Sibling rivalry has just been brought to a new level. There’s Peyton and Eli Manning, Ronde and TIki Barber, Serena and Venus Williams even the Harbaugh brothers. Siblings playing against each other has always been an interesting part of sports.
For brothers T.J. and Tevin McDonald the term rivalry resonates all too well. T.J, the elder, is a junior at USC while Tevin is a red shirt freshman at UCLA, both play safe and both wear the no. 7 at the rival schools.
The love of the game and the number was brought to the boys by their father, Tim, who wore the number while playing for USC and then again during his 13 years in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers.
Last week, the two brothers’ daily routine of talking every day and congratulations after big games ceased because on Saturday they met on the gridiron.
The magnitude of the USC-UCLA rivalry is huge in Southern California. In an interview with FoxSportsWest.com Tevin is quoted as saying, “That's my bro. I love him… I want him to have the best game he's ever had. He wants me to have the best game I've ever had. But when it comes down to it, I want the team in blue to win."
Last week was the first game the two siblings played opposing each other. Before the game when speaking to the media, Tevin said, “We were always teammates, always on the same team, (the) majority of the time playing on the field at the same time, I've never played on the opposite side of him (or) on the opposite bench of him, so that'll be something new for me. But I'm excited for it and my family is excited for it. I'm just ready to play."
In the 81strivalry game between the teams and the first rivalry games between the McDonald brothers, USC won in a blowout, 50-0. T.J. actually was an integral part to the victory for USC when he and fellow teammate, cornerback Tony Burnett preserved the shutout by breaking up UCLA’s Kevin Prince fourth down pass into the end zone with less then three minutes left.
Leave it to the older brother to defeat the younger. In good spirits the two embraced after the game.
Last season, UCLA and USC had another family rivalry with brothers Marshall and Malcolm Jones in clashing colors. What could just make for an awkward dinner table for these siblings really enhances the experience for us as an audience.