COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Saturday’s Ohio State-Notre Dame matchup wasn’t just a big game on the field; it also divided some households, with one side rooting for the Buckeyes, the other the Fighting Irish.
Walking around the Shoe before game time, there were quite a few divided couples. Some flew to Columbus because they wanted to be inside the stadium for the game that had them rooting against each other.
Tailgating before the game had all the traditional aspects to it: Cornhole games and food hitting the grill outside Ohio Stadium. The first game of the season, a top-five matchup, and only the seventh time OSU and Notre Dame are playing.
Kathy Haaland, a “lifelong Buckeyes fan,” was born in Ohio but lives in North Dakota with her husband and Notre Dame fan Dean.
“It was not a dealbreaker, but I’ve been a lifelong Notre Dame fan,” Dean Haaland said. “We’re from the state of North Dakota right now and we’ve always wanted to come to the Shoe and when she found out they were playing, this was our bucket list.”
So they made the trip, their first to Ohio Stadium.
Mary and Bill Miller are another couple with opposite rooting interests Saturday. The Millers also flew in for the game and said it was an easy decision.
“We love both teams, so it’s the first time we’ve had a chance to see our two teams play against each other,” Bill Miller said.
The Haalands made a week out of the trip, also visiting family in the area. Regardless of the game’s outcome, they said it’s been a good trip.
“I wanted to bet him that he’d have to wear something Ohio State in the airport or coming home, but he wouldn’t take it,” Kathy Haaland said.