Rival College Football Fans Meet by Chance in Pottstown Gym; Trash Talk Evolves into Selfless Act

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two people smiling
Image via the Opelika-Auburn News.
Chad Watkins and Rebecca Colantuno.

An Auburn University football fan met a fervent University of Alabama supporter in a Pottstown gym. Their chance encounter started with trash talk. But over time, it softened to a tight-knit bond. Lauren Johnson told their story in Alabama’s Opelika-Auburn News.

The opposing-team devotees first connected in a chance meeting.

Rebecca Colantuno, Auburn alum, entered her go-to fitness center wearing her school’s shirt.

It caught the immediate attention of owner Chad Watkins, who spent his life cheering Alabama.

“Why you wearing that trash shirt?” he asked her in mock indignation, referring to her AU tee.

Colantuno took it in good stride, and the two evolved into long-term friends.

In 2013, however, Watkins was in trouble: His kidneys were failing, and the donor wait list was proving stagnant.

Desperate, he turned to Facebook.

Colantuno saw his post and submitted her information for screening.

She matched.

The summer 2022 surgery was successful, and Watkins’ gratitude is overflowing.

Colantuno, remaining true to the good humor underpinning the friendship, kidded her pal, saying, “He has an Auburn kidney. And it’s going to make him classy from this point forward.”

More on this Auburn University/University of Alabama bond is at the Opelika-Auburn News.

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