Local man cheers for *ichigan because his grandmother told him to

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — For generations the rivalry between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines has been ingrained into the very being of people living in either state based on their geography.

But sometimes, where you live doesn’t dictate who you root for.

Mark Carruthers and his brother grew up in Columbus and like many siblings there were disagreements over whose toys were whose, but that changed one day.

“My grandmother came to see us when we were very young, about four or five, she had been living in Texas and she made the decision to come up and stay with us while mom and dad went to work,” said Carruthers.

Seeing the need to set boundaries his grandmother made a decision.

“We’re gonna do it this way; matt’s going to be an Ohio State fan, you’re gonna be a Michigan fan,” were the words of Mark’s grandmother.

She had no idea what she had just done.

“When she came up here, she just thought it was just two other teams in the big 10 and that was it,” said Mark. “She didn’t know about the rivalry.”

As siblings, the rivalry was a natural fit and it stuck with the boys. Now an adult, Mark still roots for the maize and blue surrounded by a sea of scarlet and gray.

“I have no problems where my colors anywhere I go,” said Mark. “People always say, ‘well why didn’t you turn into a buckeye fan, you know, you’re not from there’.”

Mark says the answer is relatively simple and he says his father, a Texas Longhorns fan, put it best.

“It has nothing to do with wins and losses; you stick with a team because that’s what being a team is,” said Mark.

According to Mark, the rivalry between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines has grown in intensity over the years as has the rivalry with his brother.

Despite that, it has never pulled the two apart and for that, Mark says, his grandmother would be proud.

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