By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN
The Montana Lady Griz basketball team opens their regular season at one of cradles of women’s college basketball, Philadelphia. For many years the national women’s college basketball rankings as well as statistics were handled by the Philadelphia Inquirer. The meeting at Temple will not be the Lady Griz’s first with a ‘Big Five’ school from Philly. In 1985 Montana faced LaSalle in the Finals of the Lady Griz tournament with UM winning.
The Lady Griz may meet another Philadelphia team during the non-conference schedule when they play in the UNLV tournament in November as Villanova is also in the field. This will be the first time since 1991 that the Lady Griz Classic will be played before Christmas; the event first started in January in 1981 but was moved to early December in 1984.
The Missoula Osprey had the unusual Experience of facing a former National League batting champ when Colorado Rockies star Todd Helton made a couple of rehab starts against the O’s in Grand Junction. While the Osprey have never had a player from the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped down to Missoula for a rehab assignment the O’s have on occasion had players from the AA and A levels come down for some work.
With his British Open win on Sunday golfer Ernie Els joins elite company in having won major U.S. and British Open titles, the others to have accomplishment the feat in the modern era are Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods. The 18 year span in Major title victories is the third longest in modern PGA history. Jack Nicklaus had a 24 year span in major titles while Gary Player had a 19 year spread to major titles. Els first major win was the 1994 U.S. Open.
Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumed mascot.
Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament
When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.