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Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame and Michigan fans put aside rivalry for the love of football

by Katlin Connin, WSBT 22 Reporter

Notre Dame and Michigan fans share a friendly meal together in Eddy Street Commons Friday night // WSBT 22 photo

South Bend will soon be crawling with snarling wolverines and fighting Irish. The football game fans have been waiting for is almost here — Michigan vs. Notre Dame.

This is one of the biggest college rivalries out there. Campus is just a couple of miles from the state line.

Who you root for can make you a lot of friends…or a lot of enemies.

We spoke to a group of friends who root for both teams and how they overcome the divide.

“We’ve been planning it for about seven months,” said Heather Ebner, a Notre Dame fan.

Just by looking at their shirts, you might guess this group of people have only one thing in common — a love of football.

“They’re rivals and they haven’t played each other in a couple of years, so it’s going to be a good one,” said Rhonda Raney, a Michigan fan.

The love of their teams runs deep.

“I was born in South Bend in 1969 so almost 49 years ago,” said Marc Labuziensky, a Notre Dame fan.

“I’ve been a Michigan fan for a very long time,” said John Noll, a Michigan fan. “Always love the rivalry. Hated to see it leave. Glad it’s back.”

Some might say these are irreconcilable differences. So what keeps these friends together?

“We work together actually back home in Naples, Florida,” said Noll.

“We get our nails done, we get our shirts done, it’s really fun,” said Ebner.

Ebner says she and Raney are almost like sisters. This rivalry is a friendly one.

“You’ve got to take the good with the bad,” said Raney.

They hope other rivals will keep it just as friendly as they do.

“When we were tailgating, I noticed that the parking lot is full of Notre Dame fans and Michigan tailgaters as well,” said Labuziensky.

If fans are hoping to go to the game, they’ll pay a pretty penny. We spoke to a scalper today who is selling tickets for $400 a piece — and he had already sold out.


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