This Family Football Game Draws a Crowd


The Davidson vs. Dayton football game, which could have torn the Durham family apart, pulled them all together.


Vince Durham plays linebacker for Davidson, and his brother, Joe, lines up as a defensive end for Dayton.



From youth league through Fenwick High School, in Franklin, Ohio, they huddled on the same team. Two years ago, Vince, a junior, headed to Davidson. Joe joined the Dayton team this fall as a freshman.


"That sibling rivalry has always been there," said sister Kelly Durham.


The Durhams, who live in Sharonville, Ohio, organized a tailgate party Saturday festooned with gear from both schools. Family members, including a platoon of cousins and grandparents, were decked out in custom t-shirts with both school logos: "Battle of the Big Ds."


Big talk dominated the Durham household as soon as the game schedule came out months ago and lingered through summer.


"We had to hear about it all during vacation," said Annette Durham, better known in the family as "Mom."


The boys took the stakes beyond bragging rights.


Winner gets both sets of Christmas gifts.


Outside the Dayton stadium Saturday, the family reveled in the buildup and a confident prediction:


No matter the outcome, they win.




Mark Johnson




  • September 22, 2018