On Saturday, the annual blood feud between The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan will take place on the gridiron in Ann Arbor, MI.
And while the outcome of The Game has been a bit one sided as of late, it is still considered the greatest rivalry in sports.
The rivalry began began in 1897, and is in it 106th edition, which incidentally is the same number of years that the Tour de France has been around.
Parallels to this year’s main Tour rivals can easily be drawn as like Lance Armstrong, the prideful Michigan Wolverines, the winningest collegiate football program of all-time, look to regain their form against their foe, which like Alberto Contador, has been virtually unstoppable as of late.
Sadly, this year's game also features a cancer storyline.
Stefanie Spielman, wife of Chris Spielman — an All-American linebacker at Ohio State University, 10-year veteran of the National Football League, and current ESPN college football analyst — succumbed to breast cancer yesterday after a long and arduous battle. She was 42.
First diagnosed in July 1998, Stefanie and her husband founded The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in order to emphasize the importance of early detection, education and prevention.
“We have lost a leader in the fight against cancer,” said seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. “Stefanie was a living example of courage and strength to everyone around her. Her perseverance was unmatchable. While the cancer community marks her passing, my family and I will keep the Spielman’s in our thoughts as they say goodbye to their beloved wife and mother. For her sake, we will continue the battle she fought against a disease that claims too many women all over the world.”
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research or the Stefanie Spielman Fund Patient Assistance Fund at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Contributions to either fund should be sent to the James Development Office, 660 Ackerman Road, P.O. Box 183112, Columbus, Ohio 43218-3112.
Photo: Emily Meyer, The Ohio State University