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Michigan, Michigan State rivalry divides Niles home

The makings of a good rivalry often comes down to the fans, but when fan bases share the same territory there’s a certain phenomenon bound to happen – the house divided.

Dave and Stacey Vanlue from Niles, Michigan are like any other couple until Michigan and Michigan State meet.

“I definitely like all of it, the buildup and giving him a hard time," Stacey said.

He dons the green and white, she the maize and blue and neither cares to see the other on game day.

“He really doesn’t watch a game with me. He usually says ‘it’s hunting season.’ So he’ll leave," Stacey said.

“We’ve yet to be to Spartan Stadium I always try to support her and go to The Big House and see them beat them there. Difficult to watch a game with her on TV because everything’s a penalty or Michigan’s getting screwed. It’s horrible," Dave said.

But for this couple, the good-natured state of their rivalry has weaved its way into their relationship as well.

“I proposed to her in The Big House during a Michigan-Notre Dame game so at halftime I took her as close to the field as I could and got down on one knee," Dave said.

After putting his Spartan fandom aside for a life-changing moment, Stacey hatched a plan for the biggest day of their lives.

“Our wedding was a little bit different and I decided it would be a good idea and surprise a lot of his buddies from State, so I walked down the aisle to the Michigan fight song," Stacey said.

“Not bothered at all. I knew who was winning at the time, and we always won. It’s her day. I don’t have any issues with it whatsoever. And the song does sound a lot better than Michigan State’s fight song. That’s just a fact. It’s one of the best fight songs in college football," Dave said.

The fact that Michigan State has been the victor in most of the recent matchups has made life a bit easier on Dave.

Moving forward in their lives are the others in their house, their sons Brennan and Cole, and their dog Blue, named for Michigan.

“So far, they like both. We’ll let them figure it out.”

“Depends on what mom dresses them in that day. They have a little football uniform that’s all Michigan. Yellow pants and jerseys. It’s trifling," Dave said.

So while their sons’ fandom may be the ultimate battle in years to come, there will always be one team in football where these two are on the same page.

"That’s the one thing we can hug and agree on, is we can’t stand Notre Dame eight miles down the road. We’d rather see each other’s team win every time, but when we play each other, now it's time to root for our own," Dave said.

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