UM and OSU Fans Gather In East Lansing

By  | 

What may have looked like a scene out of an Ann Arbor bar or a dive in Columbus was actually Buffalo Wild Wings in East Lansing Saturday afternoon. The Spartan capital was home to Wolverine and Buckeye fans alike-- something you don't see every day.

"It's a little bit uncomfortable [being here]," said U-M alum Dustin Gress. "But it's alright. There are a lot of Michigan fans around. It feels good to have some supoprt in a rival town."

"I'm a little overwhelmed here. I thought there'd be more Ohio State fans here," admitted Lauren Young, an MSU grad and Ohio State fan.

But the two groups coexisted somewhat well despite the tangible tension. There were even some converts in the crowd Saturday.

"I went to MSU and I'm rooting for U of M," said Greg Baracy. "The only reason is because Ohio State is the team I hate even more than Michigan."

"I rooted for MSU today, and Ohio State tonight," Young added.

Some revellers say East Lansing is a neutral place to watch the showdown of the year. But Buffalo Wild Wings manager Aaron Weiner says it's more than that; he says East Lansing is the best place overall to watch a game, regardless of team persuasion.

"I worked at our Buffalo Wild Wings in Ann Arbor when Michigan played Texas in the Rose Bowl, and we have more fans today here than they had in Ann Arbor on that day," Weiner said.

Did he have a pick in Saturday's game?

"The true Spartan fans like me still hate both of those teams," he said with a chuckle.

"I'd rather be in Lansing than Columbus," added U-M's Gress.

And on a night where Michigan loses to its biggest rival, East Lansing might not seem like such a bad place to be.