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Column: Tales from a house divided during the week of The Game

What it’s like to live with a UM grad during rivalry week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Ohio State at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I have a confession to make: My roommate is a ❌ichigan grad.

For 51 weeks of the year, we are good friends. We enjoy each other’s company, hang out, watch movies, share a pot of coffee in the morning, go out together on a Friday night.

Normally, we play nice for the sake of the kids (our precious cat) and ignore the elephant in the room. On occasion, we play practical jokes or bring up the rivalry in good, lighthearted fun. Sometimes we poke fun at the other’s school attire. But this week? Oh, this week we’re at war.

Rather than sharing our normal pot of coffee and recounting our days, this week, we’ve been trash-talking each other’s teams over breakfast. At present, I’m in the living room writing this, having just replaced all the throw blankets in the living room with Ohio State blankets. I’ve thoughtlessly tossed the TTUN throw pillows she added to the couch in the corner where I don’t have to look at them.

For this week, we are enemies walking on eggshells, waiting to see how The Game shakes out so we can decide whose trash-talking was valid.

In all fairness to her, I am mostly responsible for the start of our personal war. Last weekend, I went around crossing out all the Ms in the house with tape, just like we would do on campus. It was particularly enjoyable for me given that her name starts with the letter M.

On Monday, when I woke up, she had responded by replacing the cups in our cabinet. My Homage OSU tumblers had been replaced with Michigan ones. The next day, I’d taped OSU logos onto all our coasters.

By Tuesday, she’d put photos of Jim Harbaugh all over my bedroom door. After promptly drawing mustaches and devil horns on him, I responded by taping photos of OSU football players all over various household items. Some of them are admittedly so well-hidden she’ll probably be finding them until we move out.

Decorations were hung in the common spaces for our respective schools, and each time one of us entered the room, the decorations were swapped out. You know the scene in Sleeping Beauty when the fairies are fighting about the color of Aurora’s dress? “Make it blue! Make it pink!” That’s been the energy in our living room this week.

We could have called a truce for Thanksgiving, but why would we do that? I decorated her door like The Shoe in the middle of the night. She put a giant “M” made of perfectly flaky dough in the middle of my Thanksgiving pie.

Today, I was awakened to the sound of “Hail to the Victors.” Tomorrow, I will open every beer bottle with my bottle opener that plays “Carmen, Ohio.”

We’ve decided to host a party for The Game tomorrow. The House will be more divided when it’s filled with people from both campuses vocally screaming at the TV. Maybe Sunday, we’ll return to some sense of normalcy or peaceful cohabitation, but I can’t make any promises. I can promise to be insufferable when Ohio State wins, and I assume she will do the same should the chips fall in her favor.

We should have known this day would come when our school loyalties won out over our friendship. The question is whether this divide can be bridged after this weekend. Will our rivalry return for one week annually, or are we destined to be permanent enemies from this point forward? Only time — and Saturday’s game results — will tell.