A wager, a win and a wedding

TOLEDO, Ohio -- It had been nearly 65 years since Edwin Backus Thomas Jr. had even given a thought to that story.

Through his childhood and 71 years of life, his grandparents' story -- one of forbidden love and football, of feuding families and fate, of a bet waged over a simple game -- had never really seemed to come up for one reason or another. He had heard bits and pieces, but no one ever really discussed it.

For 65 years he hadn't thought about why his first name was Edwin (his grandfather's name) or why his middle name was Backus (his grandmother's maiden name), and he never once considered the consequences of what would've happened if Michigan hadn't beaten Minnesota on that cloudy November day in 1902.

Perhaps the young couple would have waited until June.

Perhaps they would've broken up upon their return to Toledo.

Perhaps he wouldn't be here today.

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