Welcome to Mick it Missoula

By Mick Holien

So here we go football fans. The long-awaited 2010 season is upon us this week as
the FCS national-runner-up Grizzlies take to the home field Saturday to open the
2010 season.

And here I go with a new twice-a-week blog to preview the upcoming competition
on Wednesday, and then give you a bit of insight on Sunday after the game that
you are just not going to read anywhere else.

I’m starting my 18th season broadcasting Grizzly football on the radio and 2010
marks the 26th year I have had the opportunity to bring University of Montana
sports to the statewide airways.

The time has flown since that first Lady Griz basketball game in 1985 and I have
traveled with a plethora of student-athletes in the process of being UM’s mind’s
eye for more than 800 football and basketball games.

It’s been quite an enjoyable trip and while the travel can wear on you by about
March of each year, it’s a “dream” job but not one I thought I would be involved

I grew up in Spokane listening to Herb Hunter, the voice of the then AAA Spokane
Indians, the Dodgers top farm club, who ironically lived across the street and I
was taught how to keep a precise baseball scorebook by then Spokesman-Review
sports editor Danny May, who lived nearby so naturally I gravitated toward
baseball, my true sports love.

While serving in the military in California I loved the story telling and enthusiasm
of Chick Hearn of the Lakers and of course Vin Scully of the Dodgers, but I never
gave radio a second thought and instead figured the printed word was my best
opportunity to make a living.

My first correspondent byline appeared in the Spokesman-Review in 1971 and
some might say it’s been all down hill since then.

Radio came calling when longtime award winning DJ Mike Doty recruited me to
KGVO after hearing me calling Moonlite Bowling at Five Valleys Bowl and for some
reason venerable radio personality Dave Wilson thought I should broadcast a
football game for him so that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!.

But here’s the rub.

While not intending to burn confidences, I want to write about some of the
nuances surrounding Grizzly sports. From goofy travel stuff, to press box banter,
to meals, fans, buses, facilities, that’s what we’ll talk about and let the beat
reporters burn newsprint on the other stuff.

On Wednesday I’ll preview the upcoming opponent and promise to give you some
tidbits that will make good water cooler fodder and on Sunday? Well you’re just
going to have to jump aboard and see where this blog goes.

It’s going to be a quick read for you and I think one you’ll look forward to and I’m
anxious to see your feedback and ideas.

Maybe somebody could give me advice on how to shut up Scott Gurnsey and
Greg Sundberg so I could talk more. That would be a good start.

Actually you know I’m just kidding as they’re good guys and good buds and most
of the time make my life easy and always entertaining.

It’s surely the start of a new era in Griz football and with the number of grey
heads returning to the UM in the locker room, one I can’t wait to get started so
let’s get after it shall we?