By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN
The Montana Grizzly football team stands at 3-4 after 7 games for the first time in 25 years. Three times between 1978-87 the Griz stood at 3-4 on the season and each time they rose to the occasion. After starting 3-4 in 1978, 1986 and ’87 the Griz combined to finish those seasons by going a combined 9-2.
Saturday the Griz will make their first visit to Grand Forks North Dakota for a football game for the first time since September 15, 1973. It was against North Dakota that the 1969 Grizzlies debut their wishbone offense that would help the team win 26 games of the next 33 seasons
Montana and the University of North Dakota have something special in common. In 2001 UND won the Division II national title and two weeks later Montana claimed the 1-AA title with a win over Furman.
Twelve times between 1973 and 1992 The Annual Grizzly-Bobcat football games was played in October, in part to try and avoid fans having to travel on icy roads. It was decided in 1993 hat the Griz-Cat game should be played on the last game of the regular season. This year one of the great rivalry games in college football will be played in mid -October instead of its traditional late November. It just will not be the same as Cal takes on Stanford this Saturday, October 20th. Back in 1982 if the Cal-Stanford game had been played in October would the Cal band have run on the field in mass?
The Montana Grizzly volleyball team has a crucial pair of home matches this weekend facing North Dakota and Southern Utah. While the Griz have struggled somewhat this season they also have had their stars. Junior middle back Brooke Bray is 4th in the Big Sky in hitting percentage and 2nd in blocks. Another Junior Megan Murphy has been a key member of the team and ranks among the league elite in digs; Murphy is another outstanding Montana recruit out of Bozeman.
A little college basketball trivia: As UCLA reopens Pauley Pavilion the first game at the “House That John Wooden built” is homage to the legendary coach. The Bruins open their regular season game hosting Indiana–the state where Wooden got his first college head coaching position, and the school that John Wooden got.
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.