SoCal house divided by football rivalry for UCLA-USC game

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- MarieSam Sanchez and Tommy Walden are a happy couple, but when it comes to college football, they live in a house divided.

Walden, a former UCLA Bruins basketball player, and Sanchez, a USC graduate, have been married for 18 years. They love one another, but during rivalry week, their loyalty lies on opposing sides.

As Walden puts it, they are "a couple that gets along really except for one day out of the year."

They are both extremely passionate about their teams and don't shy away from expressing their team spirit.

"We love football. When it comes to rivalry week it's a whole different ballgame," said Sanchez.

The couple does a lot of trash talking in the days leading up to the annual clash between the rival teams.

"There's friendly ribbing here and there. She'll bring up the fact that they typically have won over the last few years and I'll bring up the nineties. We had a string of nine out of 10 in the 90s, but that's a long time ago," said Walden.

Sanchez was quick to fire back at her husband.

"I'll just say this, we've been together for 18 years and USC has won 14 times out of those 18 years, so it's a little lopsided when it comes to how it's been," she said.

The couple's 3-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, has been caught up in her parent's football frenzy since birth.

Sanchez said Brooklyn has worn the colors of both teams, but this year, Walden wants to bring the little one over to his side.

"I told him I'll let her wear UCLA this year cause my team is a lot better than yours," joked Sanchez.

No matter who wins the football game, Walden and Sanchez said they'll remain a loving couple.

Watch the UCLA Bruins take on the USC Trojans this Saturday on ABC7. Coverage of the game starts at 4:30 p.m.
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