FLINT, Michigan (WJRT) - (10/06/2017) - The Michigan State-Michigan rivalry brings out the competitive side of sports fans, even those who are married to one another.
Flint resident Todd Korpi is a Michigan State Fan while his wife Tara is a die-hard Michigan Fan.
On Friday night,they talked about how they manage to keep the peace despite living in a home with divided loyalties on game day.
"If Michigan wins," began Todd Korpi, "Which they will," Tara Korpi interjected.
"Then she'll rub it in my face," Todd continued. "If Michigan State wins,"
"Which they won't," Tara said,
"I'll stay really quiet about it," Todd said, while both laughed aloud.
No victory dances in this household. When it comes to the green and white versus maize and blue match up, it's all about bragging rights.
"It's more of just insulting one another," Tara said, "until we cannot take it any longer, then we just say enough is enough."
So far, the battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy has not had a negative impact on their marriage, but it did affect their courtship.
"We were just always die hard Wolverines," said Tara.
"Which I will say, was a point of contention when I was being vetted as the boyfriend," said Todd. "It made Saturdays over at her folks' house a little bit awkward, so my cheers were internal when I was trying to impress the family."
So how is this couple raising their girls?
"They're going to be Wolverine fans, because that's the best thing to be," said Tara.
"Or maybe we might send them to Western," said Todd, "just playing it neutral."
Saturday night, the Korpi's, who are both ordained pastors, have to attend an evening wedding so they will not be able to watch the game live.
"I'm officiating," said Todd, "so I cannot skip it. That's what the ESPN app is for."
Their advice for other couples who will be seated on the couch together Saturday night?
"Realize that ultimately it's just a game," said Tara. "We have our own loyalties, but ultimately we want to be loyal to one another in the long haul, when it goes too far we need to back off and keep the peace."
"Do you wanna be right or do you wanna be happy?" asked Todd. "I'm very happy, I've been happy for 10 years, so just keep a low profile guys and you'll be good, it's alright."
Since the Korpis married in 2008, U of M, Tara's team, has only beat MSU twice, so this is probably good advice.
Todd graduated with his master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, but grew up with MSU fans and actually used to sell bottled water at the stadium on game day while he was in high school.
Tara Korpi graduated from Central Bible College, but grew up in a family of die hard Michigan fans.