The football rivalry between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines has lasted for more than a century; however, for the past 23 years, the rivalry has drawn blood. Students at Michigan and Ohio State organize the largest blood drive in the nation through the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. The Blood Battle between the two schools began on Nov. 8 and ends Friday. Volunteers from both schools team up with their local American Red Cross chapters to encourage students to donate blood.

Angela Cesere

The Blood Battle allows all University students a direct means to trounce the Buckeyes. It is a true blend of service and competition: The Blood Battle spurs students to save lives in the spirit of rivalry as each pint of blood donated can help up to three people. Students have numerous opportunities to participate in the blood drive and should take the time to donate and save lives.

Last year, even though Ohio State students began their blood drive two weeks before the University’s chapter, the Buckeyes won by a mere 92 pints out of more than 3,000 pints of blood collected. This year, both schools have a similar schedule and are vying for the title fairly. The goal for this year is 1,800 pints of blood per chapter, but both APO chapters participating in the Blood Battle aim to surpass this goal.

The blood collected at the University will be donated to the Washtenaw County branch of the American Red Cross, which supplies 97 percent of the necessary blood for area hospitals. The organization, which is maintained by volunteers, collects and distributes blood, supports those affected by disasters and aids the families of American troops.

Organizers joke about a curse that has overshadowed the Blood Battle — the football team from the school that wins the battle tends to lose the Saturday game. However, this year has already seen many long-standing curses fail, and the Michigan football team is poised to break the Blood Battle curse on Saturday. All Wolverines should shed their own blood to ensure a victory in both of this week’s battles.

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