AUSTIN - Fans on both sides are anticipating Sunday's game between the University of Texas Longhorns and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but the rivalry was set aside to help a fan and his friend get special seats for the game.
33-year-old Colin Clevenger is fighting pancreatic cancer at Solstice Recovery in Austin. Three months ago, his doctor gave him a life expectancy of three months, and he's still fighting. Colin told his friend, Cole Shiflet, that the one thing he wanted to do before he dies is to attend a Fighting Irish football game.
Shiflet reached out to Longhorns and Austinites to help fulfill that wish, and they did. The Notre Dame Club of Austin also pitched in and got another ticket for Colin's best friend to attend the game with him. Their seats will be right behind the Fighting Irish on the 50-yard-line.
"He's gonna be as close to the action as you can get and really get the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream," said Andrew Barlow, Communications Chair for the Notre Dame Club of Austin.
“I’ve been rooting for Notre Dame since I was seven or eight years old. I grew up in Houston and myself and all of my cousins are Irish American and Notre Dame has always been a constant in our lives. No matter what was going on, Notre Dame has always been my team and I’ve rooted for them. I don't have words for what it would mean to go and see Notre Dame. I don't have the words for it," Colin told the Notre Dame Club of Austin.
While the Longhorns and the Fighting Irish both want their teams to win, sitting on the 50-yard-line will be proof that sometimes even rivals can get along.
"We work together. We're friends across town and we understand that there's something bigger going on here," Barlow said.
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