family has many ties to the university: Tingley’s mom, dad, uncle, and aunt attended the University of Michigan, her grandfather was a professor and her mother works for the university. Tigley said her family has season tickets to Michigan games.
“All of my friends are OSU fans. I can not watch games with them.” —Junior Ava Tingley
“I don’t know too much about football,” Tingley said. “But I always root for Michigan. All of my friends are OSU fans. I can’t watch games with them.”
Tingley said the rivalries extend to her family as well. Although her father attended Michigan, he is an avid Buckeye fan.
“The Michigan and Ohio State game is always hectic. There’s a lot of harassing and teasing, so we decided that when the game is on, the Ohio State fans watch upstairs and everyone who is a Michigan fan downstairs.”
Larmor said he has become used to strangers pointing at his Michigan gear.
“They bust your chops a little bit,” Larmor said.
While these Michigan fans living so close to Ohio State are certainly few, there is a sense of community built around rooting for the opposing team. “Whenever you see a fellow Wolverine in Columbus you instantly have that connection and it’s just a good experience.”
See the University of Michigan play The Ohio State University on Nov. 24 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time. For a full Michigan football game schedule, visit: University of Michigan Upcoming Football Games.