Few places know the meaning of the word “rivalry” as the residents of southeast Michigan and Northeast Ohio know it. The Michigan/Ohio State game is one of the biggest games of The Big Ten Football Conference, and each year the game draws crowds that exceed the stadiums’ capacities. In fact, in 2000, ESPN named the matchup as The Greatest North American Sports Rivalry.
It is common to hear phrases like “I bleed maize and blue” or “Scarlett and Gray are my true colors” based on whichever side of the fan line you stand. Toledo, Ohio, in particular, being so close to the state’s borders, is filled with fanatics of both teams.
One 10-year-old, Ivan Applin, doesn’t need to be asked twice where his loyalties lie. As a hardcore Buckeye fan, his greatest fear was not about his upcoming surgery to treat his congenital heart defect, but whether his having the surgery at Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan would make his heart a Wolverine heart once it was over. Can he get any cuter? Of course he can. After being assured by the surgeon that his heart will stay true to the Buckeyes, his newest concern is that his rest and recovery period end in time for him to play fall soccer.
The surgery was a success, and Ivan woke up still being a true Ohio State fan. In recognition of his OSU loyalty, and his love for soccer, the Ohio State University men’s soccer team made Ivan an honorary captain of their team for the upcoming season.