U of M, MSU fans letting their true colors show on eve of football rivalry

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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (11/15/2019) - Michigan and Michigan State's football teams are getting ready to face off for the Paul Bunyan trophy in a backyard brawl like none other.

The University of Michigan Wolverines take on the Michigan State Spartans at noon Saturday in Ann Arbor.

The Spartans and Wolverines kickoff at noon in Ann Arbor in the annual intrastate grudge match.

"It divides us in a way cause it's house divided but it also kind of brings us together at the same time," said Campus Den store manager Katie Bryan.

A part of fans showing support for their favorite team is getting geared up. Campus Den in Mt. Morris Township was busy pressing more Michigan State shirts on Friday to go along with its stock of Michigan gear.

"So we get just people coming in looking for the new thing," said Raymond Atherton, who is the purchasing director for A-Game Apparel next to Campus Den in Mt. Morris Township.

The "new thing" made at A-Game Apparel could mean sweatshirts, T-shirts and just about anything with a University of Michigan or Michigan State University logo. The store began preparing months ago for the game.

"All the work I had to do was two months ago to get all the stock up, all the white, all the green," Atherton said.

Sometimes customers carrying the intensity of the game into the stores beforehand -- with some extreme examples.

"I had a guy who wouldn't get rung up by my friend who was wearing State stuff because he was a Michigan fan. He had to go to the other register," Bryan said. "And then just like people want separate stuff bagged. They don't want it touching."

But it's all in the spirit of friendly competition.

ABC12 is presenting a one-hour Backyard Brawl special to preview the game at 11 a.m. Saturday before the kickoff at noon.