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March Madness has two retirement homes in a heated rivalry

March 16, 2017

Just a block south of Northwestern’s campus in Evanston, purple pride flies from the flags at The Merion Senior Living Community. Dozens of Wildcat fans and alum at The Merion will be glued to their televisions tomorrow at a viewing party of the game against Vanderbilt.

“We’ve been crying tears of joy, its awesome that its happening, and hopefully it will continue to happen and beat Vanderbilt and go on. And on. To the Final Four,” said 88-year-old Beverly Roitman. She’s been a Wildcat season ticket holder since the late 1970’s.

But the residents will have a little more on the line than just bragging rights.

The Merion made a wager with another senior living community in Nashville, home of Northwestern’s opponent, Vanderbilt.

If the Wildcats win, The Merion will receive country ham and biscuits from Loveless Cafe in Tennessee. But if Vanderbilt wins, The Merion has to send deep dish pizzas and pastries down south.

“Our pastry chef is going to make a specialty cake to send to Nashville but we’re not gonna lose,” said Merion resident and Wildcats fan Robin Rucker. “I told her to close up the pastry shop.”

Aside from the added incentive, for these Wildcats fans, just to witness their team playing in the NCAA tournament is a slice of life they are ready to savor.

Click here to watch the news story.