COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Rivalry Week is upon us and “Michigan” is something you just don’t say.
But what if the “M” word is where you live – on Xichigan Avenue?
As sure as the leaves fall in November, the Buckeye flag flies on That Team Up North Avenue in Columbus.
But “M-word” Avenue is a tough place to live during Rivalry Week.
“I can’t say the name this week, I don’t even say the name,” said Alex Lowrie, an Ohio State University graduate who now lives on that avenue.
When he graduated in 2015, Lowrie needed a place to live.
“I wasn’t too happy,” he said. “When I picked the apartment, I didn’t really look at the street and all of a sudden, I was just living here.”
Sometimes you don’t pay attention to details, like your address. Even if a TV reporter knocks on your door.
“I don’t know football,” said one woman, also a resident of Xichigan Avenue.
“Football’s not your thing, so this really doesn’t matter to you,” NBC4’s Brad Johansen said.
“It doesn’t resonate to me at all.” She shook her head and shut the door.
Maybe you don’t even live on this street, you just park here.
“It seems almost meaningless that you as an Ohio State University employee would park on this street you are aware?” Johansen asked OSU researcher Mike Mahaffey.
“Yes, Michigan Avenue,” he said without thinking. “That team up North,” Mike corrected himself.
Maybe you have to be here because you work on Xichigan Avenue.
“I work here at Laffre Gallery,” Rachel Canup said as she unlocked the business door.
“Does it bother you this week at all?” Johansen asked.
“Well, my husband would say yes,” she smiled.
“But it really doesn’t phase you?” She shook her head no and laughed.
It phases Maeve, who tells people she lives at the cross street of Neil, and well.. you know.
“Do you ever pronounce the street where you live?” Johansen asked as she was walking her dog.
“Umm, not during football season,” she said.
“After that, it’s OK?”
“Umm, not OK, but it’s acceptable,” Maeve replied.
And if you’re having guests over to watch the game, like Lowrie is, text them the address. Don’t say it.
“I just say come to That Team Up North street,” Lowrie said. “You just can’t say it this week, that’s just the way it is.”