This story came across my radar today, though published a while back. It is an enjoyable read about the former Michigan football star, President Gerald Ford, and the great Ohio State track star Jesse Owens. Ford was in the stands at U of M when Jesse made or tied 4 world records in a single afternoon in 1935. The story touches on Ford's commitment to equality and his life-long friendship with his teammate Willis Ward, the other 'fastest man in the world'. The story goes on to detail how Ford honored Jesse at the White House 40 years after the then-President, FDR, refused to do so when Jesse dominated the 1936 Olympics.
At the White House ceremony in 1976 Ford said, “Jesse, it is my privilege to present you today with the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor that your country can bestow. And I present you with this medal on behalf of the people of the United States. For them in particular, and especially for the athletes like those here today, your character, your achievements will always be a source of inspiration.”
I'm a Michigan guy, and that's been a tough row to hoe lately on the football field in this rivalry- kudos to you all. That said, to make a rivalry special it should be great competition and great character. Hate is the easiest of emotions, but intensity and respect outshine it every day.